Characterization and Source Term Assessments of Radioactive Particles from Marshall Islands Using Non-Destructive Analytical Techniques

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A considerable fraction of radioactivity entering the environment from different nuclear events is associated with particles. The impact of these events can only be fully assessed where there is some knowledge about the mobility of particle bound radionuclides entering the environment. The behavior of particulate radionuclides is dependent on several factors, including the physical, chemical and redox state of the environment, the characteristics of the particles (e.g., the chemical composition, crystallinity and particle size) and on the oxidative state of radionuclides contained in the particles. Six plutonium-containing particles stemming from Runit Island soil (Marshall Islands) were characterized using non-destructive analytical ... continued below

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Jernstrom, J; Eriksson, M; Simon, R; Tamborini, G; Bildstein, O; Carlos-Marquez, R et al. June 11, 2005.

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A considerable fraction of radioactivity entering the environment from different nuclear events is associated with particles. The impact of these events can only be fully assessed where there is some knowledge about the mobility of particle bound radionuclides entering the environment. The behavior of particulate radionuclides is dependent on several factors, including the physical, chemical and redox state of the environment, the characteristics of the particles (e.g., the chemical composition, crystallinity and particle size) and on the oxidative state of radionuclides contained in the particles. Six plutonium-containing particles stemming from Runit Island soil (Marshall Islands) were characterized using non-destructive analytical and microanalytical methods. By determining the activity of {sup 239,240}Pu and {sup 241}Am isotopes from their gamma peaks structural information related to Pu matrix was obtained, and the source term was revealed. Composition and elemental distribution in the particles were studied with synchrotron radiation based micro X-ray fluorescence (SR-{mu}-XRF) spectrometry. Scanning electron microscope equipped with energy dispersive X-ray detector (SEMEDX) and secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) were used to examine particle surfaces. Based on the elemental composition the particles were divided into two groups; particles with plain Pu matrix, and particles where the plutonium is included in Si/O-rich matrix being more heterogeneously distributed. All of the particles were identified as fragments of initial weapons material. As containing plutonium with low {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atomic ratio, {approx}2-6%, which corresponds to weapons grade plutonium, the source term was identified to be among the safety tests conducted in the history of Runit Island.

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PDF-file: 20 pages; size: 0.8 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Spectrochemica Acta Part B, vol. 61, no. 8, August 1, 2006, pp. 971-979

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-217812
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 898018
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc879966

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  • June 11, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 9:04 p.m.

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Jernstrom, J; Eriksson, M; Simon, R; Tamborini, G; Bildstein, O; Carlos-Marquez, R et al. Characterization and Source Term Assessments of Radioactive Particles from Marshall Islands Using Non-Destructive Analytical Techniques, article, June 11, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc879966/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.