For source identification, measurement of (135)Cs/(137)Cs atomic ratio not only provides information apart from the detection of (134)Cs and (137)Cs, but it can also overcome the application limit that measurement of the (134)Cs/(137)Cs ratio has due to the short half-life of (134)Cs (2.06 y). With the recent advancement of ICP-MS, it is necessary to improve the corresponding separation method for rapid and precise (135)Cs/(137)Cs atomic ratio analysis. A novel separation and purification technique was developed for the new generation of triple-quadrupole inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS). The simple chemical separation, incorporating ammonium molybdophosphate selective adsorption of Cs and subsequent single cation-exchange chromatography, removes the majority of isobaric and polyatomic interference elements. Subsequently, the ICP-MS/MS removes residual interference elements and eliminates the peak tailing effect of stable (133)Cs, at m/z 134, 135, and 137. The developed analytical method was successfully applied to measure (135)Cs/(137)Cs atomic ratios and (135)Cs activities in environmental samples (soil and sediment) for radiocesium source identification.
Keywords: (135)Cs activity; (135)Cs/(137)Cs atomic ratio; Soil; Triple-quadrupole inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry; γ-spectrometry.
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