AMS of natural 236U and 239Pu produced in uranium ores

K. M. Wilcken*, T. T. Barrows, L. K. Fifield, S. G. Tims, P. Steier

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The rare isotopes 236U and 239Pu are produced naturally by neutron capture in uranium ores. Here we measure 236U and 239Pu by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) in the same ore samples for the first time. To ensure efficient extraction of both elements and isotopic equilibrium between the 239Pu in the ore and a 242Pu spike, we developed a new sample preparation protocol. AMS has clear advantages over previous methods because it achieves better discrimination against molecular interferences with higher sensitivity and shorter counting times. Measurements of 236U and 239Pu hold considerable promise as proxy indicators of neutron flux and uranium concentration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)727-732
    Number of pages6
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


    • U
    • Pu
    • AMS
    • Uranium ore


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