Publication Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Walter Henne, Jr., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Patty Fu-Giles, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Stephen Kent, M.B.A.


237Np, a long-lived alpha-emitting actinide, is present in the environment due to releases from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, reactor accidents, and nuclear reprocessing plants. The determination of long-lived actinides, such as neptunium, is essential for worker monitoring and environmental control. In bioassay and environmental samples, a radiochemical separation is necessary before measurement in order to eliminate any inferences that may occur in a mixture of actinides. In this paper, a method for determining 237Np in fecal samples using TEVA resin is investigated. Using 239Pu as a tracer, tetravalent plutonium and neptunium were successfully separated from other actinides. Samples were electrodeposited and counted using an alpha-spectrometer. Utilizing a stripping solution containing 0.1M HCl, 0.01M HF, and 0.04M Rongalite, average percent recovery for 239Pu was 89.1% and 80.3% for 237Np. This method eliminates radioactive waste accumulated when using 241Am/239Np as a tracer and will not retain a common interfering actinide, uranium. The proposed method is very promising; however, it should be analyzed in more detail before adoption in any bioassay laboratory.