Title: Feasibility study on the development of uranium reference particles for mass spectrometric analysis in nuclear safeguards
Citation: The 33rd ESARDA Annual Meeting, 16-20 May 2011, Budapest (Hungary) p. [6 pages]
Publisher: ESARDA
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC65048
ISBN: 978-92-79-18525-0
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC65048
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Recently, an improved method allowing the accurate determination of the isotopic composition of single sub-micrometer sized uranium oxide particles (< 1 micrometer) has been developed at the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) in support to nuclear safeguards. This method is based on in-situ particle manipulation using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) combined with filament carburization and Multiple Ion Counting (MIC) detection. The applicability of the method has been firstly tested on reference uranium particles produced at IRMM, and then applied for the detection of uranium signatures in real life particles collected at a nuclear facility. Moreover, there is an urgent need to provide suitable uranium reference particles, which are not only certified for isotopic abundances but also for the uranium amount contained per single particle. Particularly with the envisaged installation of Large Geometry Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (LG-SIMS) instruments, such a particle reference material would be highly appreciated by the International Atomic Energy Agency Network of Analytical Laboratories (IAEA-NWAL) for optimising the overall transmission efficiency in SIMS, TIMS and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) instruments used for particle analysis. To face this challenge, IRMM and the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) joined their efforts to develop a method for quantifying uranium in nearly spherical particles by Isotope Dilution (ID)-TIMS. The particles used for this study are monodispersed uranium oxide particles produced at ITU from characterised standard solutions using a vibrating orifice aerosol generator. The goal is to make these certified reference particles available for the validation of measurement procedures, calibration of instruments and as quality control samples for testing the analytical performances of the IAEA-NWAL.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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