Title: High Resolution ICP-OES: A powerful diagnistic tool for nuclear forensic studies
Publisher: University Ghent
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC103154
URI: www.ichmet2016.ugent.be
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Knowledge of the elemental and isotopic composition of a seized radioactive sample is a key parameter in nuclear forensics. While mass spectrometry is used in most instances for obtaining such data, recent developments in high resolution inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectrometry (HR-ICP-OES) allow for fast and reliable comparative analysis (Krachler et al., 2015; Krachler & Alvarez Sarandes, 2015; Krachler & Alvarez Sarandes, 2016). Employing two instrumental techniques (mass spectrometry and optical emission) based on different physical detection principles, the accuracy of analytical data can be ascertained (Krachler et al., 2015). The high optical resolution of HR-ICP-OES of <5 pm enables the detection of emission lines of individual isotopes of plutonium (Pu) and uranium (U), for example. As such, valuable isotopic information is also accessible with HR-ICP-OES (Krachler & Carbol, 2011; Krachler & Wegen, 2012). In this context the current study highlights two selected domains of isotopic analysis using HR-ICP-OES and compares the ICP-OES results with mass spectrometry data: (a) the assessment of depleted, natural and enriched uranium, and (b) Pu age-dating using the 234U/238Pu chronometer.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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