Data Quality and Tritium Enrichment
M. P. Neary
The interest in tritium in the environment as a containment and as part of the inventory of naturally occurring radioisotopes to which humans are exposed on a continuous basis has increased as ultra low background gas proportional and liquid scintillation counters have been developed and tritium enrichment of water samples employed. However, with the advent of ultra low background counters, enrichment before analysis is not always necessary. The objective of this paper is to present a basis for making the decision whether to tritium-enrich water samples before analysis or to assay them without enrichment. A discussion of the lowest level of detection (LLD), minimum detectable activity (MDA) and their relationship to the enrichment factor, quantitation level (QL), and a comparison of the counting methods is presented. Experiments that rely on low-level tritium measurements will benefit from the considerations presented that lead to optimized experimental design, meeting data quality requirements and lower cost of analysis.
This abstract was presented at the 32nd Annual Midyear Meeting, "Creation and Future Legacy of Stockpile Stewardship Isotope Production, Applications, and Consumption", Analytical Techniques Session, 1/24/1999 - 1/27/1999, held in Albuquerque, NM.