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Plutonium, seized from illicit trafficking in nuclear materials, can originate from several, distinct sources. The primary focus of nuclear-forensics investigations of confiscated Pu is to specify correctly its origin. We demonstrate that such specification is possible by means of accurate determination the Pu isotopic composition. In this study, five Pu samples of different origins were analysed by thermal-ionisation mass spectrometry. The source (i.e., the type of production reactor) of each sample was determined by comparing the measured Pu isotopic composition with that calculated by one of two reactor-production computer codes, ORIGEN2 and SCALE. These results, in conjunction with the age determination of each sample, allow us to deduce the origin of each.

Additional information

Authors: WALLENIUS M, University of Helsinki, Department of Chemistry, Radiochemistry Laboratory, P.O. Box 55, 00014 Helsinki (FI);PEERANI P, JRC-Institute for Transuranium Elements, P.O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe (DE);KOCH L, JRC-Institute for Transuranium Elements, P.O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 246, No. 2 (2000), pp. 317-321
Record Number: 200013029 / Last updated on: 2001-01-24
Original language: en
Available languages: en