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Precise and accurate isotopic analysis of microscopic uranium-oxide grains using LA-MC-ICP-MS

Lloyd, Nicholas S.; Parrish, Randall R.; Horstwood, Matthew S.A.; Chenery, Simon R.N.. 2009 Precise and accurate isotopic analysis of microscopic uranium-oxide grains using LA-MC-ICP-MS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 24 (6), B819373H. 752-758. 10.1039/B819373H

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Abstract/Summary

Uranium isotope (235U, 236U, 238U) ratios were determined for microscopic uranium-oxide grains using laser-ablation multi-collector inductively-coupled-plasma mass-spectrometry (LA-MC-ICP-MS). The grains were retrieved from contaminated soil and dust samples. The analytical technique utilised is rapid, requires minimal sample preparation, and is well suited for nuclear forensic applications. Precision and accuracy were assessed by replicate analyses of natural uraninite grains: relative uncertainty for 235U/238U is 0.2 % (2σ), and the mean is in agreement with the natural ratio. A total of 115 uranium-oxide grains were analysed from environmental samples (soils and dusts); all of these were depleted uranium (DU) from a factory that produced uranium articles. Knowledge of the range of isotope ratios from particles of this controversial contaminant has proven useful when interpreting isotope ratios from bulk samples. Variation of the measured isotope signatures reveals details of the history of uranium processing and emissions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1039/B819373H
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2009 > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0267-9477
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 28 Aug 2009 12:57
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7990

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