Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 322, Issue 2, pp 513–518 | Cite as

Discrimination of weapons-grade plutonium from thermal reactors in nuclear forensics

  • G. NikolaouEmail author
  • S. R. Biegalski


A simulated fingerprinting approach is demonstrated, aiming the discrimination of weapons-grade plutonium (WG-Pu) from different reactors. Light and heavy water and graphite moderated thermal reactors are considered, charged with fresh fuel assemblies of different enrichments. The plutonium isotopic composition is considered as the required characteristic fingerprints in the approach. Hence, plutonium isotopic ratios are used in 3D isotopic correlations for the discrimination purposes. The WG-Pu from the different reactors is well resolved between them. Within the light water moderated cases, the WG-Pu is resolved in groups according to their fresh fuel enrichment and the reactor and fuel assembly type. The fingerprinting approach is sensitive to a ‘Pu age’ beyond 0.5 years.


Weapons-grade Pu Nuclear forensics Isotopic fingerprinting Isotopic correlations 



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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringDemokritus University of ThraceXanthiGreece
  2. 2.The George Woodruff School of Mechanical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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