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  • 1 6105, Fairchild Hanover NH 01384 USA
  • 2 Trent University Environmental and Resources Studies Peterborough Ontario K9J 7B8 Canada
  • 3 Health Canada Radiation Protection Bureau Ottawa Ontario K1A 1C1 Canada
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The dissolution of large environmental samples was investigated using a microwave autoclave, capable of digestion conditions of 300 °C and 200 bar, for the application of rapid determination of radionuclides. Six samples of up to 5 g plant material were digested, also eliminating predigestion steps such as ashing and grinding. Batches of forty 1 g samples of plant leaves were also completely digested in 75 minutes. Quantitative recovery of 90Sr from 5 g soil samples by leaching with 8M HNO3 at 200 °C was achieved, whereas 137Cs was not completely recovered from the large soil samples using total digestion or leaching (HCl:HNO3) techniques, but quantitative recovery was achieved using fusion and sinter procedures.