Title: Application of Lead and Strontium Isotope Ratio Measurements for the Origin Assessment of Uranium Ore Concentrates
Authors: VARGA ZsoltWALLENIUS MariaMAYER KlausKEEGAN ElizabethMILLET Sylvain
Citation: ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY vol. 2009 no. 81 p. 8327-8334
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC55142
ISSN: 0003-2700
URI: http://pubs.acs.org
DOI: 10.1021/ac901100e
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Lead and strontium isotope ratios were used for the origin assessment of uranium ore concentrates (yellow cakes) for nuclear forensic purposes. A simple and low-background sample preparation method was developed for the simultaneous separation of the analytes followed by the measurement of the isotope ratios by multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MCICPMS). The lead isotopic composition of the ore concentrates suggests applicability for the verification of the source of the nuclear material and by the use of the radiogenic 207Pb/206Pb ratio the age of the raw ore material can be calculated. However, during data interpretation, the relatively high variation of the lead isotopic composition within the mine site and the generally high contribution of natural lead as technological contamination have to be carefully taken into account. The 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio is less prone to the variation within one mine site and less affected by the production process, thus it was found to be a more purposeful indicator for the origin assessment and source verification than the lead. The lead and strontium isotope ratios measured and the methodology developed provide information on the initial raw uranium ore used, and thus they can be used for source attribution of the uranium ore concentrates.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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