A contribution to the development of sensitive and isotope-selective analitical methods based on sector-field ICP-MS for supporting the development of generation IV nuclear reactors

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    The development, evaluation and application of a number of element- and isotope-selective analytical methods are described. This work contributes to the development of the Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications (MYRRHA). However, the innovative nature of MYRRHA poses some important design challenges with regard to structural materials performance. The envisaged primary coolant is a liquid Lead-Bismuth Eutectic alloy (LBE) which is highly corrosive towards high-alloy steels, resulting in stringent requirements with regard to the selection of structural materials. The determination of trace elements that may affect a steel's mechanical characteristics, or may describe corrosion product uptake by the coolant is important. Since the elements of interest are only expected to be present at μg/g levels or below, a highly sensitive technique is required. Analytical methods for the multi-elemental trace analysis of LBE and high-alloy steels by using off-line chromatographic matrix separation prior to Double-focusing Sector-Field Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) are described. The determination of isotope ratios by means of ICP-SFMS was also investigated, focusing on correction for dead time-induced count rate losses, correction for mass discrimination effects, and the attainable internal precision. This was performed for comparison with the existing TIMS isotopic analyses of lanthanides in nuclear fuels.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Universiteit Gent
    • Vanhaecke, Frank, Supervisor, External person
    • Dobney, Andrew, Supervisor
    • Wambeke, Dorine, Supervisor, External person
    Place of PublicationGENT, Belgium
    StatePublished - 19 Dec 2014

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