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Revision of the NIST Standard for 223Ra: New Measurements and Review of 2008 Data



Denis E. Bergeron, Jeffrey T. Cessna, Leticia S. Pibida


After discovering a discrepancy in the transfer standard currently being disseminated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), we have performed a new primary standardization of the alpha-emitter 223Ra using Live-timed Anticoincidence Counting (LTAC) and the Triple-to-Double Coincidence Ratio Method (TDCR). Additional confirmatory measurements were made with the CIEMAT-NIST efficiency tracing (CNET) of liquid scintillation counting,integral-ray counting using a NaI(Tl) well counter, and several High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detectors in an attempt to understand the origin of the discrepancy and to provide a correction. The results indicate that a -9.5 % difference exists between activity values obtained using the former transfer standard relative to the new primary standardization. During one of the experiments, a 2 % difference in activity was observed between dilutions of the 223Ra master solution prepared using the composition used in the original standardization and those prepared using 1 mol∙L-1 HCl. This effect appeared to be dependent on the number of dilutions or the total dilution factor to the master solution, but the magnitude was not reproducible. A new calibration factor (“K-value”) has been determined for the NIST Secondary Standard Ionization Chamber (IC “A”), thereby correcting the discrepancy between the primary and secondary standards.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


radium-223, standards, liquid scintillation spectrometry, anticoincidence counting, ionization chambers, traceability


Bergeron, D. , Cessna, J. and Pibida, L. (2015), Revision of the NIST Standard for 223Ra: New Measurements and Review of 2008 Data, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created July 1, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017