Forum on Environmental Accreditation

Albuquerque, NM  •  January 2018


Understanding Radiochemistry Testing and the 2016 standard

8:00am - 3:00pm
Pavilion III

Summary/Class Synopsis
Using EPA Method 904.0, Radium-228 in Drinking Water, as an example, this course will provide participants with a general understanding of the theory behind the radioanalytical techniques used, and applicable requirements of TNI 2016 Standard Volume 1 Module 6 (V1M6). A mixture of theory-lecture and interactive exercises using real laboratory data examples will help participants see how analytical processes translate into actions, results, and records that one might encounter in a typical radioanalytical laboratory. It will also address typical challenges that may be encountered. This class will be of benefit both to radiochemistry laboratorians and radiochemistry assessors/ABs.

Topics addressed will include:

  • Method scope, application, and limitations
  • Method 904.0 radiochemical separations of radium and actinium;
  • Theory of chemical yield monitoring and chemical yield corrections;
  • Radioactive decay and decay progeny ingrowth for 228Ra;
  • Sample test source preparation;
  • Gas-flow proportional counter (GPC) set-up, performance checks, efficiency calibrations, and background determinations;
  • Calculation and reporting of results and associated statistics (i.e., counting uncertainty vs. combined uncertainty, critical level vs. minimum detectable concentration vs. SDWA Detection Limit, chemical yield);
  • Common problems and challenges encountered with this method;
  • TNI Standard Volume 1, Module 6 requirements as they relate to EPA Method 904.0.

Expected Learning Outcomes
Students will complete the course with an understanding of:

  • The general principles behind EPA Method 904.0 including
    o    Method 904.0 scope and application;
    o    The role of decay and ingrowth in Method 904.0;
    o    Radiochemical separation of radium and actinium and preparation of the sample test source;
    o    General principles behind gas-flow proportional counting;
    • Set-up, quality control and calibration requirements for gas-flow proportional counters;
    • Background determinations for gas-flow proportional counters;
    o    Chemical yield corrections used;
    o    A general familiarity with EPA Method 904.0 calculations of activity concentration.

  • And how V1M6 requirements relate to the Method 904.0 processes:
    o    Method scope, application, and limitations;
    o    Method validation;
    • Uncertainty;
    • Detection capability;
    o    Instrument controls: Instrument set-up, calibration, and performance checks;
    o    Sample specific controls: chemical yield;
    o    Sample measurements;
    o    Batch quality controls;
    o    Reviewing and reporting results.

Instructors: Radiochemistry Expert Committee (Bob Shannon; Larry Penfold; Carolyn Wong)
Course Exam: Yes; CEUs for people correctly answering >2/3 correctly.

You must be pre-registered to attend.