The simultaneous determination of multiple actinide isotopes in samples where total quantity is limited can sometimes present
a unique challenge for radioanalytical chemists. In this study, re-determination of 238Pu, 239+240Pu, and 241Am for soils collected and analyzed approximately three decades ago was the goal, along with direct determination of 241Pu. The soils had been collected in the early 1970’s from a shallow land burial site for radioactive wastes called the Subsurface
Disposal Area (SDA) at the Idaho National Lab (INL), analyzed for 238Pu, 239+240Pu, and 241Am, and any remaining soils after analysis had been archived and stored. We designed an approach to reanalyze the 238Pu, 239+240Pu, and 241Am and determine for the first time 241Pu using a combination of traditional and new radioanalytical methodologies. The methods used are described, along with estimates
of the limits of detection for gamma-and alpha-spectrometry, and liquid scintillation counting. Comparison of our results
to the earlier work documents the ingrowth of 241Am from 241Pu, and demonstrates that the total amount of 241Am activity in these soil samples is greater than would be expected due to ingrowth from 241Pu decay.