Title: Multiple ion counting measurement strategies by SIMS – a case study from nuclear safeguards and forensics
Authors: HEDBERG MagnusPERES PaulaFERNANDES FirminoRENAUD Ludovic
Citation: JOURNAL OF ANALYTICAL ATOMIC SPECTROMETRY vol. 30 no. 12 p. 2516 - 2524
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC97290
ISSN: 0267-9477
URI: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2015/JA/C5JA00382B#!divAbstract
DOI: 10.1039/c5ja00382b
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A primary tool of nuclear safeguards authorities for detecting undeclared nuclear activities is environmental sample analysis containing uranium-bearing aerosol particles. SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) has been established as a powerful technique for performing uranium isotope analysis on safeguards samples. Typically, a screening of the sample for locating the particles of interest is followed by micro beam measurements of individual particles in order to obtain their precise isotopic composition. The uncertainty of these measurements, in particular for the minor isotopes 234U and 236U, is mainly limited by the counting statistics as the total amount of uranium available is very low, usually less than 1pg. This uncertainty can be reduced when recording several isotopes simultaneously using a multi-collection system. This is since many years commercially available and has been used for different applications in geosciences on Large Geometry - SIMS (LG-SIMS) instruments. This paper will describe and discuss how isotope measurements of low content uranium material can be optimized using a multi ion counting system consisting of five discrete dynode electron multiplier (EM) detectors. Results obtained for uranium isotope ratios are presented for different measurement protocols: static multi collector, dynamic multi collector and single collector measurements. Some of the fundamental properties of the detector system that affects the overall measurement uncertainty are discussed. Best practices are also suggested based on the current experience.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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