Investigation of the sample characteristics needed for the determination of the origin of uranium-bearing materials
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A set of 35 uranium ore and 10 yellow cake samples, collected worldwide from different mines and production sites, were analyzed for their impurity spectrum by ICP-MS. Pattern recognition techniques such as cluster analysis were applied to the data set in order to characterize samples with relation to their geographical origin. The results obtained show a clear relationship between samples taken from the same geological origin and constitute a satisfactory fingerprint for establishing the origin of the material. In addition to the impurity data, data on the isotopic composition of radiogenic lead is used to resolve ambiguity when impurity cluster analysis fails to deliver unambiguous origin data.
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