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

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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

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