A simple and fast on-line chromatographic procedure has been developed for separation of 134Cs, 135Cs, 137Cs and 87Sr ions from interfering isotopes of 134Ba, 135Ba, 137Ba and 87Rb. This analytical method offers the possibility to measure the chromatograms of Rb, Cs, Sr and Ba isotopes using ICP-MS technique in isocratic conditions in one run. For the separation, the oxalic acid neutralized with ammonia could be used as the main component of the mobile phase. For specialized ion chromatography (IC) column IonPac CS5A and standard HPLC column Zorbax SCX300, an optimal concentration of oxalic acid has been fixed at 0.1 mol/L and eluent pH range has been fixed at 4.5-5.5. Under these conditions, the retention time of all four elements did not exceed 15 minutes. Our observations demonstrate that the sample injection volume can be increased up to 1 mL. The application of the method for the determination of 134Cs, 135Cs, 137Cs and some isotopes of Rb, Sr and Ba in sample from spent nuclear fuel storage has been demonstrated. Activity of 134Cs and 137Cs calculated from ICP-MS data is comparable to the gamma spectroscopy data.
Keywords: Cesium, strontium, HPLC, ICP-MS, ion chromatography, radioactive waste.