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New reference materials for trace-levels of actinide elements in plutonium



Richard Essex, Lav Tandon, Amy Gaffney, Cole Hexel, Debbie Bostick, Lisa Colletti, Diana Decker, Casey Finstad, Joseph Giaquinito, Elmer Lujan, John Partridge, Benjamin Roach, John Rolinson, Kyle Samperton, Alice Slemmons, Khalil Spencer, Floyd Stanley, Lisa Townsend, Kerri Treinen, Ross Williams, Christopher Worley


Two plutonium oxides were prepared as unique reference materials for actinides occurring as trace constituents in Pu. Each reference material unit is approximately 200 mg of PuO2 in a quartz glass vial. Characterized attributes of the oxides included mass fractions of plutonium, americium, neptunium, and uranium. Isotope amount ratios were also determined for plutonium and uranium, but neptunium and americium were observed to be monoisotopic 237Np and 241Am. Measurements for characterization and verification of the attributes show that plutonium and trace actinides are homogeneous with the exception of limited heterogeneity for uranium, primarily observed for the 238U isotope. Model purification ages calculated from measured americium and uranium attribute values are consistent with material histories and indicate that the actinide impurities are primarily from decay of plutonium isotopes.
Radiochimica ACTA


plutonium, americium, neptunium, uranium, reference material, nuclear forensics


Essex, R. , Tandon, L. , Gaffney, A. , Hexel, C. , Bostick, D. , Colletti, L. , Decker, D. , Finstad, C. , Giaquinito, J. , Lujan, E. , Partridge, J. , Roach, B. , Rolinson, J. , Samperton, K. , Slemmons, A. , Spencer, K. , Stanley, F. , Townsend, L. , Treinen, K. , Williams, R. and Worley, C. (2022), New reference materials for trace-levels of actinide elements in plutonium, Radiochimica ACTA, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created January 27, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022