W. Charlton, J. Miller, “Measurement of Uranium in Bio Matrices for Nuclear Forensic Purposes”, Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting for the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Baltimore, Maryland, July 11-15, 2010.
As the proliferation of nuclear technology increases, there is a growing need for the ability to detect, confirm, and determine an individual’s activities in regard to both legal and illicit nuclear activities. Many of the current state of the art techniques fornuclear forensics are both time and cost intensive. This work is an implementation of an electrochemical preconcentration process originally posited and developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for use as a preprocessing to increase both efficiency and sensitivity in conjunction with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. The specific application of this work is for detection of Uranium in urine for individuals exposed during normal industry exposures as well as background exposures. The biological pathways for Uranium have long been studied for use in the health physics industry, but understanding the biological pathways for forensics purposes requires a slightly different perspective. This work will discuss the feasibility of using this method for preparing samples for analysis as well as the initial methodology developments and observations from adaptation of the technique for use with urine samples. Initial computer modeling suggests that this technique will be effective for detecting chronic exposures of Uranium; however, it will not be as effective in detecting short term acute exposures.