Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 36(5), 631 (2020).

Assessing the Effect of Laboratory Environment on Sample Contamination for I-129 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry
Masumi MATSUMURA,* Kimikazu SASA,* Tetsuya MATSUNAKA,** Keisuke SUEKI,* Tsutomu TAKAHASHI,* and Hiroyuki MATSUZAKI***
*Tandem Accelerator Complex, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
**Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, 24 O, Wake, Nomi, Ishikawa 923-1224, Japan
***The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, 2-11-16 Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
Environmental contaminations of 129I were continuously monitored in various sample preparation rooms for accelerator mass spectrometry at the University of Tsukuba. Monitoring of 129I was performed in the rooms used for the treatment of samples in the past, in order to compare with the results obtained in the sample preparation rooms. Ambient levels of atmospheric 129I in each room were estimated from the measured concentrations in the alkali trap solutions. This article reports the results of one year of monitoring the temporal changes of stable iodine (127I) and 129I contamination rates in the alkali trap solutions. It was found that 129I contamination rates were lower than approximately 104 atoms cm−2 day−1 in the rooms where ether no samples or only samples with environmental background levels of 129I were handled. Values from 104 to 105 atoms cm−2 day−1 were recorded in another room where environmental samples, such as the samples derived from nuclear power plant accidents, were treated. Higher levels of 129I, ranging from 106 to 107 atoms cm−2 day−1, were recorded in rooms used for treating neutron-activated iodine. The experimental results show that the 129I level depended on the 129I sample-preparation histories for the respective rooms. It is possible to estimate the 129I contamination risk from the atmosphere to the samples by knowing the 129I level in the preparation room.