HEU age determination

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Description

A new technique has been developed to determine the age of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in solids. Uranium age is defined as the time since the uranium-containing material was last subjected to a process capable of separating uranium from its radioactive-decay daughters. [Most chemical processing, uranium enrichment, volatilization processes, and phase transformations (especially relevant for uranium hexafluoride) can result in separation of the uranium parent material from the decay-product daughters.] Determination of the uranium age, as defined here, may be relevant in verifying arms-control agreements involving uranium-containing nuclear weapons. The HEU age is determined from the ratios of relevant uranium ... continued below

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30 p.

Creation Information

Moorthy, A.R. & Kato, W.Y. July 1, 1997.

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Description

A new technique has been developed to determine the age of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in solids. Uranium age is defined as the time since the uranium-containing material was last subjected to a process capable of separating uranium from its radioactive-decay daughters. [Most chemical processing, uranium enrichment, volatilization processes, and phase transformations (especially relevant for uranium hexafluoride) can result in separation of the uranium parent material from the decay-product daughters.] Determination of the uranium age, as defined here, may be relevant in verifying arms-control agreements involving uranium-containing nuclear weapons. The HEU age is determined from the ratios of relevant uranium daughter isotopes and their parents, viz {sup 230}Th/{sup 234}U and {sup 231}Pa/{sup 235}U. Uranium isotopes are quantitatively measured by their characteristic gamma rays and their daughters by alpha spectroscopy. In some of the samples, where HEU is enriched more than 99%, the only mode of HEU age determination is by the measurement of {sup 231}Pa since there is negligible quantity of {sup 230}Th due to very low atom concentrations of {sup 234}U in the samples. In this report the methodology and the data for determining the age of two HEU samples are presented.

Physical Description

30 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE98000152

Source

  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jul 1997

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  • Other: DE98000152
  • Report No.: BNL--52535
  • Report No.: SSN--97-23
  • Grant Number: AC02-76CH00016
  • DOI: 10.2172/534522 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 534522
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc695319

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Creation Date

  • July 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Nov. 20, 2015, 8:38 p.m.

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Moorthy, A.R. & Kato, W.Y. HEU age determination, report, July 1, 1997; Upton, New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc695319/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.