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Detection of the Fission Product Palladium-107 in a Pond Sediment Sample from Chernobyl

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2021, 15:09 by Anica Weller, Tim Ramaker, Felix Stäger, Tobias Blenke, Manuel Raiwa, Ihor Chyzhevskyi, Serhii Kirieiev, Sergiy Dubchak, Georg Steinhauser
Radiometric or mass spectrometric analysis of the long-lived fission product 107Pd is notoriously difficult. We developed and optimized a chemical separation protocol for minute amounts of radiopalladium with a subsequent measurement by inductively coupled plasma triple quadrupole mass spectrometry with propane as the collision gas. This allows for detection limits of <2 ng of 107Pd/kg, which makes the method suitable for environmental samples with low levels of 107Pd. For testing of this method, a sample of sediment from the Chernobyl cooling pond was analyzed. Indeed, it could be shown that the cooling pond sediment exhibits a uniquely increased 107Pd/105Pd ratio (0.08 ± 0.02), thus strongly indicating detectable levels of 107Pd using this method.

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