An experimental study is conducted in search of the much needed experimental method for practical and minimally destructive analysis of hydrogen (H) and deuterium (D) in a nuclear power plant. For this purpose, a picosecond (ps) Nd:YAG laser is employed and operated with 300500 μJ output energies in a variety of ambient gases at various gas pressures. The sample chamber used is specially designed small quartz tube with an open end that can be tightly fitted to the sample surface. It is found that ambient Ar gas at reduced pressure of around 0.13 kPa gives the best spectral quality featuring fully resolved H and D emission lines with clearly detectable intensities and practically free from surface water interference. The D emission intensities measured from zircaloy plates containing various concentrations of D impurity are shown to yield a linear calibration line with extrapolated zero intercept, offering its potential application to quantitative analysis. The estimated detection limit of less than 10 ppm is well below the sensitivity limit of around 600 ppm required for the regular inspection of zircaloy tubes in a heavy water nuclear power plant. The use of the exceedingly low laser energy is shown to offer an additional advantage of minimum destructive effect marked by the resulted tiny craters of about 5 μm diameter with 25 μm depth. These results promise the potential development of the desired alternative analytical tool for regular in situ and real time inspection of the zircaloy tubes in a heavy water power plant.
Lie D. Z. S, Pardede M, Jobiliong E, Suyanto H, Kurniawan D. P, S.Kom D. R. H, Ramli M, Khumaeni A, Lie T. J, Kurniawan K. H, Kagawa K and Tjia M. O. (2017). H-D Analysis Employing Low Pressure uJ Picosecond Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (SCOPUS). Analytical Chemistry, 89 (9), 4951-4957.
μJ ps LIBS, H and D analysis, heavy water nuclear power plant, low pressure argon plasma, quantitative analysis of D