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Exploring the use of thorium isotope compositions and concentrations as nuclear forensic signatures for uranium ore concentra...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Publication Date
Page Numbers
877 to 889

This interlaboratory study measured thorium concentrations and isotope compositions in uranium ore concentrates from different geographical locations to examine whether thorium impurities may be useful forensic signatures for uranium ore concentrates found out of regulatory control. Measured 230Th/232Th in fifteen uranium ore concentrates record over three orders of magnitude of compositional variation. Results demonstrate that 230Th/232Th used in combination with U/Th ratios resulted in a unique signature for individual uranium ore concentrates from different processing locations. Data presented here suggest potential for 230Th/232Th and U/Th to be used as comparative signatures to investigate the provenance of seized uranium ore concentrates.