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

by Cole R Hexel, Benjamin D Roach, John D Partridge
Publication Type
Journal Name
Radiochimica Acta
Publication Date
Page Numbers
9 to 22

Two plutonium oxides were prepared as unique reference materials for measurement of actinide elements present as trace constituents. Each reference material unit is approximately 200 mg of PuO2 powder in a quartz glass bottle. 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 these impurities are predominantly due to the decay of plutonium isotopes.