Apparatus for detecting the presence, in aqueous media, of substances which emit alpha and/or beta radiation and determining the oxidation state of these radioactive substances, that is, whether they are in cationic or anionic form. In one embodiment, a sensor assembly has two elements, one comprised of an ion-exchange material which binds cations and the other comprised of an ion-exchange material which binds anions. Each ion-exchange element is further comprised of a scintillation plastic and a photocurrent generator. When a radioactive substance to which the sensor is exposed binds to either element and emits alpha or beta particles, photons produced in the scintillation plastic illuminate the photocurrent generator of that element. Sensing apparatus senses generator output and thereby indicates whether cationic species or anionic species or both are present and also provides an indication of species quantity.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to the fields of chemistry and detection of radioactive substances.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.