Article

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 282, Issue 3, pp 923-928

Characterization of sealed radioactive sources: uncertainty analysis to improve detection methods

  • Daniel G. CummingsAffiliated withNuclear Nonproliferation Division, Idaho National Laboratory
  • , James D. SommersAffiliated withNuclear Nonproliferation Division, Idaho National Laboratory
  • , Mary L. AdamicAffiliated withNuclear Nonproliferation Division, Idaho National Laboratory
  • , Marcos JimenezAffiliated withNuclear Nonproliferation Division, Idaho National Laboratory
  • , Jeffrey J. GiglioAffiliated withNuclear Nonproliferation Division, Idaho National Laboratory
  • , Kevin P. CarneyAffiliated withNuclear Nonproliferation Division, Idaho National Laboratory Email author 
  • , Karl GrimmAffiliated withArgonne National Laboratory

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Abstract

A radioactive 137Cs source has been analyzed for the radioactive parent 137Cs and stable decay daughter 137Ba. The ratio of the daughter to parent atoms is used to estimate the date when Cs was purified prior to source encapsulation (an “age” since purification). The isotopes were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after chemical separation. In addition, Ba was analyzed by isotope dilution ICP-MS (ID-ICP-MS). A detailed error analysis of the mass spectrometric work has been undertaken to identify areas of improvement, as well as quantifying the effect the errors have on the “age” determined. This paper reports an uncertainty analysis to identifying areas of improvement and alternative techniques that may reduce the uncertainties. In particular, work on isotope dilution using ICP-MS for the “age” determination of sealed sources is presented. The results will be compared to the original work done using external standards to calibrate the ICP-MS instrument.

Keywords

Uncertainty analysis Cesium Barium Age since purification Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry