T.K. Bhardwaj, P. Mendoza, R. Du, M. Bencomo, J. Allred, M. Swinney, C. Folden, S.S. Chirayath,
"Determination of decontamination factor for various radioisotopes during the PUREX process of irradiated DUO2,"
249th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Denver, CO, USA, March 22-26, 2015.
Nuclear proliferation is a growing concern and due to this
increasing threat, nuclear forensics capabilities are being
developed at Texas A&M University with sponsorship from the
Department of Homeland Security. We are currently using
computational and experimental methods to determine the isotopic
characteristics of weapons-grade plutonium that could be produced
in foreign nuclear reactors.
The uranium samples for this project were irradiated at the
High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
After chemical processing of the irradiated uranium samples, the
isotopic concentrations (and ratios) of selected fission products
and actinides were measured and the burnup of nuclear material was
determined. Our objective was to determine the differences in
fission products and actinides characteristics for uranium samples
irradiated in different type of nuclear reactors (thermal and fast
reactors). This paper will present the experimental part of this
research. These operations were performed inside a glove box to
analyze trace elements and isotopes present in the each and every
step of industrial PUREX chemical reprocess by alpha and gamma
spectroscopy and other analytical tools. The weapon grade plutonium
separated from other actinides and fission products such as Cs, Ce
and Sm was determined by ICP-MS to match with the computational
Associated Project(s):Plutonium Fingerprinting for Forensics (PuFF) Project