Spring 2022 - NUSC 346 D100

Radiochemistry Laboratory (3)

Class Number: 6628

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
    AQ 5019, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2022
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    AQ 5046, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    NUSC 341 with a minimum grade of C-.



Introduction to the techniques of radiochemistry; proportional and Geiger counters; sample preparations and half-life measurement; synthesis and separation of labelled compounds; beta and gamma-ray spectroscopy. Quantitative.


Please note, this course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Mode of Teaching:
1 lecture hour/week; 4 lab hours/week (Thursdays, 13:30-17:20)
Lecture: In-person at Burnaby campus
Laboratory: In-person at Burnaby campus

General Course Description:
Introduction to the techniques of radiochemistry; counting techniques, sample preparations and half-life measurements; use of radioactive tracers; alpha, beta and gamma-ray spectroscopy; techniques related to nuclear processes.

Students are required to perform the first nine experiments listed below. The last two experiments consist of lecture/demonstration and some data collection in groups. A written report corresponding to each experiment is to be submitted within two weeks of performance of that experiment.

Week Experiment Topics
1 No Exp. Radiation Safety - Information Session
2 Exp. 1 Introduction to Radiation Detectors
3 Exp. 2 Statistical Aspects of Nuclear Decay
4 Exp. 3 Preparation of Radioactive Sources; Beta Back-Scattering
5 Exp. 4 Self-Absorption
6 Exp. 5 Isotope Dilution. Quantitative Determination of Zinc
7 Exp. 6 Quantitative Determination of Cobalt
8 Exp. 7 Fast Radiochemical Separation: Transient and Secular Equilibrium
9 Exp. 8 Liquid Scintillation Counting and Quench Correction
10 Exp. 9 Exchange Kinetics Through Ion-Selective Membrane Using a Radioactive Label
11   Exp. 10 Preparation of a Thin Alpha Source


  • Laboratory Reports 85%
  • Laboratory Notebook 5%
  • Performance during Experimental Work 10%


There will be no final exam.



  • Lab coats and safety glasses/goggles are mandatory for all NUSC labs.
  • A laboratory manual with full descriptions of experiments will be provided.


G. Choppin, J-O. Liljenzin & J. Rydberg. Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry. 4th Edition. 2013. Publisher: Academic Press.

Available free from the SFU Library: https://sfu-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/15tu09f/01SFUL_ALMA51348105890003611

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.