NWT developed the PWR/Q-Chem program in late 1984 to provide utilities with a method to validate their analytical procedures and to assess their laboratory capabilities relative to those of other utilities by analysis of blind samples. In mid-1987 NWT developed BWR/Q-Chem to provide a similar service for BWRs. Both programs are supportive of the objectives outlined in ASTM International E691-14, “Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method”, ASTM International E1323-09, “Standard Guide for Evaluating Laboratory Measurement Practices and the Statistical analysis of the Resulting Data”, ASTM International E1763-06, “Standard Guide for Interpretation, Use of Results from Interlaboratory Testing of Chemical Analysis Methods” and “Guidelines for the Conduct of Chemistry at Nuclear Power Stations,” INPO 13-005, Rev. 0, October 2013.

BWR/Q-Chem sample matrices and concentration ranges are shown below. Sample sets are provided on a quarterly basis. Each quarterly sample set consists of three 250 ml bottles containing identical mixtures of chloride, sulfate, and silica at concentrations typical for reactor water. In addition, two other species selected from the sample description table are provided as unknowns. These additional samples also are provided in triplicate. A backup aliquot of each sample is included in the original shipping container for return to NWT in the event concerns arise relative to the effects of sample shipment. After sample analysis, each utility summarizes its results and analysis techniques on a provided form and returns it to NWT.

Results can be submitted to NWT using the report form. When the results have been received, a quarterly report is issued summarizing and discussing utility results and the techniques employed for each analysis. Q-Chem participants are identified by a letter in the report and the letter designation for each laboratory is disclosed only in its report transmittal letter.
The cost of the basic NWT BWR/Q-Chem program is shown in the subscription form. Additional sample sets may also be acquired.

NWT also has developed custom programs for several utilities. If the standard Q-Chem program does not fulfill all of your needs, we will work with you to establish a more responsive program. Please see the Custom Q-Chem Samples page.

Questions regarding the Q-Chem program should be directed to Mike Miller or Mary Hyde at (408) 281-1100 or

Subscription Forms

Print out Subscription Form and fax or mail to Mike Miller at NWT Corporation or download and email.
BWR/Q-Chem (XRF) Subscription Form
BWR/Q-Chem Subscription Form

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Report Form

BWR/Q-Chem Set 122 Report Form
Alternatively, you can fax or mail or e-mail your results. `


BWR/Q-Chem Sample Description

SpeciesMatrixConcentration Range
Sodium Pentaborate
Pure Water 1 - 100 ppb
1-100 ppb
5 - 100 ppb
1 - 3000 ppm
200 - 1000 ppm
0.2 - 2.0 ppm
5 - 20000 ppb
25 - 100 ppm
2 - 10 ppm
20 - 250 ppm
5 - 50 ppm
10 - 15%
Ion Exchange Membrane 0.002 - 1 mg/filter
0.04 - 2 mg/filter
0.01 - 1 mg/filter
0.02 - 0.5 mg/filter
0.02 - 1.5 mg/filter
0.22 µm Filterb 0.04 - 10 mg/filter
0.02 - 1 mg/filter
0.01 - 1 mg/filter
0.01 - 0.25 mg/filter
0.01 - 0.7 mg/filter
0.15% Nitric Acidc 1 - 100 ppm
0.2 - 20 ppm
0.1 - 10 ppm
0.1 - 5 ppm
0.1 - 20 ppm
1 - 100 ppb
  1. Provided in Sample A each quarter.
  2. 0.22 µm filters are customarily radioactive. The total activity per filter is usually less than one (1) µCi.
  3. Nitric acid matrix and elevated concentrations selected to simulate acid dissolution of feedwater filters.