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02/25/2015    

 

 

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Working with SRNL

Our Facilities - Analytical Laboratories

The Savannah River National Laboratory’s (SRNL) Analytical Laboratories have supported SRS operations for more than 55 years, providing high quality analytical, radiometric and environmental monitoring data to a range of customers. Since the mid-1950s, the labs have provided a diverse array of scientific and technical services in support of Site missions. The labs perform analyses on a wide range of matrices, such as soil, water, gases, foodstuffs, decommissioning debris, waste and process control samples. The laboratories maintain certifications and qualifications through a variety of governing bodies, which allow multiple applications of laboratories services. Over 100,000 samples are processed yearly, producing 300,000 determinations with an error-free rate averaging 99.99 percent.

Laboratory background
Analytical Laboratories include seven different facilities across SRS, ranging from low hazard chemical to Category II Nuclear facilities. The first lab was constructed in 1954 and consists of 80,000 square feet. It is a blastresistant (earthquake/tornado) concrete single-story building with a full below-ground service floor. The structure meets Phenomena Hazard Category II criteria. Additional buildings were constructed in the 1980s, increasing square footage by another 40,000 square feet. The laboratories maintain certifications through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Laboratory Accreditation Program, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the American Industrial Hygiene Association - Laboratory Accreditation Program (AIHA-LAP), LLC, and the Mixed Analyte Performance Evaluation Program. The laboratories also participate in plutonium and uranium external exchange and evaluation programs sponsored by DOE for assay, isotopic abundance and impurity measurements.

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Current customers
The labs’ customers include F and H Area facilities, the K Area Complex, the L Area Complex, liquid waste management and disposition facilities, Tritium Facilities, Savannah River National Laboratory, Area Completion Project (which includes deactivation and decommissioning and soil and groundwater remediation), environmental monitoring, industrial hygiene, the bioassay facilities, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Brunswick Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Hanford Site, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory, among others.

Analytical capabilities
SRNS Laboratory Services provides a full complement of analytical services in support of radiochemical processing, as well as radiological environmental monitoring programs. Analytical analysis results are used for process control, nuclear safety, nuclear criticality prevention, nuclear material accountability, product quality, radiological waste characterization, regulatory compliance and personnel safety.

Unique capabilities

  • Beryllium analysis (includes radiological samples)
  • Asbestos analysis (includes radiological samples)
  • Lead analysis (includes radiological samples)
  • Hexavalent Chromium analysis (includes radiological samples)
  • Neptunium and plutonium concentration by controlledpotential coulometry
  • Participation in National Institute of Standards and Technology Radiochemistry Intercomparison Program (eight-hour response)
  • Participation in uranium/plutonium programs with Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Brunswick Laboratory and the Regular European Inter-laboratory Measurement Evaluation Program (REIMEP)

Methods of interest

  • Microwave/hot block digestion of solids
  • Alpha spectroscopy
  • Gamma spectroscopy (fixed and portable)
  • Neutron and gamma ray measurements
  • Gas proportional counting
  • Gas chromatography
  • Liquid scintillation counting
  • Uranium and plutonium concentration and isotopic abundance by thermal ionization mass spectrometry
  • Low mass, high resolution gas analysis by mass spectrometry
  • Metallic impurities by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry and mass spectrometry
  • Anion analysis by ion selective electrode and ion chromatography
  • Wet chemistry analysis: pH, conductivity, density, turbidity, acid/base titrations
  • Mercury analysis
  • Carbon analysis
  • Low-level uranium analysis by kinetic phosphorescence
  • Volatile organics by gas chromatography with mass spectrometer detector/GC-MS
  • Air and bulk asbestos analysis Shielded cell capabilities

 

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