Plutonium gamma-ray measurements for mutual reciprocal inspections of dismantled nuclear weapons

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Description

The O`Leary-Mikhailov agreement of March 1994 stated that the U.S. and the Russian Federation would engage in mutual reciprocal inspections (MRI) of fissile materials removed from dismantled nuclear weapons. It was decided to begin with the plutonium (Pu) removed from dismantled weapons and held in storage containers. Later discussions between U.S. and Russian technical experts led to the conclusion that, to achieve the O`Leary-Mikhailov objectives, Pu MRI would need to determine that the material in the containers has properties consistent with a nuclear-weapon component. Such a property is a {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu ratio consistent with weapons-grade material. One of the ... continued below

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10 p.

Creation Information

Koenig, Z.M.; Carlson, J.B.; Clark, D. & Gosnell, T.B. July 1, 1995.

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Description

The O`Leary-Mikhailov agreement of March 1994 stated that the U.S. and the Russian Federation would engage in mutual reciprocal inspections (MRI) of fissile materials removed from dismantled nuclear weapons. It was decided to begin with the plutonium (Pu) removed from dismantled weapons and held in storage containers. Later discussions between U.S. and Russian technical experts led to the conclusion that, to achieve the O`Leary-Mikhailov objectives, Pu MRI would need to determine that the material in the containers has properties consistent with a nuclear-weapon component. Such a property is a {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu ratio consistent with weapons-grade material. One of the candidate inspection techniques under consideration for Pu MRI is to use a narrow region (630-670 keV) of the plutonium gamma-ray spectrum, taken with a high-purity germanium detector, to determine that it is weapons-grade plutonium as well as to estimate the minimum mass necessary to produce the observed gamma-ray intensity. We developed software (the Pu600 code) for instrument control and analysis especially for this purpose. In November 1994, U.S. and Russian scientists met at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for joint experiments to evaluate candidate Pu MRI inspection techniques. In one of these experiments, gamma-ray intensities were measured from three unclassified weapons-grade plutonium source standards and one reactor-grade standard (21% {sup 240}pu). Using our software, we determined the {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu ratio of these standards to accuracies within {+-}10%, which is adequate for Pu MRI. The minimum mass estimates varied, as expected, directly with the exposed surface area of the standards.

Physical Description

10 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE95017259

Source

  • 36. annual meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, Palm Desert, CA (United States), 9-12 Jul 1995

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  • Other: DE95017259
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--121105
  • Report No.: CONF-950787--81
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/102365 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 102365
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc625855

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  • July 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 17, 2016, 3:29 p.m.

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Koenig, Z.M.; Carlson, J.B.; Clark, D. & Gosnell, T.B. Plutonium gamma-ray measurements for mutual reciprocal inspections of dismantled nuclear weapons, report, July 1, 1995; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc625855/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.