AN IMPROVED IN-HOUSE METHOD FOR THE DETERMINATION OF 241Am IN SURFACE SEDIMENT WITHIN THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OF EAST COAST PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
Present of 241Am in the environment is being determined as part of surveillance and research programs related to nuclear activities. The separation of 241Am from environmental samples was carried out against the IAEA’s reference material by using an improved in-house radiochemical separation method through anion exchange column, followed by the electro-deposition on a stainless steel disc, and finally assayed on alpha spectrometry counting system. The resulting spectra showed good isolated peak, indicating a good separation of the radionuclide of interest. The analytical results were in good agreement with the certified value for IAEA-326 and IAEA-368 with the calculated U-score was 0.36 and 0.82, respectively, showing no significant difference between the experimental and certified value. Using this method, distributions of 241Am in seabed surface sediment in the Exclusive Economic Zone of East Coast Peninsular Malaysia were studied. Samples were collected during June 2008 where the concentrations of 241Am were found to be ranged from < 0.08 to 0.36 Bq/kg, dry weight.