Lithium Borate Fusions in the Radioanalytical Sciences:  origins and benefits

Tuesday 6th October 2020
11am – 12pm

SPEX Europe in conjunction with leading experts will present how radioanalytical chemistry has been used historically to investigate an alleged nuclear incident at Greenham Common. How samples stored at the world’s oldest agricultural research organisation (Rothamsted) were used to produce a unique radionuclide record for UK nuclear fallout.  The importance of robust sample preparation techniques for characterisation of anthropogenic and naturally occurring radionuclides for nuclear decommissioning and reference material production. A range of solid materials including concrete, soil, glass and pipeline scale have been successfully digested using borate fusion at the National Physical Laboratory, using a range of flux mixtures and instrument setups. We will also go to a video explaining borate fusion and demonstrate a working system.

 

NNL

Adrian Bull MBE is Director of External Relations for the UK National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). This role involves co-ordinating NNL’s external links, communications, profile and reputation across the UK and – increasingly - internationally. As such, Adrian is closely involved with a wide range of stakeholders including politicians, Government officials, media, customers, industry organisations and universities. Prior to taking up this role in 2012, Adrian was Head of Media and Stakeholder Relations for Westinghouse in Europe. He has worked on many submissions to UK Government consultations on nuclear and energy policy matters, and has given evidence to several UK Government Committees on energy issues. He has also been closely involved with the work of the UK’s Nuclear Industry Council on communication and public understanding of nuclear energy. Adrian chairs the Communications Advisory Group of FORATOM and is Vice-Chair of the equivalent body at the World Nuclear Association. He is a Board Member of both Marketing Cheshire and the Science Media Centre and sits on a number of other committees for bodies such as the Confederation of British Industry, The University of Manchester and the UK Nuclear Institute. Adrian is a Fellow of the UK Energy Institute and was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for his work on the development of public understanding of nuclear.

University of Southampton

Ian Croudace is a British geochemist, academic, researcher and entrepreneur. He is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Radioactivity and Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Southampton and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Croudace served as an academic at the University of Southampton from 1983 till 2018 and in 1987 founded GAU-Radioanalytical Laboratories, serving as its Director till 2018. Over his career he published over 200 research articles and has supervised 32 PhD projects. He is the author of the book Micro-XRF Studies of Sediment Cores: Applications of a non-destructive tool for the environmental sciences and Executive Editor of the Quaternary International Special Issue entitled Advances in Data Quantification and Application of High Resolution XRF Core Scanners. He specializes in analytical, environmental and isotope geochemistry and radioactivity. His research interests range from Analytical geochemistry to Micro-XRF analysis of sediments to Forensic Geochemistry to Radio-analytical developments. In 1996, as a key part of the Greenham Common Study he pioneered the first reported application of lithium borate fusion in the radioanalytical sciences and demonstrated its effectiveness in the rapid digestion of large soil samples prior to isotopic analysis. He is co-founder and co-Director of the scientific instrument company Raddec International Ltd.

National Physical Laboratory

Ben Russell completed his PhD at the University of Southampton in 2014, investigating the application of sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) for low-level nuclear waste characterisation, focussing on radiocaesium isotopes and strontium-90. The project combined novel and efficient digestion chemical separation techniques with high sensitivity ICP-SFMS quantification, resulting in three lead-author peer-reviewed papers. Since completing his PhD, Dr Russell has worked in the radioactivity group at the National Physical Laboratory, London, with the primary role of setting up and running the ICP-MS laboratory for applications in nuclear decommissioning, environmental monitoring, forensics, improving nuclear decay data, material characterisation, testing of procedures using stable analogues for nuclear medicine applications, training and consultancy for the nuclear industry. Dr Russell has over 25 publications and has lectured on radiochemistry and mass spectrometry at the Universities of Surrey and Birmingham. Ben’s talk will discuss the importance of robust sample preparation techniques for characterisation of anthropogenic and naturally occurring radionuclides for nuclear decommissioning and reference material production. A range of solid materials including concrete, soil, glass and pipeline scale have been successfully digested using borate fusion at the National Physical Laboratory, using a range of flux mixtures and instrument setups.

Katanax

Benoit Bouchard has been a specialist in borate fusion preparation and other secondary fusion approaches for almost 10 years. His chemist career started in 2007 in organic environmental chemistry. Moving up into pure inorganic chemistry with the world of fusion. Benoit is working in collaboration with customers all around the world to develop simple or complex fusion methods with the use of Katanax fusion machine for X-Ray Fluorescence analysis.

Katanax

Nadia Ducharme started to work for Katanax in early 2019 and was recruited to establish new procedures preparing samples for a new optical ICP instrument. In charge of liquid preparation using borate fusion (and derived), Nadia works on specific applications, notably in the application of alkaline fusion for radiochemical chemistry.