Sensitivity study on modeling radioxenon signals from radiopharmaceutical production facilities
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- Biegalski, S.R., Saller, T., Helfand, J. et al. J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2010) 284: 663. doi:10.1007/s10967-010-0533-5
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As part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the International Monitoring System (IMS) was established to monitor the world for nuclear weapon explosions. As part of this network, systems are in place to monitor the atmosphere for radioxenon. The IMS routinely detects radioxenon from sources other than nuclear explosions. One of these radioxenon sources is radiopharmaceutical production facilities. This is a sensitivity study on the nuclear forensic signals possible from such facilities. A fission process model was produced to calculate the activity of 131mXe, 133mXe, 133Xe and 135Xe in the process utilized to produce 99Mo and 131I for medical applications through high enriched uranium fission. The computer model accounts for fractionation of radionuclides within a decay chain that may result from filtering or chemical procedures. Ratios of the radioxenon isotopes are calculated as a function of decay time after the release. The ratios are then compared to those expected from nuclear explosions. The main conclusion from this work is that the two main factors that affect the nuclear forensic signal from radiopharmaceutical production facilities are the sample irradiation time and the use of emission gas storage tanks.