Rapid determination of plutonium in urine by ultrafiltration

G. Neil Stradling*, D. S. Popplewell, G. J. Ham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A rapid and inexpensive method for the determination of plutonium in urine has been developed. The principle depends upon separating macromolecular plutonium species by ultrafiltration and directly counting the material retained on the membrane. Using a scintillation detection system having a background of 0·006 ± 0·002 cpm (2 S.D.) and a sample counting time of 8 hr, the limit of detection (background ± 2 standard deviations) was equivalent to 0·11 dpm in a 24-hr urine sample. The net alpha activity of ultrafiltered material from the urine of humans unexposed to plutonium was 0·008 ± 0·008 cpm in a 24-hr sample. Because the reference level for plutonium, 0·44 dpm for a 24-hr sample, is exceeded only occassionally the method can be used without modification as an effective screening procedure. For the few samples of alpha activity greater than the reference level a simple additional stage can be used to characterize the alpha radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalThe International Journal Of Applied Radiation And Isotopes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1974


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