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  • 1 Örebro University Man-Technology-Environment Research Centre SE-701 82 Örebro Sweden
  • 2 Universitetssjukhuset Radiofysikavdelningen, O-centrum US SE-581 85 Linköping Sweden
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A method for rapid determination of plutonium isotopes in environmental samples with ultrasonic nebulisation and quadrupole ICP-MS detection was established. Techniques for sample dissolution, pre-concentration and chemical separation were evaluated and the optimal scheme outlined. Comparisons with α-spectrometry and high resolution ICP-MS confirmed the suitability of the method when applied to different environmental matrices within the global fallout concentration range in the northern hemisphere as well as more contaminated sites. Operational detection limits were 0.5–1.5 fg/l for fresh waters and 0.03–0.1 ng/kg for lake sediments and saline marsh sediments.