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  • 1 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory P.O. Box 808 94550 Livermore California USA
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A simple, yet highly reproducible separation procedure for isolating low levels of protactinium /pico- to micrograms/ from gram quantities of natural or activated soils or sediments has been developed. The reliability is achieved by minimizing the tendency of Pa to hydrolyze or to form colloids by keeping it complexed at all times either by fluoride or sulfate ions. The procedure consistently gives high chemical yields /85+8%/ and the final fractions are not only radiochemically pure, but show little or no visible mass contamination with evaporation.