A new bench-top approach to the isotopic purification of 244Pu
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A new approach to isotopic purification has been developed and applied to the production of a small quantity of 244Pu with an isotopic purity >99.996 %, as compared against the standard 244Pu available that displays an isotopic purity of 97.87 %. The presence of Pu isotopes 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu and 242Pu have been greatly reduced, allowing for higher spiking levels of the isotopically purified 244Pu tracer to be used in environmental level sample analysis. Details of the isotopic purification process will be described along with the effect this improved Pu tracer could have on analytical Pu mass spectrometry measurements.
KeywordsIsotope enrichment Isotope purification 244Pu Nuclear forensics High purity isotopes
Our thanks to JM Cloutier and MP Dion. The research described in this paper is part of the Ultrasensitive Nuclear Measurement Initiative at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). It was conducted under the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program at PNNL, a multiprogram national laboratory operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy.
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