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Qualitative and quantitative analysis of materials by LIBS in nuclear environment how multivariate methods can help.

Abstract : Elemental analysis in the nuclear field is essential in a number of situations, from the front-end of the fuel cycle to the waste management, either for process control, compliance checking, or waste characterization prior to conditioning. Yet, it is special for two main reasons.First, due to their radioactivity, the samples are confined inside containments such as controlled areas, glove boxes or hot cells. Those safety and security constraints inherent in nuclear environment strongly restrict the possibility of sampling, transportation and handling of materials. Therefore, onsite or even in situ analytical techniques, such as LIBS, are of high interest, as they enable to limit the workers exposure to radiation and contamination, as well as the production of waste and effluents generated by conventional laboratory analysis. One important consequence is that the instruments must be very robust and require as little maintenance as possible.Secondly, the matrices can be very complex due to the presence of many interfering elements including actinides and lanthanides. And a large variety of materials need to be characterized (fuel, alloys, glasses, concrete, solutions, etc.), both qualitatively and quantitatively. In this latter case, calibration samples are not always available and alternative approaches must be developed.As shown by the abundant literature on the subject in other areas of analytical spectroscopy, multivariate methods are very helpful to cope with such issues. We will show how similar strategies can be implemented in LIBS, taking into account the peculiarities of the technique. Different applications of interest in the nuclear field will be reviewed materials identification by onsite LIBS systems; use of experimental designs to improve the robustness of the analysis; innovative quantitation approaches based on the exploitation of the spectral and temporal dimensions of the LIBS signal; and isotopic analysis by an original method based on the self-absorption of intense emission lines.
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  • HAL Id : cea-02439451, version 1

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J-B. Sirven, M. El Rakwe, N. Coulon, D. l'Hermite, E. Vors. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of materials by LIBS in nuclear environment how multivariate methods can help.. LIBS 2016, Sep 2015, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. ⟨cea-02439451⟩

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