Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Most radioactive substances of unknown origin are readily identifiable, as they are already familiar from the civil nuclear industry. But the identification of radionuclides from weapons production or testing is more problematic, as is that of contraband nuclear material. This article gives a brief account of the use of various analysis techniques that provide what can best be described as a fingerprint of a given mixture of radioactive elements, thus enabling the source, purpose and history of the sample to be determined. The nature of such a fingerprint and the principles underlying the analysis techniques used are described in some detail and are then illustrated, taking as an example the successful analysis of 72 fuel pellets discovered in 1992 to have been illegally imported into Germany.

Additional information

Authors: KOCH L, JRC Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Spektrum der Wissenschaft, March (1995) pp. 118-119
Record Number: 199510561 / Last updated on: 1995-04-21
Original language: de
Available languages: de