Tritium analysis

Liquid Scintillation Analysis is applied to measure beta radiation in liquid samples. Tritium (3H), Carbon 14 (14C) and strontium 90 (90Sr) in water/liquid are the most common radionuclides analyzed by liquid scintillation counters (LSC). SLAEB uses low background LSCs (Packard TRI-CARB 3170TR / SL and Hidex 300SL SLL) mainly to analyze tritium in water samples for dating of young groundwater under various groundwater assessments in Sri Lanka.  Tritium in water samples are pre-distilled, enriched by an electrolysis method and post-distilled and then mixed with a scintillation cocktail before sending to LSC. Complete analysis of a set of 15 samples takes more than three weeks.

No filtration and preservation of water samples are needed, however the sample bottles should be capped tightly to avoid any contamination by atmospheric tritium. Tritium in groundwater (groundwater age) provides the information on the sustainability of the aquifers. The samples should be collected in to double capped PE bottles with a minimum volume of 2 Ls. If available, Providing of Electrical Conductivity value of each water sample separately is encouraged.

In addition to that, dating of old groundwater as well as archeological samples will be stated in near future by carbon-14 analysis using Hidex 300SL SLL analyzer.


Depends on the number of samples, number of parameters to be evaluated, sample collection procedure etc

  • Samples could be handed over to Isotope Hydrology Section at SLAEB during office hrs.
  • Submitting Electrical Conductivity (EC) values of the water samples are encouraged

    Relevant Documents

    Contacts of Service Master

Ms Maheshika Kalpage,
Deputy Director-Isotope Hydrology Section,
+9411 2533427