Repository logo

Tritium uncertainty analysis for surface water samples at the Savannah River site




Atkinson, Robert Frank, author
Brandl, Alexander, advisor
Johnson, Thomas, committee member
Chen, Suren, committee member
Kuhne, Wendy, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Radiochemical analyses of surface water samples, in the framework of Environmental Monitoring, have associated uncertainties for the radioisotopic results reported. These uncertainty analyses pertain to the tritium results from surface water samples collected at five locations on the Savannah River near the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS). Uncertainties can result from the field-sampling routine, can be incurred during transport due to the physical properties of the sample, from equipment limitations, and from the measurement instrumentation used. The uncertainty reported by the SRS in their Annual Site Environmental Report currently considers only the counting uncertainty in the measurements, which is the standard reporting protocol for radioanalytical chemistry results. The focus of this work is to provide an overview of all uncertainty components associated with SRS tritium measurements, estimate the total uncertainty according to ISO 17025, and to propose additional experiments to verify some of the estimated uncertainties. The main uncertainty components discovered and investigated in this paper are tritium absorption or desorption in the sample container, HTO/H2O isotopic effect during distillation, pipette volume, and tritium standard uncertainty. The goal is to quantify these uncertainties and to establish a combined uncertainty in order to increase the scientific depth of the SRS Annual Site Environmental Report.


Rights Access




Associated Publications