Accurate measurement of radioactivity in waste materials has an important role to play in the decommissioning of nuclear sites, as it enables site operators to dispose of waste in compliance with the regulations. The determination of alpha- and beta-particle emitting radionuclides in decommissioning materials is one of the critical points of material characterisation in this area, because they need to be radiochemically separated before measurement and the materials are difficult to process from the chemical point of view. In order to support the nuclear decommissioning, work package 1 involves the development radiochemical strategies for the analysis of some of these radionuclides (41Ca, 90Sr, 93Zr, uranium and plutonium isotopes) in materials which are of particular interest in this field, such as concrete or graphite. These procedures need to be robust and rapid so that they can be adapted easily for automated systems such as the NiVTM device or for small on-site laboratories.

NIV tm device for aitomated radiochemical separations developed at NNL