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Plutonium age determination from $$^{240}$$Pu/$$^{236}$$U ratios in individual particles by ICP-MS without prior chemical separation

Esaka, Fumitaka ; Suzuki, Daisuke  ; Miyamoto, Yutaka  ; Magara, Masaaki 

The determination of the time elapsed since the last purification of plutonium with chemical separation gives important information for monitoring nuclear activities related to reprocessing and nuclear weapon production. Although methods for the analysis of plutonium solutions have been extensively studied, few studies were conducted for the measurement of individual particles. In this work, a simple technique was developed for age determination of individual plutonium particles by a combination of single particle dissolution and measurement by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) without prior chemical separation. The analytical results of individual plutonium particles having an age of 5.98 y indicated that the use of $$^{240}$$Pu/$$^{236}$$U ratios allowed for the determination of accurate ages, though that of $$^{238}$$Pu/$$^{234}$$U and $$^{239}$$Pu/$$^{235}$$U ratios was not suitable because of the contamination of natural uranium during the process of sample preparation.

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Category:Chemistry, Analytical

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