Determination of trace levels of uranium and thorium in high purity gadolinium sulfate using the ICP-MS with solid-phase chromatographic extraction resin

S. Ito, Y. Takaku, M. Ikeda, Y. Kishimoto

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The new Super-Kamiokande-Gadolinium (SK-Gd) project is an upgrade of the Super-Kamiokande (SK) detector. In the SK-Gd project, 0.2% Gd-2(SO-4)-3 is loaded into the 50 kton water tank of the SK. One of the main purposes of the project is to discover supernova relic neutrinos. Neutrino measurements and proton decay searches will also be performed in the SK-Gd. In order to measure solar neutrinos with a low energy threshold of \sim3.5 MeV in the SK-Gd, the main radioactive contaminations, ^{238}U and ^{232}Th, in Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O, should be minimized before loading. Our maximum levels for U and Th are 5 mBq (U)/kg (Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O) and 0.05 mBq (Th)/kg (Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O). In order to measure such low concentrations of U and Th in Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O, we developed the solid-phase extraction technique. Using this method, about 90% or more U and Th could be efficiently extracted while Gd was reduced by a factor of about 10^{4}. This allowed these radioactivity contaminations to be measured precisely as 0.04 mBq/kg (Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O) for U and 0.01 mBq/kg (Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O) for Th. We measured three pure Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O samples using this method and estimated that the purest one contained <0.04 mBq (U)/kg (Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O) and 0.06 \pm 0.01 mBq (Th)/kg (Gd-2(SO-4)-3{\cdot}8H-2O) by the ICP-MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113H01
JournalProgress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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