Standardization of radium-223 by liquid scintillation counting

Appl Radiat Isot. Jul-Aug 2010;68(7-8):1523-8. doi: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2009.11.068. Epub 2009 Dec 2.


Liquid scintillation (LS) counting was undertaken as part of the primary standardization of (223)Ra. Radium-223 decays with a half life of 11.43 d through a chain of shorter-lived daughter radionuclides, resulting in five alpha decays and three beta decays. The CIEMAT/NIST method of tritium efficiency tracing was employed, with the beta efficiencies being calculated using the program CN2004, developed by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). The total calculated LS efficiency, considering all daughter radionuclides, was approximately 598%. Separate experiments were performed to rule out loss of the 3.96 s (219)Ra daughter from the cocktail and possible counting loss of the 1.78 ms (215)Po daughter due to LS counter dead-time. No loss was observed in either experiment. In the final experiment an expanded uncertainty (k=2) of 0.55% was achieved. Results were in excellent agreement with confirmatory measurements performed by 2pialpha proportional counting. However, results are not in agreement with methods based on gamma ray measurements.

MeSH terms

  • Half-Life
  • Radium / standards*
  • Scintillation Counting / methods
  • Tritium


  • Tritium
  • Radium