An assessment of variation due to laboratory and field conditions in the measurement of radionuclides

Parkinson, J.A.; Horrill, A.D.. 1984 An assessment of variation due to laboratory and field conditions in the measurement of radionuclides. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, 223 (2-3). 598-601.

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One of the main problems associated with environmental studies is due to the large amount of variation encountered in field materials. Data obtained during studies into the distribution and movement of radionuclides in terrestrial environments in West Cumbria was found to be suitable for assessments of both spatial and analytical variation. Plutonium measurements on vegetation samples taken from samples of grazed and ungrazed saltmarsh and pasture fields having different management regimes were used in the assessment. Bulk samples of Halimione portulacoides and Pteridium aquilinum were analysed 14 and 11 times respectively and gave coefficients of variation of 9.18% and 7.91%. These were considered to be realistic estimates of analytical variability. Coefficients of variation for results of single plutonium determinations on replicate samples obtained from the pasture sites ranged from 23.4% to 33.1%. The data indicated that for the mean value obtained for a site to fall within 10% of the true mean at 95% probability, the numbers of samples to be taken at these sites ranged from 22 to 44. The grazed and ungrazed saltmarsh sites gave coefficients of variation of 95.70% and 47.2% respectively. These sites, however, would be stratified into vegetation classes, within class coefficients of variation being much lower at 16–24%.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0167-5087
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 15 Apr 2013 14:45 +0 (UTC)

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