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Summary  

It is impossible to detect 14C and 3H by direct methods such as γ-spectroscopy because they are pure b-emitters and thus they are classified as hard to measure nuclides (HTM). In this paper the analysis results of 14C and 3H in the low level radioactive wastes (LLWs), including spent ion exchange resin, evaporated bottom and sludge are presented. The LLWs were generated by three nuclear power plants (NPPs), in Korea all with pressurized water type reactors (PWRs). A simultaneous separation procedure for 14C and 3H in LLWs was established by wet oxidation-acid stripping. A liquid scintillation analyzer was used for the measurement of 14C and 3H. It was found that the recovery of 14C and 3H was 82-99 and 78-103%, respectively, by wet oxidation-acid stripping with diluted standard solutions. At the lowest injection of 14C and 3H, i.e., at 1.44 Bq for 14C and 1.22 Bq for 3H, the minimum detectable activity (MDA) of 14C and 3H was calculated as 0.88 and 0.78 Bq/g, respectively, for the minimum allowable sample weight, using wet oxidation and 16 wt% H2SO4 acid. By the wet oxidation-16 wt% H2SO4 stripping method no interfering nuclides were detected in the trapping solution of 14CO2 and the distillate of 3H. The activity concentration range of 14C in the analyzed samples, i.e., spent ion exchange resin, evaporated bottom and sludge, was 0.17-110,000, 8.4-1380 and 0.1-10,006 Bq/g, respectively, and that of 3H in the same was from no detectable to 769, 134-14,383 and 0.7-4820 Bq/g, respectively.

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