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Sample records for minor uranium isotopes

  1. Increasing the Accuracy in the Measurement of the Minor Isotopes of Uranium: Care in Selection of Reference Materials, Baselines and Detector Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poths, J.; Koepf, A.; Boulyga, S. F.

    2008-12-01

    The minor isotopes of uranium (U-233, U-234, U-236) are increasingly useful for tracing a variety of processes: movement of anthropogenic nuclides in the environment (ref 1), sources of uranium ores (ref 2), and nuclear material attribution (ref 3). We report on improved accuracy for U-234/238 and U-236/238 by supplementing total evaporation protocol TIMS measurement on Faraday detectors (ref 4)with multiplier measurement for the minor isotopes. Measurement of small signals on Faraday detectors alone is limited by noise floors of the amplifiers and accurate measurement of the baseline offsets. The combined detector approach improves the reproducibility to better than ±1% (relative) for the U-234/238 at natural abundance, and yields a detection limit for U-236/U-238 of <0.2 ppm. We have quantified contribution of different factors to the uncertainties associated with these peak jumping measurement on a single detector, with an aim of further improvement. The uncertainties in the certified values for U-234 and U-236 in the uranium standard NBS U005, if used for mass bias correction, dominates the uncertainty in their isotopic ratio measurements. Software limitations in baseline measurement drives the detection limit for the U-236/U-238 ratio. This is a topic for discussion with the instrument manufacturers. Finally, deviation from linearity of the response of the electron multiplier with count rate limits the accuracy and reproducibility of these minor isotope measurements. References: (1) P. Steier et al(2008) Nuc Inst Meth(B), 266, 2246-2250. (2) E. Keegan et al (2008) Appl Geochem 23, 765-777. (3) K. Mayer et al (1998) IAEA-CN-98/11, in Advances in Destructive and Non-destructive Analysis for Environmental Monitoring and Nuclear Forensics. (4) S. Richter and S. Goldberg(2003) Int J Mass Spectrom, 229, 181-197.

  2. The terrestrial uranium isotope cycle.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Morten B; Elliott, Tim; Freymuth, Heye; Sims, Kenneth W W; Niu, Yaoling; Kelley, Katherine A

    2015-01-15

    Changing conditions on the Earth's surface can have a remarkable influence on the composition of its overwhelmingly more massive interior. The global distribution of uranium is a notable example. In early Earth history, the continental crust was enriched in uranium. Yet after the initial rise in atmospheric oxygen, about 2.4 billion years ago, the aqueous mobility of oxidized uranium resulted in its significant transport to the oceans and, ultimately, by means of subduction, back to the mantle. Here we explore the isotopic characteristics of this global uranium cycle. We show that the subducted flux of uranium is isotopically distinct, with high (238)U/(235)U ratios, as a result of alteration processes at the bottom of an oxic ocean. We also find that mid-ocean-ridge basalts (MORBs) have (238)U/(235)U ratios higher than does the bulk Earth, confirming the widespread pollution of the upper mantle with this recycled uranium. Although many ocean island basalts (OIBs) are argued to contain a recycled component, their uranium isotopic compositions do not differ from those of the bulk Earth. Because subducted uranium was probably isotopically unfractionated before full oceanic oxidation, about 600 million years ago, this observation reflects the greater antiquity of OIB sources. Elemental and isotope systematics of uranium in OIBs are strikingly consistent with previous OIB lead model ages, indicating that these mantle reservoirs formed between 2.4 and 1.8 billion years ago. In contrast, the uranium isotopic composition of MORB requires the convective stirring of recycled uranium throughout the upper mantle within the past 600 million years.

  3. The terrestrial uranium isotope cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Morten B.; Elliott, Tim; Freymuth, Heye; Sims, Kenneth W. W.; Niu, Yaoling; Kelley, Katherine A.

    2015-01-01

    Changing conditions on the Earth's surface can have a remarkable influence on the composition of its overwhelmingly more massive interior. The global distribution of uranium is a notable example. In early Earth history, the continental crust was enriched in uranium. Yet after the initial rise in atmospheric oxygen, about 2.4 billion years ago, the aqueous mobility of oxidized uranium resulted in its significant transport to the oceans and, ultimately, by means of subduction, back to the mantle. Here we explore the isotopic characteristics of this global uranium cycle. We show that the subducted flux of uranium is isotopically distinct, with high 238U/235U ratios, as a result of alteration processes at the bottom of an oxic ocean. We also find that mid-ocean-ridge basalts (MORBs) have 238U/235U ratios higher than does the bulk Earth, confirming the widespread pollution of the upper mantle with this recycled uranium. Although many ocean island basalts (OIBs) are argued to contain a recycled component, their uranium isotopic compositions do not differ from those of the bulk Earth. Because subducted uranium was probably isotopically unfractionated before full oceanic oxidation, about 600 million years ago, this observation reflects the greater antiquity of OIB sources. Elemental and isotope systematics of uranium in OIBs are strikingly consistent with previous OIB lead model ages, indicating that these mantle reservoirs formed between 2.4 and 1.8 billion years ago. In contrast, the uranium isotopic composition of MORB requires the convective stirring of recycled uranium throughout the upper mantle within the past 600 million years.

  4. NUSIMEP-7: uranium isotope amount ratios in uranium particles.

    PubMed

    Truyens, J; Stefaniak, E A; Aregbe, Y

    2013-11-01

    The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) has extensive experience in the development of isotopic reference materials and the organization of interlaboratory comparisons (ILC) for nuclear measurements in compliance with the respective international guidelines (ISO Guide 34:2009 and ISO/IEC 17043:2010). The IRMM Nuclear Signatures Interlaboratory Measurement Evaluation Program (NUSIMEP) is an external quality control program with the objective of providing materials for measurements of trace amounts of nuclear materials in environmental matrices. Measurements of the isotopic ratios of the elements uranium and plutonium in small amounts, typical of those found in environmental samples, are required for nuclear safeguards and security, for the control of environmental contamination and for the detection of nuclear proliferation. The measurement results of participants in NUSIMEP are evaluated according to international guidelines in comparison to independent external certified reference values with demonstrated metrological traceability and uncertainty. NUSIMEP-7 focused on measurements of uranium isotope amount ratios in uranium particles aiming to support European Safeguards Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER), the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) network of analytical laboratories for environmental sampling (NWAL) and laboratories in the field of particle analysis. Each participant was provided two certified test samples: one with single and one with double isotopic enrichment. These NUSIMEP test samples were prepared by controlled hydrolysis of certified uranium hexafluoride in a specially designed aerosol deposition chamber at IRMM. Laboratories participating in NUSIMEP-7 received the test samples of uranium particles on two graphite disks with undisclosed isotopic ratio values n((234)U)/n((238)U), n((235)U)/n((238)U) and n((236)U)/n((238)U). The uranium isotope ratios had to be measured using their routine analytical

  5. Ultratrace Uranium Fingerprinting with Isotope Selective Laser Ionization Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Ziegler, Summer L.; Bushaw, Bruce A.

    2008-08-01

    Uranium isotope ratios can provide source information for tracking uranium contamination in a variety of fields, ranging from occupational bioassay to monitoring aftereffects of nuclear accidents. We describe the development of Isotope Selective Laser Ionization Spectrometry (ISLIS) for ultratrace measurement of the minor isotopes 234U, 235U, and 236U with respect to 238U. Optical isotopic selectivity in three-step excitation with single-mode continuous wave lasers is capable of measuring the minor isotopes at relative abundances below 1 ppm, and is not limited by isobaric interferences such as 235UH+ during measurement of 236U. This relative abundance limit approaches the threshold for measurement of uranium minor isotopes with conventional mass spectrometry, typically 10-7, but without mass spectrometric analysis of the laser-created ions. Uranyl nitrate standards from an international blind comparison were used to test analytical performance for different isotopic compositions and with quantities ranging from 11 ng to 10 µg total uranium. Isotopic ratio determination was demonstrated over a linear dynamic range of 7 orders of magnitude with a few percent relative precision and detection limits below 500 fg for the minor isotopes.

  6. Isotopic enrichment of uranium with respect to an isotope

    SciTech Connect

    Delvalle, P.

    1980-12-02

    A process for chemical enrichment of uranium with respect to a lighter one of its isotopes. The process consists in contacting uranium of valence state III and uranium of valence state IV, or a compound of uranium of valence state III and a different compound of uranium of valence state III. One of the phases which are contacted or the only phase is liquid. The system should be substantially free of elements which would cause uranium III to oxidize to valence IV.

  7. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-04-20

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth’s history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U), i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. In addition, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium.

  8. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction

    DOE PAGES

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; ...

    2015-04-20

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth’s history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U),more » i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. In addition, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium.« less

  9. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction

    PubMed Central

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth’s history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U), i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. Additionally, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium. PMID:25902522

  10. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction.

    PubMed

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-05-05

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth's history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U), i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth's crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. Additionally, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium.

  11. Isotopic ratio method for determining uranium contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Miles, R.E.; Sieben, A.K.

    1994-02-03

    The presence of high concentrations of uranium in the subsurface can be attributed either to contamination from uranium processing activities or to naturally occurring uranium. A mathematical method has been employed to evaluate the isotope ratios from subsurface soils at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant (RFP) and demonstrates conclusively that the soil contains uranium from a natural source and has not been contaminated with enriched uranium resulting from RFP releases. This paper describes the method used in this determination which has widespread application in site characterizations and can be adapted to other radioisotopes used in manufacturing industries. The determination of radioisotope source can lead to a reduction of the remediation effort.

  12. ISOTOPIC COMPOSITIONS OF URANIUM REFERENCE MATERIALS

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobsen, B; Borg, L; Williams, R; Brennecka, G; Hutcheon, I

    2009-09-03

    Uranium isotopic compositions of a variety of U standard materials were measured at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and are reported here. Both thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) and multi-collector inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) were used to determine ratios of the naturally occurring isotopes of U. Establishing an internally coherent set of isotopic values for a range of U standards is essential for inter-laboratory comparison of small differences in {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U, as well as the minor isotopes of U. Differences of {approx} 1.3{per_thousand} are now being observed in {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U in natural samples, and may play an important role in understanding U geochemistry where tracing the origin of U is aided by U isotopic compositions. The {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U ratios were measured with a TRITON TIMS using a mixed {sup 233}U-{sup 236}U isotopic tracer to correct for instrument fractionation. this tracer was extremely pure and resulted in only very minor corrections on the measured {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U ratios of {approx} 0.03. The values obtained for {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U are: IRMM184 = 137.698 {+-} 0.020 (n = 15), SRM950a = 137.870 {+-} 0.018 (n = 8), and CRM112a = 137.866 {+-} 0.030 (n = 16). Uncertainties represent 2 s.d. of the population. The measured value for IRMM184 is in near-perfect agreement with the certified value of 137.697 {+-} 0.042. However, the U isotopic compositions of SRM950a and CRM112a are not certified. Minor isotopes of U were determined with a Nu Plasma HR MC-ICPMS and mass bias was corrected by sample/standard bracketing to IRMM184, using its certified {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U ratio. Thus, the isotopic compositions determined using both instruments are compatible. The values obtained for {sup 234}U/{sup 235}U are: SRM950a = (7.437 {+-} 0.043) x 10{sup -3} (n = 18), and CRM112a = (7.281 {+-} 0.050) x 10{sup -3} (n = 16), both of which are in good agreement with published values. The value for

  13. Uranium and plutonium isotopes in the atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Sakuragi, Y.; Meason, J.L.; Kuroda, P.K.

    1983-04-20

    Uranium 234 and 235 were found to be highly enriched relative to uranium 238 in several rain samples collected at Fayetteville, Arkansas, during the months of April and May 1980. The anomalous uranium appears to have originated from the Soviet satellite Cosmos-954, which fell over Canada on January 24, 1978. The uranium fallout occurred just about the time Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. The concentration of /sup 238/U in rain increased markedly after the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and it appeared as if a large quantity of natural uranium was injected into the atmosphere by the volcanic eruption. The pattern of variation of the concentrations of uranium in rain after the eruption of Mount St. Helens was found to be similar to that of plutonium isotopes.

  14. Uranium Isotopic Analysis with the FRAM Isotopic Analysis Code

    SciTech Connect

    Duc T. Vo; Thomas E. Sampson

    1999-05-01

    FRAM is the acronym for Fixed-energy Response-function Analysis with Multiple efficiency. This software was developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory originally for plutonium isotopic analysis. Later, it was adapted for uranium isotopic analysis in addition to plutonium. It is a code based on a self-calibration using several gamma-ray peaks for determining the isotopic ratios. The versatile-parameter database structure governs all facets of the data analysis. User editing of the parameter sets allows great flexibility in handling data with different isotopic distributions, interfering isotopes, and different acquisition parameters such as energy calibration and detector type.

  15. Isotopic anomalies in high Z elements: Uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Jovanovic, S.; Reed, G.W. Jr.; Essling, A.M.; Rauh, E.G.; Graczyk, D.G.

    1989-03-01

    Uranium in terrestrial volcanic ejecta from mantle-related sources has been analyzed mass spectrometrically. The objective was to seek supporting evidence for or refutation isotopic variations reported by Fried et al. (1985) for some such samples. The possibility that terrestrial U is not of constant isotopic composition is extraordinary. If true, mechanisms for creating the variation must be sought and the lack of homogenization within the earth addressed. Samples of 100 grams or more were processed in order to minimize reagent and environmental (laboratory) blank interference and to permit isolation of large amounts (several to tens of ..mu..g) of U for the mass spectrometer (MS) measurements, which utilizes aliquots of /approximately/1 ..mu..g. Aliquants from four volcanic samples gave data which indicate enrichments of /sub 235/U ranging from 0.2% to 5.9% in the 235/238 ratio relative normal uranium ratios. These relative enrichments are consistent with, and in some cases, higher than the 0.18% enrichment reported by Fried et al. (1985) for two volcanic lava samples. However, we were not able to reproduce their results on the Kilauea lava for which they report 0.18% /sup 235/U enrichment. The relative error in our MS ratios is 0.05% -- 0.07%. 1 tab.

  16. Variations in the uranium isotopic compositions of uranium ores from different types of uranium deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uvarova, Yulia A.; Kyser, T. Kurt; Geagea, Majdi Lahd; Chipley, Don

    2014-12-01

    Variations in 238U/235U and 234U/238U ratios were measured in uranium minerals from a spectrum of uranium deposit types, as well as diagenetic phosphates in uranium-rich basins and peraluminous rhyolites and associated autunite mineralisation from Macusani Meseta, Peru. Mean δ238U values of uranium minerals relative to NBL CRM 112-A are 0.02‰ for metasomatic deposits, 0.16‰ for intrusive, 0.18‰ for calcrete, 0.18‰ for volcanic, 0.29‰ for quartz-pebble conglomerate, 0.29‰ for sandstone-hosted, 0.44‰ for unconformity-type, and 0.56‰ for vein, with a total range in δ238U values from -0.30‰ to 1.52‰. Uranium mineralisation associated with igneous systems, including low-temperature calcretes that are sourced from U-rich minerals in igneous systems, have low δ238U values of ca. 0.1‰, near those of their igneous sources, whereas uranium minerals in basin-hosted deposits have higher and more variable values. High-grade unconformity-related deposits have δ238U values around 0.2‰, whereas lower grade unconformity-type deposits in the Athabasca, Kombolgie and Otish basins have higher δ238U values. The δ234U values for most samples are around 0‰, in secular equilibrium, but some samples have δ234U values much lower or higher than 0‰ associated with addition or removal of 234U during the past 2.5 Ma. These δ238U and δ234U values suggest that there are at least two different mechanisms responsible for 238U/235U and 234U/238U variations. The 234U/238U disequilibria ratios indicate recent fluid interaction with the uranium minerals and preferential migration of 234U. Fractionation between 235U and 238U is a result of nuclear-field effects with enrichment of 238U in the reduced insoluble species (mostly UO2) and 235U in oxidised mobile species as uranyl ion, UO22+, and its complexes. Therefore, isotopic fractionation effects should be reflected in 238U/235U ratios in uranium ore minerals formed either by reduction of uranium to UO2 or chemical

  17. Image segmentation for uranium isotopic analysis by SIMS: Combined adaptive thresholding and marker controlled watershed approach

    SciTech Connect

    Willingham, David G.; Naes, Benjamin E.; Heasler, Patrick G.; Zimmer, Mindy M.; Barrett, Christopher A.; Addleman, Raymond S.

    2016-05-31

    A novel approach to particle identification and particle isotope ratio determination has been developed for nuclear safeguard applications. This particle search approach combines an adaptive thresholding algorithm and marker-controlled watershed segmentation (MCWS) transform, which improves the secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) isotopic analysis of uranium containing particle populations for nuclear safeguards applications. The Niblack assisted MCWS approach (a.k.a. SEEKER) developed for this work has improved the identification of isotopically unique uranium particles under conditions that have historically presented significant challenges for SIMS image data processing techniques. Particles obtained from five NIST uranium certified reference materials (CRM U129A, U015, U150, U500 and U850) were successfully identified in regions of SIMS image data 1) where a high variability in image intensity existed, 2) where particles were touching or were in close proximity to one another and/or 3) where the magnitude of ion signal for a given region was count limited. Analysis of the isotopic distributions of uranium containing particles identified by SEEKER showed four distinct, accurately identified 235U enrichment distributions, corresponding to the NIST certified 235U/238U isotope ratios for CRM U129A/U015 (not statistically differentiated), U150, U500 and U850. Additionally, comparison of the minor uranium isotope (234U, 235U and 236U) atom percent values verified that, even in the absence of high precision isotope ratio measurements, SEEKER could be used to segment isotopically unique uranium particles from SIMS image data. Although demonstrated specifically for SIMS analysis of uranium containing particles for nuclear safeguards, SEEKER has application in addressing a broad set of image processing challenges.

  18. Discovery of actinium, thorium, protactinium, and uranium isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fry, C.; Thoennessen, M.

    2013-05-01

    Thirty-one actinium, thirty-one thorium, twenty-eight protactinium, and twenty-three uranium isotopes have so far been observed; the discovery of these isotopes is described. For each isotope a brief summary of the first refereed publication, including the production and identification method, is presented.

  19. Isotopic evidence of natural uranium and spent fuel uranium releases into the environment.

    PubMed

    Pourcelot, L; Boulet, B; Le Corre, C; Loyen, J; Fayolle, C; Tournieux, D; Van Hecke, W; Martinez, B; Petit, J

    2011-02-01

    Uranium and plutonium isotopes were measured in soils, sediments and waters in an area subject to the past and present discharges from the uranium conversion plant of Malvési (France). The isotopes (236)U and (239)Pu are well known activation products of uranium and they prove to be powerful tracers of spent fuel releases in soils and sediments. On the other hand (234)U and (238)U activities measured in waters can be used to distinguish between releases and background uranium sources. Such findings contribute to improve the monitoring of the actinides releases by nuclear fuel facilities (mining sites, conversion, enrichment and fuel plants, reprocessing plants).

  20. Tables for determining lead, uranium, and thorium isotope ages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schonfeld, E.

    1974-01-01

    Tables for determining lead, uranium, and thorium isotope ages are presented in the form of computer printouts. Decay constants, analytical expressions for the functions evaluated, and the precision of the calculations are briefly discussed.

  1. Standoff Detection of Uranium and its Isotopes by Femtosecond Filament Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry

    DOE PAGES

    Hartig, Kyle C.; Ghebregziabher, Isaac; Jovanovic, Igor

    2017-03-08

    The ability to perform not only elementally but also isotopically sensitive detection and analysis at standoff distances is important for remote sensing applications in diverse ares, such as nuclear nonproliferation, environmental monitoring, geophysics, and planetary science. We demonstrate isotopically sensitive real-time standoff detection of uranium by the use of femtosecond filament-induced laser ablation molecular isotopic spectrometry. A uranium oxide molecular emission isotope shift of 0.05 ± 0.007 nm is reported at 593.6 nm. We implement both spectroscopic and acoustic diagnostics to characterize the properties of uranium plasma generated at different filament- uranium interaction points. The resulting uranium oxide emission exhibitsmore » a nearly constant signal-to-background ratio over the length of the filament, unlike the uranium atomic and ionic emission, for which the signal-to-background ratio varies significantly along the filament propagation. This is explained by the different rates of increase of plasma density and uranium oxide density along the filament length resulting from spectral and temporal evolution of the filament along its propagation. Lastly, the results provide a basis for the optimal use of filaments for standoff detection and analysis of uranium isotopes and indicate the potential of the technique for a wider range of remote sensing applications that require isotopic sensitivity.« less

  2. Standoff Detection of Uranium and its Isotopes by Femtosecond Filament Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Hartig, Kyle C; Ghebregziabher, Isaac; Jovanovic, Igor

    2017-03-08

    The ability to perform not only elementally but also isotopically sensitive detection and analysis at standoff distances is impor-tant for remote sensing applications in diverse ares, such as nuclear nonproliferation, environmental monitoring, geophysics, and planetary science. We demonstrate isotopically sensitive real-time standoff detection of uranium by the use of femtosecond filament-induced laser ablation molecular isotopic spectrometry. A uranium oxide molecular emission isotope shift of 0.05 ± 0.007 nm is reported at 593.6 nm. We implement both spectroscopic and acoustic diagnostics to characterize the properties of uranium plasma generated at different filament-uranium interaction points. The resulting uranium oxide emis-sion exhibits a nearly constant signal-to-background ratio over the length of the filament, unlike the uranium atomic and ionic emission, for which the signal-to-background ratio varies significantly along the filament propagation. This is explained by the different rates of increase of plasma density and uranium oxide density along the filament length resulting from spectral and temporal evolution of the filament along its propagation. The results provide a basis for the optimal use of filaments for standoff detection and analysis of uranium isotopes and indicate the potential of the technique for a wider range of remote sensing applications that require isotopic sensitivity.

  3. Standoff Detection of Uranium and its Isotopes by Femtosecond Filament Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Hartig, Kyle C.; Ghebregziabher, Isaac; Jovanovic, Igor

    2017-01-01

    The ability to perform not only elementally but also isotopically sensitive detection and analysis at standoff distances is impor-tant for remote sensing applications in diverse ares, such as nuclear nonproliferation, environmental monitoring, geophysics, and planetary science. We demonstrate isotopically sensitive real-time standoff detection of uranium by the use of femtosecond filament-induced laser ablation molecular isotopic spectrometry. A uranium oxide molecular emission isotope shift of 0.05 ± 0.007 nm is reported at 593.6 nm. We implement both spectroscopic and acoustic diagnostics to characterize the properties of uranium plasma generated at different filament-uranium interaction points. The resulting uranium oxide emis-sion exhibits a nearly constant signal-to-background ratio over the length of the filament, unlike the uranium atomic and ionic emission, for which the signal-to-background ratio varies significantly along the filament propagation. This is explained by the different rates of increase of plasma density and uranium oxide density along the filament length resulting from spectral and temporal evolution of the filament along its propagation. The results provide a basis for the optimal use of filaments for standoff detection and analysis of uranium isotopes and indicate the potential of the technique for a wider range of remote sensing applications that require isotopic sensitivity. PMID:28272450

  4. Standoff Detection of Uranium and its Isotopes by Femtosecond Filament Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartig, Kyle C.; Ghebregziabher, Isaac; Jovanovic, Igor

    2017-03-01

    The ability to perform not only elementally but also isotopically sensitive detection and analysis at standoff distances is impor-tant for remote sensing applications in diverse ares, such as nuclear nonproliferation, environmental monitoring, geophysics, and planetary science. We demonstrate isotopically sensitive real-time standoff detection of uranium by the use of femtosecond filament-induced laser ablation molecular isotopic spectrometry. A uranium oxide molecular emission isotope shift of 0.05 ± 0.007 nm is reported at 593.6 nm. We implement both spectroscopic and acoustic diagnostics to characterize the properties of uranium plasma generated at different filament-uranium interaction points. The resulting uranium oxide emis-sion exhibits a nearly constant signal-to-background ratio over the length of the filament, unlike the uranium atomic and ionic emission, for which the signal-to-background ratio varies significantly along the filament propagation. This is explained by the different rates of increase of plasma density and uranium oxide density along the filament length resulting from spectral and temporal evolution of the filament along its propagation. The results provide a basis for the optimal use of filaments for standoff detection and analysis of uranium isotopes and indicate the potential of the technique for a wider range of remote sensing applications that require isotopic sensitivity.

  5. Polyatomic interferences on high precision uranium isotope ratio measurements by MC-ICP-MS: Applications to environmental sampling for nuclear safeguards

    DOE PAGES

    Pollington, Anthony D.; Kinman, William S.; Hanson, Susan K.; ...

    2015-09-04

    Modern mass spectrometry and separation techniques have made measurement of major uranium isotope ratios a routine task; however accurate and precise measurement of the minor uranium isotopes remains a challenge as sample size decreases. One particular challenge is the presence of isobaric interferences and their impact on the accuracy of minor isotope 234U and 236U measurements. Furthermore, we present techniques used for routine U isotopic analysis of environmental nuclear safeguards samples and evaluate polyatomic interferences that negatively impact accuracy as well as methods to mitigate their impacts.

  6. Polyatomic interferences on high precision uranium isotope ratio measurements by MC-ICP-MS: Applications to environmental sampling for nuclear safeguards

    SciTech Connect

    Pollington, Anthony D.; Kinman, William S.; Hanson, Susan K.; Steiner, Robert E.

    2015-09-04

    Modern mass spectrometry and separation techniques have made measurement of major uranium isotope ratios a routine task; however accurate and precise measurement of the minor uranium isotopes remains a challenge as sample size decreases. One particular challenge is the presence of isobaric interferences and their impact on the accuracy of minor isotope 234U and 236U measurements. Furthermore, we present techniques used for routine U isotopic analysis of environmental nuclear safeguards samples and evaluate polyatomic interferences that negatively impact accuracy as well as methods to mitigate their impacts.

  7. Uranium Isotope Ratios in Modern and Precambrian Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCorte, B.; Planavsky, N.; Wang, X.; Auerbach, D. J.; Knudsen, A. C.

    2015-12-01

    Uranium isotopes (δ238U values) are an emerging paleoredox proxy that can help to better understand the redox evolution of Earth's surface environment. Recently, uranium isotopes have been used to reconstruct ocean and atmospheric redox conditions (Montoya-Pino et al., 2010; Brennecka et al., 2011; Kendall et al., 2013; Dahl et al., 2014). However, to date, there have not been studies on paleosols, despite that paleosols are, arguably better suited to directly tracking the redox conditions of the atmosphere. Sedimentary δ238U variability requires the formation of the soluble, oxidized form of U, U(VI). The formation of U(VI) is generally thought to require oxygen levels orders of magnitude higher than prebiotic levels. Without significant U mobility, it would have been impossible to develop isotopically distinct pools of uranium in ancient Earth environments. Conversely, an active U redox cycle leads to significant variability in δ238U values. Here we present a temporally and geographically expansive uranium isotope record from paleosols and modern soils to better constrain atmospheric oxygen levels during the Precambrian. Preliminary U isotope measurements of paleosols are unfractionated (relative to igneous rocks), possibly because of limited fractionation during oxidation (e.g., {Wang, 2015 #478}) or insufficient atmospheric oxygen levels to oxidize U(IV)-bearing minerals in the bedrock. Further U isotope measurements of paleosols with comparison to modern soils will resolve this issue.

  8. Origin of uranium isotope variations in early solar nebula condensates.

    PubMed

    Tissot, François L H; Dauphas, Nicolas; Grossman, Lawrence

    2016-03-01

    High-temperature condensates found in meteorites display uranium isotopic variations ((235)U/(238)U), which complicate dating the solar system's formation and whose origin remains mysterious. It is possible that these variations are due to the decay of the short-lived radionuclide (247)Cm (t 1/2 = 15.6 My) into (235)U, but they could also be due to uranium kinetic isotopic fractionation during condensation. We report uranium isotope measurements of meteoritic refractory inclusions that reveal excesses of (235)U reaching ~+6% relative to average solar system composition, which can only be due to the decay of (247)Cm. This allows us to constrain the (247)Cm/(235)U ratio at solar system formation to (1.1 ± 0.3) × 10(-4). This value provides new clues on the universality of the nucleosynthetic r-process of rapid neutron capture.

  9. Origin of uranium isotope variations in early solar nebula condensates

    PubMed Central

    Tissot, François L. H.; Dauphas, Nicolas; Grossman, Lawrence

    2016-01-01

    High-temperature condensates found in meteorites display uranium isotopic variations (235U/238U), which complicate dating the solar system’s formation and whose origin remains mysterious. It is possible that these variations are due to the decay of the short-lived radionuclide 247Cm (t1/2 = 15.6 My) into 235U, but they could also be due to uranium kinetic isotopic fractionation during condensation. We report uranium isotope measurements of meteoritic refractory inclusions that reveal excesses of 235U reaching ~+6% relative to average solar system composition, which can only be due to the decay of 247Cm. This allows us to constrain the 247Cm/235U ratio at solar system formation to (1.1 ± 0.3) × 10−4. This value provides new clues on the universality of the nucleosynthetic r-process of rapid neutron capture. PMID:26973874

  10. Evolution of isotopic composition of reprocessed uranium during the multiple recycling in light water reactors with natural uranium feed

    SciTech Connect

    Smirnov, A. Yu. Sulaberidze, G. A.; Alekseev, P. N.; Dudnikov, A. A.; Nevinitsa, V. A. Proselkov, V. N.; Chibinyaev, A. V.

    2012-12-15

    A complex approach based on the consistent modeling of neutron-physics processes and processes of cascade separation of isotopes is applied for analyzing physical problems of the multiple usage of reprocessed uranium in the fuel cycle of light water reactors. A number of scenarios of multiple recycling of reprocessed uranium in light water reactors are considered. In the process, an excess absorption of neutrons by the {sup 236}U isotope is compensated by re-enrichment in the {sup 235}U isotope. Specific consumptions of natural uranium for re-enrichment of the reprocessed uranium depending on the content of the {sup 232}U isotope are obtained.

  11. Uranium isotopic composition and uranium concentration in special reference material SRM A (uranium in KCl/LiCl salt matrix)

    SciTech Connect

    Graczyk, D.G.; Essling, A.M.; Sabau, C.S.; Smith, F.P.; Bowers, D.L.; Ackerman, J.P.

    1997-07-01

    To help assure that analysis data of known quality will be produced in support of demonstration programs at the Fuel Conditioning Facility at Argonne National Laboratory-West (Idaho Falls, ID), a special reference material has been prepared and characterized. Designated SRM A, the material consists of individual units of LiCl/KCl eutectic salt containing a nominal concentration of 2.5 wt. % enriched uranium. Analyses were performed at Argonne National Laboratory-East (Argonne, IL) to determine the uniformity of the material and to establish reference values for the uranium concentration and uranium isotopic composition. Ten units from a batch of approximately 190 units were analyzed by the mass spectrometric isotope dilution technique to determine their uranium concentration. These measurements provided a mean value of 2.5058 {+-} 0.0052 wt. % U, where the uncertainty includes estimated limits to both random and systematic errors that might have affected the measurements. Evidence was found of a small, apparently random, non-uniformity in uranium content of the individual SRM A units, which exhibits a standard deviation of 0.078% of the mean uranium concentration. Isotopic analysis of the uranium from three units, by means of thermal ionization mass spectrometry with a special, internal-standard procedure, indicated that the uranium isotopy is uniform among the pellets with a composition corresponding to 0.1115 {+-} 0.0006 wt. % {sup 234}U, 19.8336 {+-} 0.0059 wt. % {sup 235}U, 0.1337 {+-} 0.0006 wt. % {sup 236}U, and 79.9171 {+-} 0.0057 wt. % {sup 238}U.

  12. AMS of the Minor Plutonium Isotopes

    PubMed Central

    Steier, P.; Hrnecek, E.; Priller, A.; Quinto, F.; Srncik, M.; Wallner, A.; Wallner, G.; Winkler, S.

    2013-01-01

    VERA, the Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator, is especially equipped for the measurement of actinides, and performs a growing number of measurements on environmental samples. While AMS is not the optimum method for each particular plutonium isotope, the possibility to measure 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu, 242Pu and 244Pu on the same AMS sputter target is a great simplification. We have obtained a first result on the global fallout value of 244Pu/239Pu = (5.7 ± 1.0) × 10−5 based on soil samples from Salzburg prefecture, Austria. Furthermore, we suggest using the 242Pu/240Pu ratio as an estimate of the initial 241Pu/239Pu ratio, which allows dating of the time of irradiation based solely on Pu isotopes. We have checked the validity of this estimate using literature data, simulations, and environmental samples from soil from the Salzburg prefecture (Austria), from the shut down Garigliano Nuclear Power Plant (Sessa Aurunca, Italy) and from the Irish Sea near the Sellafield nuclear facility. The maximum deviation of the estimated dates from the expected ages is 6 years, while relative dating of material from the same source seems to be possible with a precision of less than 2 years. Additional information carried by the minor plutonium isotopes may allow further improvements of the precision of the method. PMID:23565016

  13. AMS of the Minor Plutonium Isotopes.

    PubMed

    Steier, P; Hrnecek, E; Priller, A; Quinto, F; Srncik, M; Wallner, A; Wallner, G; Winkler, S

    2013-01-01

    VERA, the Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator, is especially equipped for the measurement of actinides, and performs a growing number of measurements on environmental samples. While AMS is not the optimum method for each particular plutonium isotope, the possibility to measure (239)Pu, (240)Pu, (241)Pu, (242)Pu and (244)Pu on the same AMS sputter target is a great simplification. We have obtained a first result on the global fallout value of (244)Pu/(239)Pu = (5.7 ± 1.0) × 10(-5) based on soil samples from Salzburg prefecture, Austria. Furthermore, we suggest using the (242)Pu/(240)Pu ratio as an estimate of the initial (241)Pu/(239)Pu ratio, which allows dating of the time of irradiation based solely on Pu isotopes. We have checked the validity of this estimate using literature data, simulations, and environmental samples from soil from the Salzburg prefecture (Austria), from the shut down Garigliano Nuclear Power Plant (Sessa Aurunca, Italy) and from the Irish Sea near the Sellafield nuclear facility. The maximum deviation of the estimated dates from the expected ages is 6 years, while relative dating of material from the same source seems to be possible with a precision of less than 2 years. Additional information carried by the minor plutonium isotopes may allow further improvements of the precision of the method.

  14. Pulsed CO laser for isotope separation of uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Baranov, Igor Y.; Koptev, Andrey V.

    2012-07-30

    This article proposes a technical solution for using a CO laser facility for the industrial separation of uranium used in the production of fuel for nuclear power plants, employing a method of laser isotope separation of uranium with condensation repression in a free jet. The laser operation with nanosecond pulse irradiation can provide an acceptable efficiency in the separating unit and a high efficiency of the laser with the wavelength of 5.3 {mu}m. In the present work we also introduce a calculation model and define the parameters of a mode-locked CO laser with a RF discharge in the supersonic stream. The average pulsed CO laser power of 3 kW is sufficient for efficient industrial isotope separation of uranium in one stage.

  15. Uranium isotope separation from 1941 to the present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier-Komor, Peter

    2010-02-01

    Uranium isotope separation was the key development for the preparation of highly enriched isotopes in general and thus became the seed for target development and preparation for nuclear and applied physics. In 1941 (year of birth of the author) large-scale development for uranium isotope separation was started after the US authorities were warned that NAZI Germany had started its program for enrichment of uranium and might have confiscated all uranium and uranium mines in their sphere of influence. Within the framework of the Manhattan Projects the first electromagnetic mass separators (Calutrons) were installed and further developed for high throughput. The military aim of the Navy Department was to develop nuclear propulsion for submarines with practically unlimited range. Parallel to this the army worked on the development of the atomic bomb. Also in 1941 plutonium was discovered and the production of 239Pu was included into the atomic bomb program. 235U enrichment starting with natural uranium was performed in two steps with different techniques of mass separation in Oak Ridge. The first step was gas diffusion which was limited to low enrichment. The second step for high enrichment was performed with electromagnetic mass spectrometers (Calutrons). The theory for the much more effective enrichment with centrifugal separation was developed also during the Second World War, but technical problems e.g. development of high speed ball and needle bearings could not be solved before the end of the war. Spying accelerated the development of uranium separation in the Soviet Union, but also later in China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq. In this paper, the physical and chemical procedures are outlined which lead to the success of the project. Some security aspects and Non-Proliferation measures are discussed.

  16. Enhanced Method for Molybdenum Separation and Isotopic Determination in Geological Samples and Uranium-Rich Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migeon, V.; Bourdon, B.; Pili, E.

    2014-12-01

    Molybdenum (Mo) shares analogous geochemical properties with uranium. Mo ispresent as a minor or a trace element in uranium ores under two main oxidation states: +IVand +VI. Mo has seven stable isotopes (92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 and 100). In natural systems,Mo and Mo isotopes were shown to fractionate during redox reactions. Because Morepresents an impurity difficult to separate in the nuclear fuel cycle, it has the potential to beused as an indicator of the origins of uranium concentrates, in the framework of nuclearforensics. This work focuses on developing an enhanced separation method for Mo from auranium-rich matrix (uranium ore, uranium concentrate) in order to analyze the massfractionation induced by processes typical of the nuclear fuel cycle. Purification of Mo forisotope ratio measurements is performed with a three-step separation on ion-exchange resins,with yields between 45 and 82%. Matrix and isobaric interferences (Zr, Ru) were reduced ingeological and uranium standards, such as U/Mo ≤ 2*10-4, Zr/Mo ≤ 1*10-3, Ru/Mo ≤ 6*10-4and Fe/Mo ≤ 4*10-3. Mo isotopic compositions were measured on a Neptune Plus MC-ICPMSequipped with Jet cones, for a concentration of 30 ng/ml. The achieved sensitivity is~1200-1800 V/ppm with interferences below 10 mV and an overall reproducibility of 0.02 ‰on the δ98Mo values. A double spike, with 97Mo and 100Mo, was added to the samples beforethe purification. It allows for correction of the chemical and instrumental mass fractionations,without requiring a quantitative yield. For igneous rocks, δ98Mo values range between -0.55and -0.03 ‰, relative to the NIST-SRM 3134 molybdenum standard. Fractionation amonguranium ore concentrates is higher, with δ98Mo ranging between 0.02 and -2.84 ‰.

  17. Toward a comprehensive description of decay properties for uranium isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Yibin; Ren, Zhongzhou

    2016-12-01

    Within the enhanced density dependent cluster model, with specific concern for density distributions in related nuclei, we investigate α decay and cluster radioactivity in uranium isotopes in the range 217 ≤A ≤243 . The available experimental data are found to be well reproduced, especially including the very recently measured values of new neutron-deficient isotopes. The half-lives of possible cluster emissions are consequently predicted as well, and will be somewhat valuable for future detection. Moreover, β decay half-lives of these nuclei are also evaluated with respect to all kinds of β processes, while their spontaneous fission lifetimes are provided via an effective relationship between the half-life and crucial quantities, namely the fissility parameter and fission barriers. In this sense, a full understanding of decay properties in uranium isotopes is expected to be achieved by combining their various radioactive features.

  18. Utilizing Isotopic Uranium Ratios in Groundwater Evaluations at FUSRAP Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Frederick, W.T.; Keil, K.G.; Rhodes, M.C.; Peterson, J.M.; MacDonell, M.M.

    2007-07-01

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District is evaluating environmental radioactive contamination at several Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) sites throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. The investigations follow the process defined in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Groundwater data from the Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) in Lewiston, New York were evaluated for isotopic uranium ratios, specifically uranium-234 versus uranium-238 (U- 234 and U-238, respectively), and the results were presented at Waste Management 2006. Since uranium naturally occurs in all groundwater, it can be difficult to distinguish where low-concentration impacts from past releases differ from the high end of a site-specific natural background range. In natural groundwater, the ratio of U-234 to U-238 exceeds 1 (unity) due to the alpha particle recoil effect, in which U-234 is preferentially mobilized to groundwater from adjacent rock or soil. This process is very slow and may take hundreds to thousands of years before a measurable increase is seen in the natural isotopic ratio. If site releases are the source of uranium being measured in groundwater, the U-234 to U-238 ratio is commonly closer to 1, which normally reflects FUSRAP-related, uranium-contaminated wastes and soils. This lower ratio occurs because not enough residence time has elapsed since the 1940's and 1950's for the alpha particle recoil effect to have significantly altered the contamination-derived ratio. An evaluation of NFSS-specific and regional groundwater data indicate that an isotopic ratio of 1.2 has been identified as a signature value to help distinguish natural groundwater, which may have a broad background range, from zones impacted by past releases. (authors)

  19. Chemical and Sr isotopic characterization of North America uranium ores: Nuclear forensic applications

    SciTech Connect

    Balboni, Enrica; Jones, Nina; Spano, Tyler; Simonetti, Antonio; Burns, Peter C.

    2016-08-31

    This study reports major, minor, and trace element data and Sr isotope ratios for 11 uranium ore (uraninite, UO2+x) samples and one processed uranium ore concentrate (UOC) from various U.S. deposits. The uraninite investigated represent ores formed via different modes of mineralization (e.g., high- and low-temperature) and within various geological contexts, which include magmatic pegmatites, metamorphic rocks, sandstone-hosted, and roll front deposits. In situ trace element data obtained by laser ablation-ICP-MS and bulk sample Sr isotopic ratios for uraninite samples investigated here indicate distinct signatures that are highly dependent on the mode of mineralization and host rock geology. Relative to their high-temperature counterparts, low-temperature uranium ores record high U/Th ratios (>1000), low total rare earth element (REE) abundances (<1 wt%), high contents (>300 ppm) of first row transition metals (Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni), and radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr ratios (>0.7200). Comparison of chondrite normalized REE patterns between uraninite and corresponding processed UOC from the same locality indicates identical patterns at different absolute concentrations. Lastly, this result ultimately confirms the importance of establishing geochemical signatures of raw, uranium ore materials for attribution purposes in the forensic analysis of intercepted nuclear materials.

  20. Chemical and Sr isotopic characterization of North America uranium ores: Nuclear forensic applications

    DOE PAGES

    Balboni, Enrica; Jones, Nina; Spano, Tyler; ...

    2016-08-31

    This study reports major, minor, and trace element data and Sr isotope ratios for 11 uranium ore (uraninite, UO2+x) samples and one processed uranium ore concentrate (UOC) from various U.S. deposits. The uraninite investigated represent ores formed via different modes of mineralization (e.g., high- and low-temperature) and within various geological contexts, which include magmatic pegmatites, metamorphic rocks, sandstone-hosted, and roll front deposits. In situ trace element data obtained by laser ablation-ICP-MS and bulk sample Sr isotopic ratios for uraninite samples investigated here indicate distinct signatures that are highly dependent on the mode of mineralization and host rock geology. Relative tomore » their high-temperature counterparts, low-temperature uranium ores record high U/Th ratios (>1000), low total rare earth element (REE) abundances (<1 wt%), high contents (>300 ppm) of first row transition metals (Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni), and radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr ratios (>0.7200). Comparison of chondrite normalized REE patterns between uraninite and corresponding processed UOC from the same locality indicates identical patterns at different absolute concentrations. Lastly, this result ultimately confirms the importance of establishing geochemical signatures of raw, uranium ore materials for attribution purposes in the forensic analysis of intercepted nuclear materials.« less

  1. Chemical and Sr isotopic characterization of North America uranium ores: Nuclear forensic applications

    SciTech Connect

    Balboni, Enrica; Jones, Nina; Spano, Tyler; Simonetti, Antonio; Burns, Peter C.

    2016-08-31

    This study reports major, minor, and trace element data and Sr isotope ratios for 11 uranium ore (uraninite, UO2+x) samples and one processed uranium ore concentrate (UOC) from various U.S. deposits. The uraninite investigated represent ores formed via different modes of mineralization (e.g., high- and low-temperature) and within various geological contexts, which include magmatic pegmatites, metamorphic rocks, sandstone-hosted, and roll front deposits. In situ trace element data obtained by laser ablation-ICP-MS and bulk sample Sr isotopic ratios for uraninite samples investigated here indicate distinct signatures that are highly dependent on the mode of mineralization and host rock geology. Relative to their high-temperature counterparts, low-temperature uranium ores record high U/Th ratios (>1000), low total rare earth element (REE) abundances (<1 wt%), high contents (>300 ppm) of first row transition metals (Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni), and radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr ratios (>0.7200). Comparison of chondrite normalized REE patterns between uraninite and corresponding processed UOC from the same locality indicates identical patterns at different absolute concentrations. Lastly, this result ultimately confirms the importance of establishing geochemical signatures of raw, uranium ore materials for attribution purposes in the forensic analysis of intercepted nuclear materials.

  2. Uranium and plutonium isotopic analysis using MGA++

    SciTech Connect

    Buckley, W; Clark, D; Friensehner, A; Parker, W; Raschke, K; Romine, W; Ruhter, W; Wang, T-F; kreek, S

    1998-07-01

    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory develops sophisticated gamma-ray analysis codes for the isotopic analysis of nuclear materials based on the principles used in the original MultiGroup Analysis (MGA) code. Over the years, the MGA methodology has been upgraded and expanded far beyond its original capabilities and is now comprised of a suite of codes known as MGA++. The early MGA code analyzed Pu gamma-ray data collected with high-purity germanium (HPGe) detectors to yield Pu isotopic ratios. While the original MGA code relied solely on the lower-energy gamma rays (around 100 keV), the most recent addition to the MGA++ code suite, MGAHI, analyzes Pu data using higher-energy gamma rays (200 keV and higher) and is particulatly useful for Pu samples - that are enclosed in thick-walled containers. The MGA++ suite also includes capabilities to perform U isotopic analysis on data collected with either HPGe or cadmium-zinc-tellutide (CZT) detectors. These codes are commercially available and are known as U235 and CZTU, respectively. A graphical user interface has also been developed for viewing the data and the fitting procedure. In addition, we are developing new codes that will integrate into the MGA++ suite. These will include Pu isotopic analysis capabilities for data collected with CZT detectors, U isotopic analysis with HPGe detectors which utilizes only higher energy gamma rays, and isotopic analyses on mixtures of Pu and U.

  3. Isotopic analysis of uranium in natural waters by alpha spectrometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, K.W.

    1968-01-01

    A method is described for the determination of U234/U238 activity ratios for uranium present in natural waters. The uranium is coprecipitated from solution with aluminum phosphate, extracted into ethyl acetate, further purified by ion exchange, and finally electroplated on a titanium disc for counting. The individual isotopes are determined by measurement of the alpha-particle energy spectrum using a high resolution low-background alpha spectrometer. Overall chemical recovery of about 90 percent and a counting efficiency of 25 percent allow analyses of water samples containing as little as 0.10 ?g/l of uranium. The accuracy of the method is limited, on most samples, primarily by counting statistics.

  4. Recent Developments in MC-ICP-MS for Uranium Isotopic Determination from Small Samples.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Field, P.; Lloyd, N. S.

    2016-12-01

    V002: Advances in approaches and instruments for isotope studies Session ID#: 12653 Recent Developments in MC-ICP-MS for Uranium Isotopic Determination from small samples.M. Paul Field 1 & Nicholas S. Lloyd. 1 Elemental Scientific Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, USA. field@icpms.com 2 Thermo Fisher Scientific, Hanna-Kunath-Str. 11, 28199 Bremen, Germany. nicholas.lloyd@thermofisher.com Uranium isotope ratio determination for nuclear, nuclear safeguards and for environmental applications can be challenging due to, 1) the large isotopic differences between samples and 2) low abundance of 234U and 236U. For some applications the total uranium quantities can be limited, or it is desirable to run at lower concentrations for radiological protection. Recent developments in inlet systems and detector technologies allow small samples to be analyzed at higher precisions using MC-ICP-MS. Here we evaluate the combination of Elemental Scientific apex omega desolvation system and microFAST-MC dual loop-loading flow-injection system with the Thermo Scientific NEPTUNE Plus MC-ICP-MS. The inlet systems allow for the automated syringe loading and injecting handling of small sample volumes with efficient desolvation to minimize the hydride interference on 236U. The highest ICP ion sampling efficiency is realized using the Thermo Scientific Jet Interface. Thermo Scientific 1013 ohm amplifier technology allows small ion beams to be measured at higher precision, offering the highest signal/noise ratio with a linear and stable response that covers a wide dynamic range (ca. 1 kcps - 30 Mcps). For nanogram quantities of low enriched and depleted uranium standards the 235U was measured with 1013 ohm amplifier technology. The minor isotopes (234U and 236U) were measured by SEM ion counters with RPQ lens filters, which offer the lowest detection limits. For sample amounts ca. 20 ng the minor isotopes can be moved onto 1013 ohm amplifiers and the 235U onto standard 1011 ohm amplifier. To illustrate the

  5. Analysis on uranium isotope in the facilities of nuclear fuel materials using depleted uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Jong seon Jeon; Ki chut Jung; Sang gyu Park; Tae hyun Kim; Jae min Lee

    2007-07-01

    This study checked the degree of contamination of depleted uranium used as a chemical catalyst in the manufacturing process within the facilities of nuclear fuel materials to analyze the environmental sample for abandoning their industrial factory sites and investigated how many times of contamination were made compared to (natural) abundance of isotopes if contamination was made within the facilities. In order to analyze the degree of uranium contamination, the researcher of this study divided the upper and lower parts of 20 points from the surface of the earth within the factory site made of concrete and extracted 40 samples from the surface of the earth and 15 samples for checking air and surface water contamination. The study checked the concentration of uranium existing in small quantity in the samples by liquefying a large amount of samples using pre-treatable acid percolation. (authors)

  6. Separation of uranium isotopes by chemical exchange

    DOEpatents

    Ogle, P.R. Jr.

    1974-02-26

    A chemical exchange method is provided for separating /sup 235/U from / sup 238/U comprising contacting a first phase containing UF/sub 6/ with a second phase containing a compound selected from the group consisting of NOUF/sub 6/, NOUF/sub 7/, and NO/sub 2/UF/sub 7/ until the U Fsub 6/ in the first phase becomes enriched in the /sup 235/U isotope. (Official Gazette)

  7. THE SEPARATION OF URANIUM ISOTOPES BY GASEOUS DIFFUSION: A LINEAR PROGRAMMING MODEL,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    URANIUM, ISOTOPE SEPARATION), (*GASEOUS DIFFUSION SEPARATION, LINEAR PROGRAMMING ), (* LINEAR PROGRAMMING , GASEOUS DIFFUSION SEPARATION), MATHEMATICAL MODELS, GAS FLOW, NUCLEAR REACTORS, OPERATIONS RESEARCH

  8. Candidate processes for diluting the {sup 235}U isotope in weapons-capable highly enriched uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Snider, J.D.

    1996-02-01

    The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is evaluating options for rendering its surplus inventories of highly enriched uranium (HEU) incapable of being used to produce nuclear weapons. Weapons-capable HEU was earlier produced by enriching uranium in the fissile {sup 235}U isotope from its natural occurring 0.71 percent isotopic concentration to at least 20 percent isotopic concentration. Now, by diluting its concentration of the fissile {sup 235}U isotope in a uranium blending process, the weapons capability of HEU can be eliminated in a manner that is reversible only through isotope enrichment, and therefore, highly resistant to proliferation. To the extent that can be economically and technically justified, the down-blended uranium product will be made suitable for use as commercial reactor fuel. Such down-blended uranium product can also be disposed of as waste if chemical or isotopic impurities preclude its use as reactor fuel.

  9. Application of diode lasers to the isotopically selective determination of uranium in oxides by optogalvanic spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Young, J.P.; Barshick, C.M.; Shaw, R.W.; Ramsey, J.M.

    1994-09-01

    We have observed isotopically selective diode laser-excited optogalvanic effects in uranium at 778.42 and 776.19 nm. The samples were natural abundance uranium oxide, as well as depleted (0.3% {sup 235}U), natural (0.7% {sup 235}U) and enriched (9.75% {sup 235}U) uranium metal or powders. The measurements were carried out in a demountable-cathode glow discharge cell. Preliminary evaluations of precision for uranium isotopic ratios measured using this technique suggest that it should have broad analytical applications for uranium and other amenable actinides or lanthanides.

  10. Predicting equilibrium uranium isotope fractionation in crystals and solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schauble, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    Despite the rapidly growing interest in using 238U/235U measurements as a proxy for changes in oxygen abundance in surface and near-surface environments, the present theoretical understanding of uranium isotope fractionation is limited to a few simple gas-phase molecules and analogues of dissolved species (e.g., 1,2,3). Understanding uranium isotope fractionation behavior in more complicated species, such as crystals and adsorption complexes, will help in the design and interpretation of experiments and field studies, and may suggest other uses for 38U/235U measurements. In this study, a recently developed first-principles method for estimating the nuclear volume component of field shift fractionation in crystals and complex molecular species (4) is combined with mass-dependent fractionation theory to predict equilibrium 38U/235U fractionations in aqueous and crystalline uranium compounds, including uraninite (UO2). The nuclear field shift effect, caused by the interaction of electrons with the finite volume of the positive charge distribution in uranium nuclei, is estimated using Density Functional Theory and the Projector Augmented Wave method (DFT-PAW). Tests against relativistic electronic structure calculations and Mössbauer isomer shift data indicate that the DFT-PAW method is reasonably accurate, while being much better suited to models of complex and crystalline species. Initial results confirm previous predictions that the nuclear volume effect overwhelms mass depdendent fractionation in U(VI)-U(IV) exchange reactions, leading to higher 238U/235U in U(IV) species (i.e., for UO2 xtal vs. UO22+aq, ln αNV ≈ +1.8‰ , ln αMD ≈ -0.8‰, ln αTotal ≈ +1.0‰ at 25ºC). UO2 and U(H2O)94+, are within ~0.4‰ of each other, while U(VI) species appear to be more variable. This suggests that speciation is likely to significantly affect natural uranium isotope fractionations, in addition to oxidation state. Tentatively, it appears that uranyl-type (UO22

  11. Uranium isotopes quantitatively determined by modified method of atomic absorption spectrophotometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, G. H.

    1967-01-01

    Hollow-cathode discharge tubes determine the quantities of uranium isotopes in a sample by using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Dissociation of the uranium atoms allows a large number of ground state atoms to be produced, absorbing the incident radiation that is different for the two major isotopes.

  12. Uranium isotopes in the Balkan's environment and foods following the use of depleted uranium in the war.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Fernando P; Oliveira, João M

    2010-05-01

    Immediately after the Balkan's war in 1999, there has been widespread international concern about the environmental contamination with depleted uranium (DU) from ammunitions used in the conflict. Exposure of military staff and local populations to uranium metal and to its ionizing radiation were feared as potential causes for leukemia and other diseases in that region. In January 2001 a scientific mission was carried out by Portugal to evaluate those issues. A large number of environmental and food samples collected in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, such as soils, water, aerosols, vegetables, bread, and meat were analyzed by radiochemistry and alpha spectrometry. Results of the analyses for total uranium and individual uranium isotopes are presented. Uranium in agriculture soils in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina averaged 1.8+/-0.8mgkg(-)(1) and 3+/-1mgkg(-)(1), while concentrations in drinking water from public supplies averaged 0.5+/-0.2microgL(-)(1) and 0.4+/-0.3microgL(-)(1), respectively. Results on soils indicated also that environmental contamination by DU was much localized and confined to the areas of ammunition impact. Concentrations of uranium in most of the environmental and food samples were comparable to concentrations of uranium measured in other European regions, such as Portugal and United Kingdom, and uranium isotopic ratios were in general compatible with isotopic ratios typical of natural uranium. However, a few samples displayed modified uranium isotopic ratios and could have been contaminated by DU. Implications of DU in radiation exposure of the population and in environmental contamination are discussed.

  13. Application of Uranium Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry in the preparation of New Certified Reference Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasözbek, A.; Mathew, K. J.; Orlowicz, G.; Srinivasan, B.; Narayanan, U.

    2012-04-01

    Proven measurement techniques play a critical role in the preparation of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) - those requiring high accuracy and precision in the measurement results. Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry (IDMS) is one such measurement method commonly used in the quantitative analysis of uranium in nuclear safeguards and isotope geology applications. In this project, we evaluated the possibility of using some of the uranium isotopic and assay CRMs made earlier by the New Brunswick laboratory as IDMS spikes to define the uranium mass fraction in future preparations of CRMs. Uranium solutions prepared from CRM 112-A (a highly pure uranium metal assay standard) and CRM 115 (a highly pure uranium oxide isotopic and assay standard) were used as spikes in the determination of uranium. Two different thermal ionization mass spectrometer instruments (MAT 261 and TRITON) were used for the isotopic measurements. Standard IDMS equation was used for data reduction to yield results for uranium mass fraction along with uncertainties, the latter calculated according to GUM. The results show that uranium mass fraction measurements can be made with the required accuracy and precision for defining the uranium concentration in new CRMs as well as in routine samples analyses.

  14. Uranium-thorium-lead isotope relations in lunar materials.

    PubMed

    Silver, L T

    1970-01-30

    The lead isotopic compositions and uranium, thorium, and lead concentrations have been measured on six samples of material from the Sea of Tranquillity. The leads are moderately to very radiogenic; the initial lead concentrations are very low; the uranium and thorium levels are 0.26 to 0.88 and 0.87 to 3.35 parts per million, respectively. The Th/U ratios cluster about a 3.6 value. Apparent ages calculated for four rocks are 4.1 to 4.2 x 10(9) years. Dust and breccia yield apparent ages of 4.60 to 4.63 x 10(9) years. The uranium-lead ages are concordant, or nearly so, in all cases. The lunar surface is an ancient region with an extended record of events in the early history of the solar system. discrepancy between the rock ages and dust ages poses a fundamental qusestion about rock genesis on the moon.

  15. Utilizing Isotopic Uranium Ratios in Groundwater Evaluations at NFSS

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, M.C.; Keil, K.G.; Frederick, W.T.; Papura, T.R.; Leithner, J.S.; Peterson, J.M.; MacDonell, M.M.

    2006-07-01

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District is currently evaluating environmental contamination at the Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) as part of its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). The NFSS is located in the Town of Lewiston in western New York and has been used to store uranium-contaminated materials since 1944. Most of the radioactive materials are currently contained in an on-site structure, but past contamination remains in soil and groundwater. As a naturally occurring radionuclide, uranium is present in all groundwater. Because contamination levels at the site are quite low, it can be difficult to distinguish zones that have been impacted by the past releases from those at the high end of the natural background range. The differences in the isotopic ratio of uranium-234 (U-234) to uranium-238 (U-238) between natural groundwater systems and affected areas are being used in an innovative way to better define the nature and extent of groundwater contamination at NFSS. In natural groundwater, the ratio of U-234 to U-238 exceeds 1 due to the alpha particle recoil effect, in which U-234 is preferentially mobilized to groundwater from adjacent rock or soil. This process is very slow, and it can be hundreds to thousands of years before a measurable impact is seen in the isotopic ratio. Thus, as a result of the recoil effect, the ratio of U-234 to U-238 will be higher in natural groundwater than in contaminated groundwater. This means that if site releases were the source of the uranium being measured in groundwater at NFSS, the ratio of U-234 to U-238 would be expected to be very close to 1 (the same ratio that exists in wastes and soil at the site), because not enough time has elapsed for the alpha particle recoil effect to have significantly altered that ratio. From an evaluation of site and regional groundwater data, an isotopic ratio

  16. The Evaluation of Uranium-236 Isotopic Dilution with the Addition of Depleted Uranium to Supernatant Liquid Waste

    SciTech Connect

    Oji, L.N.

    2003-06-27

    This paper describes laboratory-scale results on experiments performed to examine the feasibility of isotopic dilution of uranium-235 in supernatant liquid storage tanks at the Savannah River Site. The isotopic dilution tests were accomplished by adding an alkaline depleted uranium solution to small portions of simulated and actual storage tank waste solutions with enriched U-235 compositions. Based on the laboratory observations, recommendations were made, which involved the addition of significant quantities of uranyl carbonate solution to over four million liters of U-235 enriched waste stored in Tank 43H at SRS to reduce the risk for criticality. A post-uranyl carbonate addition analysis on the tank supernate confirmed the effectiveness of depleted uranium in isotopic dilution of U-235. The U-235 enrichment in the Tank 43H was isotopically diluted from an original high of over 4 wt percent down to less than 0.5 wt percent as predicted from the laboratory investigations.

  17. Femtosecond Laser Ablation Multicollector ICPMS Analysis of Uranium Isotopes in NIST Glass

    SciTech Connect

    Duffin, Andrew M.; Springer, Kellen WE; Ward, Jesse D.; Jarman, Kenneth D.; Robinson, John W.; Endres, Mackenzie C.; Hart, Garret L.; Gonzalez, Jhanis J.; Oropeza, Dayana; Russo, Richard; Willingham, David G.; Naes, Benjamin E.; Fahey, Albert J.; Eiden, Gregory C.

    2015-02-06

    We have utilized femtosecond laser ablation coupled to multi-collector inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry to measure the uranium isotopic content of NIST 61x (x=0,2,4,6) glasses. The uranium content of these glasses is a linear two-component mixing between isotopically natural uranium and the isotopically depleted spike used in preparing the glasses. Laser ablation results match extremely well, generally within a few ppm, with solution analysis following sample dissolution and chemical separation. In addition to isotopic data, sample utilization efficiency measurements indicate that over 1% of ablated uranium atoms reach a mass spectrometer detector, making this technique extremely efficient. Laser sampling also allows for spatial analysis and our data indicate that rare uranium concentration inhomogeneities exist in NIST 616 glass.

  18. Isotopic Analysis of Uranium in NIST SRM Glass by Femtosecond Laser Ablation

    SciTech Connect

    Duffin, Andrew M.; Hart, Garret L.; Hanlen, Richard C.; Eiden, Gregory C.

    2013-05-19

    We employed femtosecond Laser Ablation Multicollector Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry for the 11 determination of uranium isotope ratios in a series of standard reference material glasses (NIST 610, 612, 614, and 12 616). This uranium concentration in this series of SRM glasses is a combination of isotopically natural uranium in 13 the materials used to make the glass matrix and isotopically depleted uranium added to increase the uranium 14 elemental concentration across the series. Results for NIST 610 are in excellent agreement with literature values. 15 However, other than atom percent 235U, little information is available for the remaining glasses. We present atom 16 percent and isotope ratios for 234U, 235U, 236U, and 238U for all four glasses. Our results show deviations from the 17 certificate values for the atom percent 235U, indicating the need for further examination of the uranium isotopes in 18 NIST 610-616. Our results are fully consistent with a two isotopic component mixing between the depleted 19 uranium spike and natural uranium in the bulk glass.

  19. U-Pb isotope systematics and age of uranium mineralization, Midnite mine, Washington.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludwig, K. R.; Nash, J.T.; Naeser, C.W.

    1981-01-01

    Uranium ores at the Midnite mine, near Spokane, Washington, occur in phyllites and calcsilicates of the Proterozoic Togo Formation, near the margins of an anomalously uraniferous, porphyritic quartz monzonite of Late Cretaceous age. The present geometry of the ore zones is tabular, with the thickest zones above depressions in the pluton-country rock contact. Analyses of high-grade ores from the mine define a 207 Pb/ 204 Pb- 235 U/ 204 Pb isochron indicating an age of mineralization of 51.0 + or - 0.5 m.y. This age coincides with a time of regional volcanic activity (Sanpoil Volcanics), shallow intrusive activity, erosion, and faulting. U-Th-Pb isotopic ages of zircons from the porphyritic quartz monzonite in the mine indicate an age of about 75 m.y., hence the present orebodies were formed about 24 m.y. after its intrusion. The 51-m.y. time of mineralization probably represents a period of mobilization and redeposition of uranium by supergene ground waters, perhaps aided by mild heating and ground preparation and preserved by a capping of newly accumulated, impermeable volcanic rocks. It seems most likely that the initial concentration of uranium occurred about 75 m.y. ago, probably from relatively mild hydrothermal fluids in the contact-metamorphic aureole of the U-rich porphyritic quartz monzonite.Pitchblende, coffinitc, pyrite, marcasite, and hisingerite are the most common minerals in the uranium-bearing veinlets, with minor sphalerite and chalcopyrite. Coffinitc with associated marcasite is paragenetically later than pitchblende, though textural and isotopic evidence suggests no large difference in the times of pitchblende and colfinite formation.The U-Pb isotope systematics of total ores and of pitchblende-coffinite and pyrite-marcasite separates show that whereas open system behavior for U and Pb is essentially negligible for large (200-500 g) ore samples, Pb migration has occurred on a scale of 1 to 10 mm (out of pitchblende and coffinite and into pyrite

  20. Determination of uranium isotopes in environmental samples by anion exchange in sulfuric and hydrochloric acid media.

    PubMed

    Popov, L

    2016-09-01

    Method for determination of uranium isotopes in various environmental samples is presented. The major advantages of the method are the low cost of the analysis, high radiochemical yields and good decontamination factors from the matrix elements, natural and man-made radionuclides. The separation and purification of uranium is attained by adsorption with strong base anion exchange resin in sulfuric and hydrochloric acid media. Uranium is electrodeposited on a stainless steel disk and measured by alpha spectrometry. The analytical method has been applied for the determination of concentrations of uranium isotopes in mineral, spring and tap waters from Bulgaria. The analytical quality was checked by analyzing reference materials.

  1. Uranium Stable Isotopes: A Proxy For Productivity Or Ocean Oxygenation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Severmann, S.

    2015-12-01

    Uranium elemental abundances in sediments have traditionally been used to reconstruct primary productivity and carbon flux in the ocean. 238U/235U isotope compositions, in contrast, are currently understood to reflect the extent of bottom water anoxia in the ocean. A review of our current understanding of authigenic U enrichment mechanism into reducing sediments suggests that a revision of this interpretation is warranted. Specifically, the current interpretation of U isotope effects in suboxic vs. anoxic deposits has not taken into account the well-documented linear relationship with organic C burial rates. Although organic C rain rates (i.e., surface productivity) and bottom water oxygenation are clearly related, distinction between these two environmental controls is conceptually important as it relates to the mechanism of enhanced C burial and ultimately the strength of the biological pump. Here we will review new and existing data to test the hypothesis that the isotope composition of authigenic U in reducing sediments are best described by their relationship with parameters related to organic carbon delivery and burial, rather than bottom water oxygen concentration.

  2. Isotope fractionation during oxidation of tetravalent uranium by dissolved oxygen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiangli; Johnson, Thomas M.; Lundstrom, Craig C.

    2015-02-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments to investigate isotopic fractionations during oxidation of tetravalent uranium, U(IV), by dissolved oxygen. In hydrochloric acid media with the U(IV) dissolved, the δ238U value of the remaining U(IV) increased as the extent of oxidation increased. The δ238U value of the product U(VI) paralleled, but was offset to 1.1 ± 0.2‰ lower than the remaining U(IV). In contrast, oxidation of solid U(IV) by dissolved oxygen in 20 mM NaHCO3 solution at pH = 9.4 caused only a weak fractionation (∼0.1‰ to 0.3‰), with δ238U being higher in the dissolved U(VI) relative to the solid U(IV). We suggest that isotope fractionation during oxidation of solid U(IV) is inhibited by a "rind effect", where the surface layer of the solid U(IV) must be completely oxidized before the next layer is exposed to oxidant. The necessity of complete conversion of each layer results in minimal isotopic effect. The weak shift in δ238U of U(VI) is attributed to adsorption of part of the product U(VI) to the solid U(IV) surfaces.

  3. Rapid Radiochemical Method for Isotopic Uranium in Building ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Technical Fact Sheet Analysis Purpose: Qualitative analysis Technique: Alpha spectrometry Method Developed for: Uranium-234, uranium-235, and uranium-238 in concrete and brick samples Method Selected for: SAM lists this method for qualitative analysis of uranium-234, uranium-235, and uranium-238 in concrete or brick building materials. Summary of subject analytical method which will be posted to the SAM website to allow access to the method.

  4. Isotope Fractionation of Uranium in Low-Temperature Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stirling, C.; Potter, E.; Andersen, M.; Halliday, A.; Spötl, C.

    2003-12-01

    Uranium is the heaviest naturally occurring element. It has three isotopes, 238U, 235U and 234U, and two redox states, U(IV) and U(VI). Large isotopic fractionations have been previously documented for 234U/238U that are attributed to lattice damage and subsequent preferential leaching and oxidation at the α -recoil site. However, fractionation between 235U and 238U is not expected due to the small ˜1% difference between the masses of these two isotopes. It is therefore usual to assume 238U/ 235U is constant in the terrestrial environment and equal to 137.88. Stable isotope fractionation is normally restricted to the light and intermediate mass elements due to relatively large mass differences of several percent. Recently, however, thallium, a heavy element with stable isotopes at masses 203 and 205, has been shown to display large, permil-level 205Tl/203Tl variability (Rehkamper et al., 2002, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 197, 65). Given their similar redox chemistries, it is not unreasonable to propose that 235U/238U may show similar variability in certain terrestrial environments. We have developed experimental protocols for the precise measurement of 235U/238U by multiple-collector ICPMS (MC-ICPMS) and have analyzed a suite of samples formed in a range of low- and high-temperature environments. Using a Nu Instruments NuPlasma MC-ICPMS, we are able to resolve variations in 235U/238U at the 0.5 ɛ level (2σ ; 1 ɛ = 1 part in 10,000) on sample sizes comprising 30 ng of uranium. Data can be acquired on smaller 4 ng samples with 1-2 epsilon 2σ uncertainties. High quality U measurements are possible because we have used a high-purity 233U-236U double spike to internally monitor the large (percent-level) but essentially constant instrumental mass bias effects that are inherent to plasma source mass spectrometry. The natural variability in 235U/238U shown by the analyzed samples is 13 ɛ units and exceeds the analytical reproducibility by more than an order of

  5. Technology for increasing the uranium-235 isotopic abundance in natural uranium feed on a productive scale

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, E.C.

    1985-04-19

    First, the uses of enriched uranium are discussed, then the technologies for enriching uranium, how these technologies are developed and applied, and the current and future supplies of enriched uranium compared to forecasts of demand are explained. 29 figs.

  6. Uranium isotopes in groundwater occurring at Amazonas State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Márcio Luiz; Bonotto, Daniel Marcos

    2015-03-01

    This paper reports the behavior of the dissolved U-isotopes (238)U and (234)U in groundwater providing from 15 cities in Amazonas State, Brazil. The isotope dilution technique accompanied by alpha spectrometry were utilized for acquiring the U content and (234)U/(238)U activity ratio (AR) data, 0.01-1.4µgL(-1) and 1.0-3.5, respectively. These results suggest that the water is circulating in a reducing environment and leaching strata containing minerals with low uranium concentration. A tendency to increasing ARs values following the groundwater flow direction is identified in Manaus city. The AR also increases according to the SW-NE directions: Uarini→Tefé; Manacapuru→Manaus; Presidente Figueiredo→São Sebastião do Uatumã; and Boa Vista do Ramos→Parintins. Such trends are possibly related to several factors, among them the increasing acid character of the waters. The waters analyzed are used for human consumption and the highest dissolved U content is much lower than the maximum established by the World Health Organization. Therefore, in view of this radiological parameter they can be used for drinking purposes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Isotopic-ratio mass spectrometers for the analysis of uranium hexafluoride

    SciTech Connect

    Sulfridge, C.; Jones, H.C.

    1981-05-06

    Descriptions, including photographs, are presented of the two isotopic-ratio mass spectrometers which have been developed for the analysis of uranium hexafluoride. The objectives were to have these spectrometers meet the sensitivity and precision requirements of development and improvement programs at uranium enrichment facilities, and for universal application to on-stream monitoring of UF/sub 4/ in enrichment facilities.

  8. Laser isotope separation: Uranium. (Latest citations from the NTIS bibliographic database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the technology and assessment of laser separation of uranium isotopes, compounds, oxides, and alloys. Topics include uranium enrichment plants, isotope enriched materials, gaseous diffusion, centrifuge enrichment, reliability and safety, and atomic vapor separation. Citations also discuss commercial enrichment, market trends, licensing, international competition, and waste management. (Contains 50-250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.) (Copyright NERAC, Inc. 1995)

  9. Isotopic investigation of the colloidal mobility of depleted uranium in a podzolic soil.

    PubMed

    Harguindeguy, S; Crançon, P; Pointurier, F; Potin-Gautier, M; Lespes, G

    2014-05-01

    The mobility and colloidal migration of uranium were investigated in a soil where limited amounts of anthropogenic uranium (depleted in the 235U isotope) were deposited, adding to the naturally occurring uranium. The colloidal fraction was assumed to correspond to the operational fraction between 10 kDa and 1.2 μm after (ultra)filtration. Experimental leaching tests indicate that approximately 8-15% of uranium is desorbed from the soil. Significant enrichment of the leachate in the depleted uranium (DU) content indicates that uranium from recent anthropogenic DU deposit is weakly bound to soil aggregates and more mobile than geologically occurring natural uranium (NU). Moreover, 80% of uranium in leachates was located in the colloidal fractions. Nevertheless, the percentage of DU in the colloidal and dissolved fractions suggests that NU is mainly associated with the non-mobile coarser fractions of the soil. A field investigation revealed that the calculated percentages of DU in soil and groundwater samples result in the enhanced mobility of uranium downstream from the deposit area. Colloidal uranium represents between 10% and 32% of uranium in surface water and between 68% and 90% of uranium in groundwater where physicochemical parameters are similar to those of the leachates. Finally, as observed in batch leaching tests, the colloidal fractions of groundwater contain slightly less DU than the dissolved fraction, indicating that DU is primarily associated with macromolecules in dissolved fraction.

  10. Dry Blending to Achieve Isotopic Dilution of Highly Enriched Uranium Oxide Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Henry, Roger Neil; Chipman, Nathan Alan; Rajamani, R. K.

    2001-04-01

    The end of the cold war produced large amounts of excess fissile materials in the United States and Russia. The Department of Energy has initiated numerous activities to focus on identifying material management strategies for disposition of these excess materials. To date, many of these planning strategies have included isotopic dilution of highly enriched uranium as a means of reducing the proliferation and safety risks. Isotopic dilution by dry blending highly enriched uranium with natural and/or depleted uranium has been identified as one non-aqueous method to achieve these risk (proliferation and criticality safety) reductions. This paper reviews the technology of dry blending as applied to free flowing oxide materials.

  11. Isotopic composition analysis and age dating of uranium samples by high resolution gamma ray spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apostol, A. I.; Pantelica, A.; Sima, O.; Fugaru, V.

    2016-09-01

    Non-destructive methods were applied to determine the isotopic composition and the time elapsed since last chemical purification of nine uranium samples. The applied methods are based on measuring gamma and X radiations of uranium samples by high resolution low energy gamma spectrometric system with planar high purity germanium detector and low background gamma spectrometric system with coaxial high purity germanium detector. The ;Multigroup γ-ray Analysis Method for Uranium; (MGAU) code was used for the precise determination of samples' isotopic composition. The age of the samples was determined from the isotopic ratio 214Bi/234U. This ratio was calculated from the analyzed spectra of each uranium sample, using relative detection efficiency. Special attention is paid to the coincidence summing corrections that have to be taken into account when performing this type of analysis. In addition, an alternative approach for the age determination using full energy peak efficiencies obtained by Monte Carlo simulations with the GESPECOR code is described.

  12. On the equilibrium isotopic composition of the thorium-uranium-plutonium fuel cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshalkin, V. Ye.; Povyshev, V. M.

    2016-12-01

    The equilibrium isotopic compositions and the times to equilibrium in the process of thorium-uranium-plutonium oxide fuel recycling in VVER-type reactors using heavy water mixed with light water are estimated. It is demonstrated thEhfat such reactors have a capacity to operate with self-reproduction of active isotopes in the equilibrium mode.

  13. Plutonium, (137)Cs and uranium isotopes in Mongolian surface soils.

    PubMed

    Hirose, K; Kikawada, Y; Igarashi, Y; Fujiwara, H; Jugder, D; Matsumoto, Y; Oi, T; Nomura, M

    2017-01-01

    Plutonium ((238)Pu and (239,240)Pu), (137)Cs and plutonium activity ratios ((238)Pu/(239,240)Pu) as did uranium isotope ratio ((235)U/(238)U) were measured in surface soil samples collected in southeast Mongolia. The (239,240)Pu and (137)Cs concentrations in Mongolian surface soils (<53 μm of particle size) ranged from 0.42 ± 0.03 to 3.53 ± 0.09 mBq g(-1) and from 11.6 ± 0.7 to 102 ± 1 mBq g(-1), respectively. The (238)Pu/(239,240)Pu activity ratios in the surface soils (0.013-0.06) coincided with that of global fallout. The (235)U/(238)U atom ratios in the surface soil show the natural one. There was a good correlation between the (239,240)Pu and (137)Cs concentrations in the surface soils. We introduce the migration depth to have better understanding of migration behaviors of anthropogenic radionuclides in surface soil. We found a difference of the migration behavior between (239,240)Pu and (137)Cs from (137)Cs/(239,240)Pu - (137)Cs plots for the Mongolian and Tsukuba surface soils; plutonium in surface soil is migrated easier than (137)Cs.

  14. High-Precision Isotope Analysis of Uranium and Thorium by TIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neymark, L. A.; Paces, J. B.

    2006-12-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Yucca Mountain Project Branch laboratory in Denver, Colorado, conducts routine high-precision isotope analyses of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) using thermal ionization mass- spectrometry (TIMS). The measurements are conducted by a ThermoFinnigan Triton\\texttrademark equipped with a Faraday multi-collector system and an energy filter in front of an active-film-type secondary electron multiplier (SEM). The abundance sensitivity of the instrument (signal at mass 237 over 238U in natural U) with the energy filter is about 15 ppb and peak tails are reduced by a factor of about 100 relative to the Faraday cup measurements. Since instrument installation in April 2004, more than 500 rock and water samples have been analyzed in support of isotope-geochemical studies for the U.S. Department of Energy`s Yucca Mountain Project. Isotope ratios of sub-nanogram to microgram U and Th samples are measured on graphite-coated single- filament and double-filament assemblies using zone-refined rhenium filaments. Ion beams less than 5 mV are measured with the SEM, which is corrected for non-linearity on the basis of measurements of NIST U-500 and 4321B standards with ion beams ranging from 0.01 to 8 mV. Inter-calibration between the SEM and the Faraday multi-collector is performed for every mass cycle using a 5 mV beam switched between Faraday cup and SEM (bridging technique), because SEM-Faraday inter-calibrations prior to the measurement failed to produce acceptable results. Either natural (^{235}U) or artificial (^{236}U, ^{229}Th) isotopes were used for the bridging. Separate runs are conducted for minor isotopes using SEM only. These techniques result in high within-run precisions of less than 0.1 to 0.2 percent for 234U/238U and 0.2 to 0.5 percent for 230Th/238U. The performance of the instrument is monitored using several U and Th isotope standards. The mean measured 234U/238U in NIST SRM 4321B is (52.879±0.004)×10-6 (95 percent confidence, n

  15. Generalized Modeling of Enrichment Cascades That Include Minor Isotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Charles F

    2012-01-01

    The monitoring of enrichment operations may require innovative analysis to allow for imperfect or missing data. The presence of minor isotopes may help or hurt - they can complicate a calculation or provide additional data to corroborate a calculation. However, they must be considered in a rigorous analysis, especially in cases involving reuse. This study considers matched-abundanceratio cascades that involve at least three isotopes and allows generalized input that does not require all feed assays or the enrichment factor to be specified. Calculations are based on the equations developed for the MSTAR code but are generalized to allow input of various combinations of assays, flows, and other cascade properties. Traditional cascade models have required specification of the enrichment factor, all feed assays, and the product and waste assays of the primary enriched component. The calculation would then produce the numbers of stages in the enriching and stripping sections and the remaining assays in waste and product streams. In cases where the enrichment factor or feed assays were not known, analysis was difficult or impossible. However, if other quantities are known (e.g., additional assays in waste or product streams), a reliable calculation is still possible with the new code, but such nonstandard input may introduce additional numerical difficulties into the calculation. Thus, the minimum input requirements for a stable solution are discussed, and a sample problem with a non-unique solution is described. Both heuristic and mathematically required guidelines are given to assist the application of cascade modeling to situations involving such non-standard input. As a result, this work provides both a calculational tool and specific guidance for evaluation of enrichment cascades in which traditional input data are either flawed or unknown. It is useful for cases involving minor isotopes, especially if the minor isotope assays are desired (or required) to be

  16. Spent fuel temperature and age determination from the analysis of uranium and plutonium isotopics

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Mark R; Eccleston, George W; Bedell, Jeffrey J; Lockard, Chanelle M

    2009-01-01

    The capability to determine the age (time since irradiation) of spent fuel can be useful for verification and safeguards. While the age of spent fuel can be determined based on measurements of short-lived fission products, these measurements are not routinely done nor generally reported. As an alternative, age can also be determined if the uranium (U) and plutonium (Pu) isotopic values are available. Uranium isotopics are not strongly affected by fuel temperature, and bumup is determined from the {sup 235}U and {sup 236}U isotopic values. Age is calculated after estimating the {sup 241}Pu at the end of irradiation while accounting for the fuel temperature, which is determined from {sup 239}Pu or {sup 240}Pu. Burnup and age determinations are calibrated to reactor models that provide uranium and plutonium isotopics over the range of fuel irradiation. The reactor model must contain sufficient fidelity on details of the reactor type, fuel burnup, irradiation history, initial fuel enrichment and fuel temperature to obtain accurate isotopic calculations. If the latter four are unknown, they can be derived from the uranium and plutonium isotopics. Fuel temperature has a significant affect on the production of plutonium isotopics; therefore, one group cross section reactor models, such as ORIGEN, cannot be used for these calculations. Multi-group cross section set codes, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory's TRITON code, must be used.

  17. Uranium Isotope Fractionation during Adsorption, (Co)precipitation, and Biotic Reduction.

    PubMed

    Dang, Duc Huy; Novotnik, Breda; Wang, Wei; Georg, R Bastian; Evans, R Douglas

    2016-12-06

    Uranium contamination of surface environments is a problem associated with both U-ore extraction/processing and situations in which groundwater comes into contact with geological formations high in uranium. Apart from the environmental concerns about U contamination, its accumulation and isotope composition have been used in marine sediments as a paleoproxy of the Earth's oxygenation history. Understanding U isotope geochemistry is then essential either to develop sustainable remediation procedures as well as for use in paleotracer applications. We report on parameters controlling U immobilization and U isotope fractionation by adsorption onto Mn/Fe oxides, precipitation with phosphate, and biotic reduction. The light U isotope ((235)U) is preferentially adsorbed on Mn/Fe oxides in an oxic system. When adsorbed onto Mn/Fe oxides, dissolved organic carbon and carbonate are the most efficient ligands limiting U binding resulting in slight differences in U isotope composition (δ(238)U = 0.22 ± 0.06‰) compared to the DOC/DIC-free configuration (δ(238)U = 0.39 ± 0.04‰). Uranium precipitation with phosphate does not induce isotope fractionation. In contrast, during U biotic reduction, the heavy U isotope ((238)U) is accumulated in reduced species (δ(238)U up to -1‰). The different trends of U isotope fractionation in oxic and anoxic environments makes its isotope composition a useful tracer for both environmental and paleogeochemical applications.

  18. METHOD OF SEPARATING ISOTOPES OF URANIUM IN A CALUTRON

    DOEpatents

    Jenkins, F.A.

    1958-05-01

    Mass separation devices of the calutron type and the use of uranium hexachloride as a charge material in the calutron ion source are described. The method for using this material in a mass separator includes heating the uranium hexachloride to a temperature in the range of 60 to 100 d C in a vacuum and thereby forming a vapor of the material. The vaporized uranium hexachloride is then ionized in a vapor ionizing device for subsequent mass separation processing.

  19. Minor actinide transmutation in thorium and uranium matrices in heavy water moderated reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatti, Zaki; Hyland, B.; Edwards, G.W.R.

    2013-07-01

    The irradiation of Th{sup 232} breeds fewer of the problematic minor actinides (Np, Am, Cm) than the irradiation of U{sup 238}. This characteristic makes thorium an attractive potential matrix for the transmutation of these minor actinides, as these species can be transmuted without the creation of new actinides as is the case with a uranium fuel matrix. Minor actinides are the main contributors to long term decay heat and radiotoxicity of spent fuel, so reducing their concentration can greatly increase the capacity of a long term deep geological repository. Mixing minor actinides with thorium, three times more common in the Earth's crust than natural uranium, has the additional advantage of improving the sustainability of the fuel cycle. In this work, lattice cell calculations have been performed to determine the results of transmuting minor actinides from light water reactor spent fuel in a thorium matrix. 15-year-cooled group-extracted transuranic elements (Np, Pu, Am, Cm) from light water reactor (LWR) spent fuel were used as the fissile component in a thorium-based fuel in a heavy water moderated reactor (HWR). The minor actinide (MA) transmutation rates, spent fuel activity, decay heat and radiotoxicity, are compared with those obtained when the MA were mixed instead with natural uranium and taken to the same burnup. Each bundle contained a central pin containing a burnable neutron absorber whose initial concentration was adjusted to have the same reactivity response (in units of the delayed neutron fraction β) for coolant voiding as standard NU fuel. (authors)

  20. Use of uranium isotopes as a temporal and spatial tracer of nuclear contamination in the environment.

    PubMed

    Tortorello, R; Widom, E; Renwick, W H

    2013-10-01

    The Fernald Feed Materials Production Center (FFMPC) was established in 1951 to process natural uranium (U) ore, enriched uranium (EU) and depleted uranium (DU). This study tests the utility of U isotopic ratios in sediment cores and lichens as indicators of the aerial extent, degree and timing of anthropogenic U contamination, using the FFMPC as a test case. An 80-cm-long sediment core was extracted from an impoundment located approximately 6.7 km southwest of the FFMPC. Elemental concentrations of thorium (2.7-6.2 μg g(-1)) and U (0.33-1.33 μg g(-1)) as well as major and minor U isotopes were analyzed in the core. The lack of measurable (137)Cs in the deepest sample as well as a natural (235)U/(238)U signature and no measurable (236)U, are consistent with pre-FFMPC activity. Anomalously elevated U with respect to Th concentrations occur in seven consecutive samples immediately above the base of the core (62-76 cm depth). Samples with elevated U concentrations also show variable (235)U/(238)U (0.00645-0.00748), and all contain measurable (236)U ((236)U/(238)U = 2.1 × 10(-6)-3.6 × 10(-5)). Correspondence between the known releases of U dust from the FFMPC through time and variations in sediment core U concentrations, (235)U/(238)U and (236)U/(238)U ratios provide evidence for distinct releases of both DU and EU. Furthermore, these relationships demonstrate that the sediment core serves as a robust archive of past environmental U contamination events. Samples in the upper 40 cm display natural (235)U/(238)U, but measurable (236)U/(238)U ((236)U/(238)U = 5.68 × 10(-6)-1.43 × 10(-5)), further indicating the continued presence of anthropogenic U in present-day sediment. Three local lichen samples were also analyzed, and all display either EU or DU signatures coupled with elevated (236)U/(238)U, recording airborne U contamination from the FFMPC.

  1. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry measurement of isotope ratios in depleted uranium contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Seltzer, Michael D

    2003-09-01

    Laser ablation of pressed soil pellets was examined as a means of direct sample introduction to enable inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) screening of soils for residual depleted uranium (DU) contamination. Differentiation between depleted uranium, an anthropogenic contaminant, and naturally occurring uranium was accomplished on the basis of measured 235U/238U isotope ratios. The amount of sample preparation required for laser ablation is considerably less than that typically required for aqueous sample introduction. The amount of hazardous laboratory waste generated is diminished accordingly. During the present investigation, 235U/238U isotope ratios measured for field samples were in good agreement with those derived from gamma spectrometry measurements. However, substantial compensation was required to mitigate the effects of impaired pulse counting attributed to sample inhomogeneity and sporadic introduction of uranium analyte into the plasma.

  2. Neutron-rich isotope production using a uranium carbide - carbon nanotubes SPES target prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corradetti, S.; Biasetto, L.; Manzolaro, M.; Scarpa, D.; Carturan, S.; Andrighetto, A.; Prete, G.; Vasquez, J.; Zanonato, P.; Colombo, P.; Jost, C. U.; Stracener, D. W.

    2013-05-01

    The SPES (Selective Production of Exotic Species) project, under development at the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare - Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro (INFN-LNL), is a new-generation Isotope Separation On-Line (ISOL) facility for the production of radioactive ion beams by means of the proton-induced fission of uranium. In the framework of the research on the SPES target, seven uranium carbide discs, obtained by reacting uranium oxide with graphite and carbon nanotubes, were irradiated with protons at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility (HRIBF) of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In the following, the yields of several fission products obtained during the experiment are presented and discussed. The experimental results are then compared to those obtained using a standard uranium carbide target. The reported data highlights the capability of the new type of SPES target to produce and release isotopes of interest for the nuclear physics community.

  3. The jackknife as an approach for uncertainty assessment in gamma spectrometric measurements of uranium isotope ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramebäck, H.; Vesterlund, A.; Tovedal, A.; Nygren, U.; Wallberg, L.; Holm, E.; Ekberg, C.; Skarnemark, G.

    2010-08-01

    The jackknife as an approach for uncertainty estimation in gamma spectrometric uranium isotope ratio measurements was evaluated. Five different materials ranging from depleted uranium (DU) to high enriched uranium (HEU) were measured using gamma spectrometry. High resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) was used as a reference method for comparing the results obtained with the gamma spectrometric method. The relative combined uncertainty in the gamma spectrometric measurements of the 238U/ 235U isotope ratio using the jackknife was about 10-20% ( k = 2), which proved to be fit-for-purpose in order to distinguish between different uranium categories. Moreover, the enrichment of 235U in HEU could be measured with an uncertainty of 1-2%.

  4. Investigation of sulphur isotope variation due to different processes applied during uranium ore concentrate production.

    PubMed

    Krajkó, Judit; Varga, Zsolt; Wallenius, Maria; Mayer, Klaus; Konings, Rudy

    The applicability and limitations of sulphur isotope ratio as a nuclear forensic signature have been studied. The typically applied leaching methods in uranium mining processes were simulated for five uranium ore samples and the n((34)S)/n((32)S) ratios were measured. The sulphur isotope ratio variation during uranium ore concentrate (UOC) production was also followed using two real-life sample sets obtained from industrial UOC production facilities. Once the major source of sulphur is revealed, its appropriate application for origin assessment can be established. Our results confirm the previous assumption that process reagents have a significant effect on the n((34)S)/n((32)S) ratio, thus the sulphur isotope ratio is in most cases a process-related signature.

  5. Influence of uncertainties of isotopic composition of the reprocessed uranium on effectiveness of its enrichment in gas centrifuge cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, A. Yu; Mustafin, A. R.; Nevinitsa, V. A.; Sulaberidze, G. A.; Dudnikov, A. A.; Gusev, V. E.

    2017-01-01

    The effect of the uncertainties of the isotopic composition of the reprocessed uranium on its enrichment process in gas centrifuge cascades while diluting it by adding low-enriched uranium (LEU) and waste uranium. It is shown that changing the content of 232U and 236U isotopes in the initial reprocessed uranium within 15% (rel.) can significantly change natural uranium consumption and separative work (up to 2-3%). However, even in case of increase of these parameters is possible to find the ratio of diluents, where the cascade with three feed flows (depleted uranium, LEU and reprocessed uranium) will be more effective than ordinary separation cascade with one feed point for producing LEU from natural uranium.

  6. Method and apparatus for storing hydrogen isotopes. [stored as uranium hydride in a block of copper

    DOEpatents

    McMullen, J.W.; Wheeler, M.G.; Cullingford, H.S.; Sherman, R.H.

    1982-08-10

    An improved method and apparatus for storing isotopes of hydrogen (especially tritium) are provided. The hydrogen gas is stored as hydrides of material (for example uranium) within boreholes in a block of copper. The mass of the block is critically important to the operation, as is the selection of copper, because no cooling pipes are used. Because no cooling pipes are used, there can be no failure due to cooling pipes. And because copper is used instead of stainless steel, a significantly higher temperature can be reached before the eutectic formation of uranium with copper occurs, (the eutectic of uranium with the iron in stainless steel forms at a significantly lower temperature).

  7. Two-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy of uranium isotopes in femtosecond laser ablation plumes

    DOE PAGES

    Phillips, Mark C.; Brumfield, Brian E.; LaHaye, Nicole; ...

    2017-06-19

    Here, we demonstrate measurement of uranium isotopes in femtosecond laser ablation plumes using two-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy (2DFS). The high-resolution, tunable CW-laser spectroscopy technique clearly distinguishes atomic absorption from 235U and 238U in natural and highly enriched uranium metal samples. We present analysis of spectral resolution and analytical performance of 2DFS as a function of ambient pressure. Simultaneous measurement using time-resolved absorption spectroscopy provides information on temporal dynamics of the laser ablation plume and saturation behavior of fluorescence signals. The rapid, non-contact measurement is promising for in-field, standoff measurements of uranium enrichment for nuclear safety and security.

  8. Two-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy of uranium isotopes in femtosecond laser ablation plumes.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Mark C; Brumfield, Brian E; LaHaye, Nicole; Harilal, Sivanandan S; Hartig, Kyle C; Jovanovic, Igor

    2017-06-19

    We demonstrate measurement of uranium isotopes in femtosecond laser ablation plumes using two-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy (2DFS). The high-resolution, tunable CW-laser spectroscopy technique clearly distinguishes atomic absorption from (235)U and (238)U in natural and highly enriched uranium metal samples. We present analysis of spectral resolution and analytical performance of 2DFS as a function of ambient pressure. Simultaneous measurement using time-resolved absorption spectroscopy provides information on temporal dynamics of the laser ablation plume and saturation behavior of fluorescence signals. The rapid, non-contact measurement is promising for in-field, standoff measurements of uranium enrichment for nuclear safety and security.

  9. Isotope fractionation of 238U and 235U during biologically-mediated uranium reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stirling, Claudine H.; Andersen, Morten B.; Warthmann, Rolf; Halliday, Alex N.

    2015-08-01

    A series of laboratory-controlled microbial experiments using gram-negative sulphate-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio brasiliensis) inoculated with natural uranium were performed to investigate 238U/235U fractionation during bacterially-mediated U reduction. Control experiments, without bacteria to drive U reduction, were conducted in parallel. Paired measurements of 238U/235U and U concentration for both the residual growth medium solution and the accumulated biologically-mediated precipitate were obtained using multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The control experiments show that only minor (<0.1‰), if any 238U/235U fractionation occurs during co-precipitation with calcite. This implies that carbonate sediments are capable of faithfully recording the signature of the global ocean during Earth's major climatic events, including oxygenation and de-oxygenation transitions in the marine environment. The results for the microbial experiments demonstrate that the 238U/235U composition of the unreacted growth medium containing U(VI) is isotopically lighter than the composition of the U(IV)-bearing precipitate as U(VI) is consumed, in agreement with field-based observations of microbially-mediated U reduction. Uranium isotopic shifts of up to 0.8‰ were observed between the liquid and solid phases. These observations can be modelled using a Rayleigh distillation approach describing kinetic uptake in a closed system, which yields a fractionation factor α of 0.99923 ± 0.00004 (ε = -0.77 ± 04‰) for U(VI)-U(IV) reduction mediated by the D. brasiliensis microbe. This fractionation behaviour is consistent with that observed in field-based redox environments, which give rise to similar α values. Competing processes such as U co-precipitation (e.g. adsorption) may act to lower the apparent value for α and possibly play a secondary role both in the microbial experiments of this study and in natural U reduction settings where

  10. Development of U isotope fractionation as an indictor or U(VI) reduction in uranium plumes

    SciTech Connect

    Lundstrom, Craig; Johnson, Thomas

    2016-02-16

    This is the final report for a university research project that advanced development of a new technology for identifying chemical reduction of uranium contamination in groundwater at the Rifle Field Challenge site. Reduction changes mobile hexavalent uranium into immobile U(IV). The stable isotope ratio (238U/235U) measurements of U using multicollector ICP-mass spectrometry were performed to understand the chemical reduction and sorption processes during various field experiments. In addition laboratory experiments were performed to better understand the isotopic fractionations. The main objectives of this project were completed during the project period and two peer-reviewed articles were published to disseminate the information gained.

  11. Selective Isotope Determination of Uranium using HR-RIMS

    SciTech Connect

    Raeder, S.; Fies, S.; Wendt, K. D. A.; Tomita, H.

    2009-03-17

    The detection of lowest abundances of the ultra trace isotope {sup 236}U in environmental samples requires an efficient detection method which allows a high elemental and isotopic selectivity to suppress neighbouring isotopes of the same element and other background. High Resolution Laser Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (HR-RIMS) uses the individual electron structure of each isotope to provide an outstanding element and isotope selective ionization.

  12. High Useful Yield and Isotopic Analysis of Uranium by Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Savina, Michael R; Isselhardt, Brett H; Kucher, Andrew; Trappitsch, Reto; King, Bruce V; Ruddle, David; Gopal, Raja; Hutcheon, Ian

    2017-06-06

    Useful yields from resonance ionization mass spectrometry can be extremely high compared to other mass spectrometry techniques, but uranium analysis shows strong matrix effects arising from the tendency of uranium to form strongly bound oxide molecules that do not dissociate appreciably on energetic ion bombardment. We demonstrate a useful yield of 24% for metallic uranium. Modeling the laser ionization and ion transmission processes shows that the high useful yield is attributable to a high ion fraction achieved by resonance ionization. We quantify the reduction of uranium oxide surface layers by Ar(+) and Ga(+) sputtering. The useful yield for uranium atoms from a uranium dioxide matrix is 0.4% and rises to 2% when the surface is in sputter equilibrium with the ion beam. The lower useful yield from the oxide is almost entirely due to uranium oxide molecules reducing the neutral atom content of the sputtered flux. We demonstrate rapid isotopic analysis of solid uranium oxide at a precision of <0.5% relative standard deviation using relatively broadband lasers to mitigate spectroscopic fractionation.

  13. Uranium Elemental and Isotopic Constraints on Groundwater Flow Beneath the Nopal I Uranium Deposit, Pena Blanca, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    S.J. Goldstein; M.T. Murrell; A.M. Simmons

    2005-07-11

    The Nopal I uranium deposit in Chihuahua, Mexico, is an excellent analogue for evaluating the fate of spent fuel, associated actinides, and fission products over long time scales for the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository. In 2003, three groundwater wells were drilled directly adjacent to (PB-1) and 50 m on either side of the uranium deposit (PB-2 and PB-3) in order to evaluate uranium-series transport in three dimensions. After drilling, uranium concentrations were elevated in all of the three wells (0.1-18 ppm) due to drilling activities and subsequently decreased to {approx}5-20% of initial values over the next several months. The {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U activity ratios were similar for PB-1 and PB-2 (1.005 to 1.079) but distinct for PB-3 (1.36 to 1.83) over this time period, suggesting limited mixing between groundwater from these wells over these short time and length scales. Regional groundwater wells located up to several km from the deposit also have distinct uranium isotopic characteristics and constrain mixing over larger length and time scales. We model the decreasing uranium concentrations in the newly drilled wells with a simple one-dimensional advection-dispersion model, assuming uranium is introduced as a slug to each of the wells and transported as a conservative tracer. Using this model for our data, the relative uranium concentrations are dependent on both the longitudinal dispersion as well as the mean groundwater flow velocity. These parameters have been found to be correlated in both laboratory and field studies of groundwater velocity and dispersion (Klotz et al., 1980). Using typical relationships between velocity and dispersion for field and laboratory studies along with the relationship observed from our uranium data, both velocity (1-10 n/yr) and dispersion coefficient (1E-5 to 1E-2 cm{sup 2}/s) can be derived from the modeling. As discussed above, these relatively small flow velocities and dispersivities agree with

  14. Uranium Measurement Improvements at the Savannah River Technology Center

    SciTech Connect

    Shick, C. Jr.

    2002-02-13

    Uranium isotope ratio and isotope dilution methods by mass spectrometry are used to achieve sensitivity, precision and accuracy for various applications. This report presents recent progress made at SRTC in the analysis of minor isotopes of uranium. Comparison of routine measurements of NBL certified uranium (U005a) using the SRTC Three Stage Mass Spectrometer (3SMS) and the SRTC Single Stage Mass Spectrometer (SSMS). As expected, the three stage mass spectrometer yielded superior sensitivity, precision, and accuracy for this application.

  15. Uranium and Calcium Isotope Ratio Measurements using the Modified Total Evaporation Method in TIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, S.; Kuehn, H.; Berglund, M.; Hennessy, C.

    2010-12-01

    A new version of the "modified total evaporation" (MTE) method for isotopic analysis by multi-collector thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), with high analytical performance and designed in a more user-friendly and routinely applicable way, is described in detail. It is mainly being used for nuclear safeguards measurements of U and Pu and nuclear metrology, but can readily be applied to other scientific tasks in geochemistry, e.g. for Sr, Nd and Ca, as well. The development of the MTE method was organized in collaboration of several "key nuclear mass spectrometry laboratories", namely the New Brunswick Laboratory (NBL), the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU), the Safeguards Analytical Laboratory (now Safeguards Analytical Services, SGAS) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM), with IRMM taking the leading role. The manufacturer of the TRITON TIMS instrument, Thermo Fisher Scientific, integrated this method into the software of the instrument. The development has now reached its goal to become a user-friendly and routinely useable method for uranium isotope ratio measurements with high precision and accuracy. Due to the use of the “total evaporation” (TE) method the measurement of the "major" uranium isotope ratio 235U/238U is routinely being performed with a precision of 0.01% to 0.02%. The use of a (certified) reference material measured under comparable conditions is emphasized to achieve an accuracy at a level of 0.02% - depending on the stated uncertainty of the certified value of the reference material. In contrast to the total evaporation method (TE), in the MTE method the total evaporation sequence is interrupted on a regular basis to allow for correction for background from peak tailing, internal calibration of a secondary electron multiplier (SEM) detector versus the Faraday cups, and ion source re-focusing. Therefore, the most significant improvement using the

  16. Graphite Isotope Ratio Method Development Report: Irradiation Test Demonstration of Uranium as a Low Fluence Indicator

    SciTech Connect

    Reid, B.D.; Gerlach, D.C.; Love, E.F.; McNeece, J.P.; Livingston, J.V.; Greenwood, L.R.; Petersen, S.L.; Morgan, W.C.

    1999-10-20

    This report describes an irradiation test designed to investigate the suitability of uranium as a graphite isotope ratio method (GIRM) low fluence indicator. GIRM is a demonstrated concept that gives a graphite-moderated reactor's lifetime production based on measuring changes in the isotopic ratio of elements known to exist in trace quantities within reactor-grade graphite. Appendix I of this report provides a tutorial on the GIRM concept.

  17. Preparation of electrodeless discharge lamps for emission studies of uranium isotopes at trace level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhowmick, G. K.; Verma, R.; Verma, M. K.; Raman, V. A.; Joshi, A. R.; Deo, M. N.; Gantayet, L. M.; Tiwari, A. K.; Ramakumar, K. L.; Kumar, Navin

    2010-12-01

    A simplified method for preparation of electrodeless discharge lamp for uranium isotopes with specific concerns for 232U is described. Micro-gram quantities of solid uranium oxides and aqueous solution of uranium nitrate have been used as a starting material for in situ synthesis of uranium tetraiodide. High temperature iodination reaction is carried out in the presence of inert gas neon. By careful design, the preparation time and surface area of quartz reaction tubes have been reduced considerably. The latter decreases the level of contamination which has a direct bearing on the operational lifetime of the lamps. Incorporation of steps to purify the product from an unwanted material improved the stability of the lamps. The procedure provides a safe and convenient way of handling 232U in particular but can be extended in general to any actinides having radioactivity similar to that of freshly separated 232U. Characteristic emission of uranium isotopes have been recorded by Fourier Transform Spectrometer to show the satisfactory operation of the lamps as well as their usage for studying emission spectra of the specific isotope.

  18. Isotopes of uranium and plutonium in the atmosphere. [Cosmos-954 fall in Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Sakuragi, Y.

    1982-01-01

    The activities of /sup 234/U, /sup 235/U and /sup 238/U were measured in 24 individual rain samples and two composite rains collected at Fayetteville, Arkansas, during the months of March 1979 and March 1980 through May 1981. Uranium-234 and -235 were found to be highly enriched in several rain samples collected during the months of April and May 1980. Uranium-238 concentrations, on the other hand, were unusually high during the months of July, August and early September 1980. The concentrations of /sup 238/Pu and /sup 238/ /sup 240/Pu were measured in 76 individual rain samples and two composite rains which were collected at Fayetteville, Arkansas, during the period from February 1979 through December 1980. Plutonium-238 and plutonium-239,240 concentrations were found to be extremely high during the months of July, August and early September 1980. The anomalous uranium highly enriched in the light isotopes of uranium appears to have originated from the Soviet satellite Cosmos-954 which fell over Canada on 24 January 1978. The uranium fallout occurred just about the time Mount St. Helens erupted on 18 May 1980 and began to inject a large amount of natural uranium into the atmosphere. The pattern of variations of the concentrations of /sup 238/U in rain after the eruption of Mount St. Helens was found to be similar to that of plutonium isotopes.

  19. Application of lead and strontium isotope ratio measurements for the origin assessment of uranium ore concentrates.

    PubMed

    Varga, Zsolt; Wallenius, Maria; Mayer, Klaus; Keegan, Elizabeth; Millet, Sylvain

    2009-10-15

    Lead and strontium isotope ratios were used for the origin assessment of uranium ore concentrates (yellow cakes) for nuclear forensic purposes. A simple and low-background sample preparation method was developed for the simultaneous separation of the analytes followed by the measurement of the isotope ratios by multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The lead isotopic composition of the ore concentrates suggests applicability for the verification of the source of the nuclear material and by the use of the radiogenic (207)Pb/(206)Pb ratio the age of the raw ore material can be calculated. However, during data interpretation, the relatively high variation of the lead isotopic composition within the mine site and the generally high contribution of natural lead as technological contamination have to be carefully taken into account. The (87)Sr/(86)Sr isotope ratio is less prone to the variation within one mine site and less affected by the production process, thus it was found to be a more purposeful indicator for the origin assessment and source verification than the lead. The lead and strontium isotope ratios measured and the methodology developed provide information on the initial raw uranium ore used, and thus they can be used for source attribution of the uranium ore concentrates.

  20. Distribution and isotopic composition of uranium in lower Nueces River, Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holmes, Charles W.; Slade, Elizabeth Ann

    1972-01-01

    The uranium concentration and isotopic composition of water and suspended sediment from the Nueces River, Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay were determined by alpha-spectroscopy. The average dissolved uranium concentration and radioactivity ratio (U234/U238) of Nueces River water were determined to be 2.44 µg/1 and 1.15 respectively. Water from a tributary of the Nueces River, Cayamon Creek, was found to contain an average dissolved uranium concentration of 42.8 µg/1 with an isotopic radioactivity ratio of 1.56. Close inspection of the lateral concentration and isotopic activity ratio of uranium revealed an increase below the confluence of Cayamon Creek with the Nueces River. A model was derived based on equations used in isotopic dilution analysis, which predicts these increases within analytical error. This model may be useful in future studies to locate anomalous uranium within the hydrologic environment.

  1. Determination of the uranium content and isotopic composition of hot particles after the Chernobyl accident

    SciTech Connect

    Lyul, A.Yu.; Kolesov, G.M.

    1995-11-01

    The uranium content and isotopic composition of hot particles from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant region were determined by instrumental neutron-activation analysis. The uranium content of the particles ranged from fractions of a percent to several tens of percents, and the isotopic composition corresponded to the irradiated nuclear fuel. Two particles with anomalously high enrichment in {sup 235}U were found. A simplified but reasonably accurate and rapid method for evaluating the {sup 235}U content of nuclear fuel without using a standard was suggested on the basis of the relationship found between the {sup 235}U content of uranium contained in the hot particles and the ratio of induced radioactivity {sup 239}Np({sup 238}U)/{sup 99}Mo({sup 235}U).

  2. Application of neodymium isotope ratio measurements for the origin assessment of uranium ore concentrates.

    PubMed

    Krajkó, Judit; Varga, Zsolt; Yalcintas, Ezgi; Wallenius, Maria; Mayer, Klaus

    2014-11-01

    A novel procedure has been developed for the measurement of (143)Nd/(144)Nd isotope ratio in various uranium-bearing materials, such as uranium ores and ore concentrates (UOC) in order to evaluate the usefulness and applicability of variations of (143)Nd/(144)Nd isotope ratio for provenance assessment in nuclear forensics. Neodymium was separated and pre-concentrated by extraction chromatography and then the isotope ratios were measured by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). The method was validated by the measurement of standard reference materials (La Jolla, JB-2 and BCR-2) and the applicability of the procedure was demonstrated by the analysis of uranium samples of world-wide origin. The investigated samples show distinct (143)Nd/(144)Nd ratio depending on the ore type, deposit age and Sm/Nd ratio. Together with other characteristics of the material in question, the Nd isotope ratio is a promising signature for nuclear forensics and suggests being indicative of the source material, the uranium ore.

  3. Uranium Isotopic Fractionation Induced by U(VI) Adsorption onto Common Aquifer Minerals.

    PubMed

    Jemison, N E; Johnson, T M; Shiel, A E; Lundstrom, C C

    2016-11-15

    Uranium groundwater contamination due to U mining and processing affects numerous sites globally. Bioreduction of soluble, mobile U(VI) to U(IV)-bearing solids is potentially a very effective remediation strategy. Uranium isotopes ((238)U/(235)U) have been utilized to track the progress of microbial reduction, with laboratory and field studies finding a ∼1‰ isotopic fractionation, with the U(IV) product enriched in (238)U. However, the isotopic fractionation produced by adsorption may complicate the use of (238)U/(235)U to trace microbial reduction. A previous study found that adsorption of U(VI) onto Mn oxides produced a -0.2‰ fractionation with the adsorbed U(VI) depleted in (238)U. In this study, adsorption to quartz, goethite, birnessite, illite, and aquifer sediments induced an average isotopic fractionation of -0.15‰ with the adsorbed U(VI) isotopically lighter than coexisting aqueous U(VI). In bicarbonate-bearing matrices, the fractionation depended little on the nature of the sorbent, with only birnessite producing an atypically large fractionation. In the case of solutions with ionic strengths much lower than those of typical groundwater, less isotopic fractionation was produced than U(VI) solutions with greater ionic strength. Studies using U isotope data to assess U(VI) reduction must consider adsorption as a lesser, but significant isotope fractionation process.

  4. High Useful Yield and Isotopic Analysis of Uranium by Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry

    DOE PAGES

    Savina, Michael R.; Isselhardt, Brett H.; Kucher, Andrew; ...

    2017-05-09

    Useful yields from resonance ionization mass spectrometry can be extremely high compared to other mass spectrometry techniques, but uranium analysis shows strong matrix effects arising from the tendency of uranium to form strongly bound oxide molecules that do not dissociate appreciably on energetic ion bombardment. Here, we demonstrate a useful yield of 24% for metallic uranium. Modeling the laser ionization and ion transmission processes shows that the high useful yield is attributable to a high ion fraction achieved by resonance ionization. We quantify the reduction of uranium oxide surface layers by Ar+ and Ga+ sputtering. The useful yield for uraniummore » atoms from a uranium dioxide matrix is 0.4% and rises to 2% when the surface is in sputter equilibrium with the ion beam. The lower useful yield from the oxide is almost entirely due to uranium oxide molecules reducing the neutral atom content of the sputtered flux. We also demonstrate rapid isotopic analysis of solid uranium oxide at a precision of <0.5% relative standard deviation using relatively broadband lasers to mitigate spectroscopic fractionation.« less

  5. Accuracy in the isotope dilution mass spectrometry of uranium in rubidium uranium sulphate Rb[sub 2]U(SO[sub 4])[sub 3

    SciTech Connect

    Ramakumar, K.L.; Jeyakumar, S.; Raman, V.A.; Gnanayyan, L.; Rao, R.; Saxena, M.K.; Kavimandan, V.D.; Jain, H.C. )

    1993-05-01

    Problems encountered in the determination of uranium in rubidium uranium sulphate (Rb[sub 2]U(SO[sub 4])[sub 3]) employing isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) are discussed. The positive bias of 0.2 to 0.3% in the determination of uranium in Rb[sub 2]U(SO[sub 4])[sub 3] by ID-TIMS with respect to the stoichiometric composition has been resolved by modifying the chemical exchange procedures. The concentration of uranium in Rb[sub 2]U(SO[sub 4])[sub 3] could be determined with an accuracy better than 0.1% employing the HClO[sub 4] treatment for proper isotopic exchange between the spike and sample isotopes. 12 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs.

  6. A method for the rapid radiochemical analysis of uranium and thorium isotopes in impure carbonates.

    PubMed

    Elyahyaoui, A; Zarki, R; Chiadli, A

    2003-01-01

    A simple method combining solvent extraction and electrodeposition procedures is described for the determination of the isotopic composition and content of uranium and thorium in travertine samples. The actinide elements are extracted with diethyl ether from a calcium nitrate solution. The isolation of the elements and the alpha source preparation are performed in two steps after the sample digestion. The acid leaching of samples is performed using both partial and total dissolution methods. High recoveries of both uranium and thorium and good alpha-spectra are obtained with both partial and total dissolution methods. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  7. The importance of colloids and mires for the transport of uranium isotopes through the Kalix River watershed and Baltic Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Porcelli, D.; Wasserburg, G.J.; Andersson, P.S.

    1997-10-01

    The importance of colloids and organic deposits for the transport of uranium isotopes from continental source regions and through the estuarine environment was investigated in the mire-rich Kalix River drainage basin in northern Sweden and the Baltic Sea. Ultrafiltration techniques were used to separate uranium and other elements associated with colloids > 10 kD and >3 kD from {open_quotes}solute{close_quotes} uranium and provided consistent results and high recovery rates for uranium as well as for other elements from large volume samples. Uranium concentrations in 0.45 {mu}m-filtered Kalix River water samples increased by a factor of 3 from near the headwaters in the Caledonides to the river mouth while major cation concentrations were relatively constant. {sup 234}U {sup 238}U ratios were high ({delta}{sup 234}U = 770-1500) throughout the basin, without showing any simple pattern, and required a supply of {sup 234}U-rich water. Throughout the Kalix River, a large fraction (30-90%) of the uranium is carried by >10 kD colloids, which is compatible with uranium complexation with humic acids. No isotopic differences were found between colloid-associated and solute uranium. Within the Baltic Sea, about half of the uranium is removed at low salinities. The proportion that is lost is equivalent to that of river-derived colloid-bound uranium, suggesting that while solute uranium behaves conservatively during estuarine mixing, colloid-bound uranium is lost due to rapid flocculation of colloidal material. The association of uranium with colloids therefore may be an important parameter in determining uranium estuarine behavior. Mire peats in the Kalix River highly concentrate uranium and are potentially a significant source of recoil {sup 234}U to the mirewaters and river waters. However, mirewater data clearly demonstrate that only small {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U shifts are generated relative to inflowing groundwater. 63 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  8. Evidence of isotopic fractionation of natural uranium in cultured human cells

    PubMed Central

    Paredes, Eduardo; Avazeri, Emilie; Malard, Véronique; Vidaud, Claude; Reiller, Pascal E.; Ortega, Richard; Nonell, Anthony; Isnard, Hélène; Chartier, Frédéric; Bresson, Carole

    2016-01-01

    The study of the isotopic fractionation of endogen elements and toxic heavy metals in living organisms for biomedical applications, and for metabolic and toxicological studies, is a cutting-edge research topic. This paper shows that human neuroblastoma cells incorporated small amounts of uranium (U) after exposure to 10 µM natural U, with preferential uptake of the 235U isotope with regard to 238U. Efforts were made to develop and then validate a procedure for highly accurate n(238U)/n(235U) determinations in microsamples of cells. We found that intracellular U is enriched in 235U by 0.38 ± 0.13‰ (2σ, n = 7) relative to the exposure solutions. These in vitro experiments provide clues for the identification of biological processes responsible for uranium isotopic fractionation and link them to potential U incorporation pathways into neuronal cells. Suggested incorporation processes are a kinetically controlled process, such as facilitated transmembrane diffusion, and the uptake through a high-affinity uranium transport protein involving the modification of the uranyl (UO22+) coordination sphere. These findings open perspectives on the use of isotopic fractionation of metals in cellular models, offering a probe to track uptake/transport pathways and to help decipher associated cellular metabolic processes. PMID:27872304

  9. Evidence of isotopic fractionation of natural uranium in cultured human cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paredes, Eduardo; Avazeri, Emilie; Malard, Véronique; Vidaud, Claude; Reiller, Pascal E.; Ortega, Richard; Nonell, Anthony; Isnard, Hélène; Chartier, Frédéric; Bresson, Carole

    2016-12-01

    The study of the isotopic fractionation of endogen elements and toxic heavy metals in living organisms for biomedical applications, and for metabolic and toxicological studies, is a cutting-edge research topic. This paper shows that human neuroblastoma cells incorporated small amounts of uranium (U) after exposure to 10 µM natural U, with preferential uptake of the 235U isotope with regard to 238U. Efforts were made to develop and then validate a procedure for highly accurate n(238U)/n(235U) determinations in microsamples of cells. We found that intracellular U is enriched in 235U by 0.38 ± 0.13‰ (2σ, n = 7) relative to the exposure solutions. These in vitro experiments provide clues for the identification of biological processes responsible for uranium isotopic fractionation and link them to potential U incorporation pathways into neuronal cells. Suggested incorporation processes are a kinetically controlled process, such as facilitated transmembrane diffusion, and the uptake through a high-affinity uranium transport protein involving the modification of the uranyl (UO22+) coordination sphere. These findings open perspectives on the use of isotopic fractionation of metals in cellular models, offering a probe to track uptake/transport pathways and to help decipher associated cellular metabolic processes.

  10. EPA Method EMSL-33: Isotopic Determination of Plutonium, Uranium, and Thorium in Water, Soil, Air, and Biological Tissue

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    SAM lists this method to provide for the analysis of isotopic plutonium, uranium and thorium, together or individually, in drinking water, aqueous/liquid, soil/sediment, surface wipe and/or air filter samples by alpha spectrometry.

  11. Analysis of Concentrated Uranium Ores Using Stable Isotopes and Elemental Concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, D. L.; Riciputi, L. R.; Buerger, S.; Horita, J.; Bostick, D.

    2006-12-01

    The illicit trafficking of nuclear materials presents a continuing threat to national and international security. Various geochemical characteristics of yellowcake (concentrated uranium ore) could potentially provide information on the geologic, geographic, and processing origin of the ore. We have been focusing on investigating the potential of stable isotope analyses, namely carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, to provide "forensic" information about ore environment and artificial processing methods used to concentrate the uranium ore. Stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen was performed using a Costech elemental analyzer (EA) attached to a Finnigan Mat 252 mass spectrometer. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes can be characteristic of the processing agents used to concentrate the uranium ore. Oxygen analysis was performed using a ThermoFinnigan thermal conversion elemental analyzer (TCEA) attached to a Finnigan Mat 252 mass spectrometer at ORNL. In addition to the stable isotope analyses, elemental concentrations were analyzed using time-of-flight ICP-MS, and uranium isotope composition measured using MC-ICP-MS. Results from a number of yellowcake samples will be presented, illustrating the potential of geochemical characteristics to distinguish among different types of samples. Research sponsored by the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security (NA-24), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), U.S. Department of Energy, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed and operated by UT-Battelle, LLC. The submitted manuscript has been authored by a contractor of the U.S. Government under contract No. DE- AC05-00OR22725. Accordingly, the U.S. Government retains a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published form of this contribution, or allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes.

  12. Investigation of the Photochemical Method for Uranium Isotope Separation

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Urey, H. C.

    1943-07-10

    To find a process for successful photochemical separation of isotopes several conditions have to be fulfilled. First, the different isotopes have to show some differences in the spectrum. Secondly, and equally important, this difference must be capable of being exploited in a photochemical process. Parts A and B outline the physical and chemical conditions, and the extent to which one might expect to find them fulfilled. Part C deals with the applicability of the process.

  13. The importance of colloids and mires for the transport of uranium isotopes through the Kalix River watershed and Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porcelli, D.; Andersson, P. S.; Wasserburg, G. J.; Ingri, J.; Baskaran, M.

    1997-10-01

    The importance of colloids and organic deposits for the transport of uranium isotopes from continental source regions and through the estuarine environment was investigated in the mire-rich Kalix River drainage basin in northern Sweden and the Baltic Sea. Ultrafiltration techniques were used to separate uranium and other elements associated with colloids > 10 kD and >3 kD from "solute" uranium and provided consistent results and high recovery rates for uranium as well as for other elements from large volume samples. Uranium concentrations in 0.45 μm-filtered Kalix River water samples increased by a factor of 3 from near the headwaters in the Caledonides to the river mouth while major cation concentrations were relatively constant. 234U/238U ratios were high ( δ234U = 770-1500) throughout the basin, without showing any simple pattern, and required a supply of 234U-rich water. Throughout the Kalix River, a large fraction (30-90%) of the uranium is carried by >10 kD colloids, which is compatible with uranium complexation with humic acids. No isotopic differences were found between colloid-associated and solute uranium. Within the Baltic Sea, about half of the uranium is removed at low salinities. The proportion that is lost is equivalent to that of river-derived colloid-bound uranium, suggesting that while solute uranium behaves conservatively during estuarine mixing, colloid-bound uranium is lost due to rapid flocculation of colloidal material. The association of uranium with colloids therefore may be an important parameter in determining uranium estuarine behavior. Mire peats in the Kalix River highly concentrate uranium and are potentially a significant source of recoil 234U to the mirewaters and river waters. However, mirewater data clearly demonstrate that only small 234U/238U shifts are generated relative to inflowing groundwater. A simple box model of uranium accumulation in peat and transport through the mire that is compatible with the mire data

  14. Minor element and Ca isotope composition of calcareous dinoflagellate cysts of cultured Thoracosphaera heimii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gussone, Nikolaus; Zonneveld, Karin; Kuhnert, Henning

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the influences of temperature, salinity and pH on the calcium isotope as well as trace and minor element (uranium, strontium, magnesium) to Ca ratios on calcium carbonate cysts of the calcareous dinoflagellate species Thoracosphaera heimii grown in laboratory cultures. The natural habitat of this species is the photic zone (preferentially at the chlorophyll maximum depth) of temperate to tropical oceans, and it is abundant in deep-sea sediments over the entire Cenozoic. In our experiments, temperatures ranged from 12 to 30 °C, salinity from 36.5 to 38.8 and pH from 7.9 to 8.4. The δ44/40Ca of T. heimii cysts resembles that of other marine calcifiers, including coccolithophores, foraminifers and corals. However, its temperature sensitivity is considerably smaller and statistically insignificant, and T. heimii might serve as a recorder of changes in seawater δ44/40Ca over geologic time. The Sr/Ca ratios of T. heimii cysts show a pronounced temperature sensitivity (0.016 mmol/mol °C - 1 ) and have the potential to serve as a palaeo-sea surface temperature proxy. No clear temperature- and pH-dependences were observed for Mg/Ca. U/Ca seems to be influenced by temperature and pH, but the correlations change sign at 23 °C and pH 8.2, respectively.

  15. Determination of uranium isotopes in food and environmental samples by different techniques: a comparison.

    PubMed

    Forte, M; Rusconi, R; Margini, C; Abbate, G; Maltese, S; Badalamenti, P; Bellinzona, S

    2001-01-01

    The uranium concentration in 59 samples of bottled and tap water, mainly from northern Italy, was measured by different techniques. Results obtained by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), semiconductor alpha spectrometry and low level liquid scintillation counting with alpha/beta discrimination (LSC) have been compared. High resolution gamma spectrometry and semiconductor alpha spectrometry have been used to analyse uranium in a variety of organic and inorganic samples. Isotopic secular equilibrium in the 238U series may be lacking or hidden by auto-absorption phenomena, so caution should be used in evaluating gamma spectrometry data. Alpha spectrometry has also been used to ascertain the possible pollution from depleted uranium in the environment.

  16. Uranium isotope fractionation during coprecipitation with aragonite and calcite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xinming; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Herrmann, Achim D.; Wasylenki, Laura E.; Anbar, Ariel D.

    2016-09-01

    Natural variations in 238U/235U of marine calcium carbonates might provide a useful way of constraining redox conditions of ancient environments. In order to evaluate the reliability of this proxy, we conducted aragonite and calcite coprecipitation experiments at pH ∼7.5 and ∼8.5 to study possible U isotope fractionation during incorporation into these minerals. Small but significant U isotope fractionation was observed in aragonite experiments at pH ∼8.5, with heavier U isotopes preferentially enriched in the solid phase. 238U/235U of dissolved U in these experiments can be fit by Rayleigh fractionation curves with fractionation factors of 1.00007 + 0.00002/-0.00003, 1.00005 ± 0.00001, and 1.00003 ± 0.00001. In contrast, no resolvable U isotope fractionation was observed in an aragonite experiment at pH ∼7.5 or in calcite experiments at either pH. Equilibrium isotope fractionation among different aqueous U species is the most likely explanation for these findings. Certain charged U species are preferentially incorporated into calcium carbonate relative to the uncharged U species Ca2UO2(CO3)3(aq), which we hypothesize has a lighter equilibrium U isotope composition than most of the charged species. According to this hypothesis, the magnitude of U isotope fractionation should scale with the fraction of dissolved U that is present as Ca2UO2(CO3)3(aq). This expectation is confirmed by equilibrium speciation modeling of our experiments. Theoretical calculation of the U isotope fractionation factors between different U species could further test this hypothesis and our proposed fractionation mechanism. These findings suggest that U isotope variations in ancient carbonates could be controlled by changes in the aqueous speciation of seawater U, particularly changes in seawater pH, PCO2 , Ca2+, or Mg2+ concentrations. In general, these effects are likely to be small (<0.13‰), but are nevertheless potentially significant because of the small natural range of

  17. Isotopic composition of uranium and thorium in crystalline rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosholt, John N.

    1983-09-01

    The 238U-234U-230Th-232Th system has been investigated in 84 silicic crystalline rocks obtained from drill cores, surface, and near-surface samples in California, Wyoming, Colorado, and Illinois. Results of these analyses displayed on ternary diagrams with apexes for 238U, 234U, and 230Th indicate five predominant geochemical processes that affected uranium in the rock: (1) bulk uranium leaching where 238U and 234U were removed with little or no fractionation; (2) preferential 234U leaching by alpha recoil displacement (234U recoil loss) with lesser 238U loss; (3) 234U recoil loss with little or no 238U loss; (4) uranium assimilation where both 238U and 234U were added with present-day 234U/238U activity ratios varying from 0.8 to 1.2; and (5) addition of 234U and 230Th by daughter emplacement processes (234U + 230Th recoil gain). Evidence for the existence of 234U and 230Th recoil gain in rocks is the most important finding of this investigation. Radioactive disequilibrium occurs in the majority of rocks analyzed where 234U recoil loss is the predominant process associated with incipient weathering; U assimilation and 234U+230Th recoil gain occur under conditions of substantial water penetration along fractures and into weathered zones in the rocks. Relatively unfractured and petrographically fresh rocks from the UPH-3 drill hole in northern Illinois are closest to being in radioactive equilibrium for any suite of rocks included in this study, and they demonstrate that equilibrium during the last 0.5 m.y. can be maintained over a substantial vertical distance where there has been little or no movement of water in the basement rock. The 238U-234U-230Th system can be a sensitive indicator of geologically recent U mobility and rock/water interaction both in petrographically fresh core samples and in `sealed' fracture zones.

  18. Trace elements and Pb isotopes in soils and sediments impacted by uranium mining.

    PubMed

    Cuvier, A; Pourcelot, L; Probst, A; Prunier, J; Le Roux, G

    2016-10-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the contamination in As, Ba, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sr, V, Zn and REE, in a high uranium activity (up to 21,000Bq∙kg(-1)) area, downstream of a former uranium mine. Different geochemical proxies like enrichment factor and fractions from a sequential extraction procedure are used to evaluate the level of contamination, the mobility and the availability of the potential contaminants. Pb isotope ratios are determined in the total samples and in the sequential leachates to identify the sources of the contaminants and to determine the mobility of radiogenic Pb in the context of uranium mining. In spite of the large uranium contamination measured in the soils and the sediments (EF≫40), trace element contamination is low to moderate (2isotopic signature of the contaminated soils is strongly radiogenic. Measurements performed on the sequential leachates reveal inputs of radiogenic Pb in the most mobile fractions of the contaminated soil. Inputs of low-mobile radiogenic Pb from mining activities may also contribute to the Pb signature recorded in the residual phase of the contaminated samples. We demonstrate that Pb isotopes are efficient tools to trace the origin and the mobility of the contaminants in environments affected by uranium mining. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. The isotopic ratio measurement of uranium in the form of hydrolyzed uranium hexafluoride by inductively coupled plasma multiple collector mass spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Walder, A.J.; Hodgson, T.

    1995-12-31

    An inductively coupled plasma-multiple collector-mass spectrometer (ICP-MC-MS) has been used to measure the isotopic composition of uranium in three solutions of uranium hexafluoride. The {sup 235}U:{sup 238}U ratio of each sample solution ranged from approximately 0.007 to 0.03 to 1.0. The measurements are linear over this range and the precision and accuracy are comparable, if not superior, to that obtained by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). However, acceptable isotopic ratio measurement of uranium hexafluoride solutions is not possible by TIMS because the presence of fluoride ions severely limits analytical precision. Hence, the fluoride must be removed prior to analysis. This necessitates a chemical purification stage which adds both time and expense to the measurement process. This study reports direct, high precision, accurate uranium isotope ratio measurements on solutions of uranium hexafluoride. The instrumental time required for the analysis of 15 uranium samples with the ICP-MC-MS totals 135 min. This compares with an estimated time requirement of 600 min by TIMS and a time of 900 min by UF{sub 6} gas mass spectrometry.

  20. Uranium Isotopic Fractionation Induced by U(VI) Adsorption Onto Common Aquifer Minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jemison, N.; Johnson, T. M.; Shiel, A. E.; Lundstrom, C.

    2014-12-01

    Mining and processing of uranium (U) ore for nuclear energy and weapons has led to U contamination of groundwater. Reduction of soluble, mobile U(VI) to UO2 decreases uranium groundwater concentrations and is an important driver of natural and stimulated attenuation. 238U/235U measurements can be used to monitor and perhaps quantify U(VI) reduction; biological reduction of U(VI) has been shown to produce a ~1.0‰ isotopic fractionation in both laboratory and field settings, with the reduced product enriched in 238U. However, adsorption of U(VI) onto minerals may complicate the use of 238U/235U in this application; adsorption of U(VI) onto Mn oxides induces an isotopic fractionation of 0.2‰ with the sorbed U(VI) depleted in 238U. At present, the isotopic shift produced by adsorption of U(VI) onto other minerals has not yet been explored. This study measures U isotopic fractionation during adsorption onto goethite, birnessite, quartz, illite, and complex aquifer materials. In addition, the effect of U speciation on fractionation is also examined by adsorption of uranyl (UO22+), uranyl carbonato (such as UO2(CO3)22- and UO2(CO3)34-), and calcium uranyl carbonato (Ca2UO2(CO3)3(aq) and CaUO2(CO3)32-) ions to goethite and birnessite. Experiments are carried out with a multi-stage, batch approach, in which a U(VI)-bearing solution is exposed to three stages of adsorption, and the final solution is analyzed by a double-spike MC-ICP-MS method. This increases our ability to resolve among sorbents the extent of fractionation. Early results suggest that uranium adsorption to different minerals produces different isotopic fractionations, with quartz producing little to no fractionation (<0 .05‰), while goethite produces a 0.16‰ isotopic shift (adsorbed U(VI) depleted in 238U).

  1. Neutron-rich isotope production using the uranium carbide multi-foil SPES target prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarpa, D.; Biasetto, L.; Corradetti, S.; Manzolaro, M.; Andrighetto, A.; Carturan, S.; Prete, G.; Zanonato, P.; Stracener, D. W.

    2011-03-01

    In the framework of the R&D program for the SPES (Selective Production of Exotic Species) project of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), production yields of neutron-rich isotopes have been measured at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility (HRIBF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA). This experiment makes use of the multi-foil SPES target prototype composed of 7 uranium carbide discs, with excess of graphite (ratio C/ U = 4 . 77 isotopes of medium mass (between 72 and 141amu), produced via proton-induced fission of uranium using a 40MeV proton beam, have been collected and analyzed for the target heated at 2000 ° C target temperature.

  2. Determination of the Galaxy age by the method of uranium-thorium-plutonium isotopic ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panov, I. V.; Lutostansky, Yu. S.; Eichler, M.; Thielemann, F.-K.

    2017-07-01

    The dependence of the Galaxy age ( T G), as determined by the method of uranium-thorium isotopic ratios, on the parameters of the nucleosynthesis model is studied within the theory of galactic nucleosynthesis. It is shown that TG depends strongly both on the scenario of the production of nuclei in the r-process and those features of neutron-rich nuclei that are used in the respective analysis and on galactic-nucleosynthesis parameters. The effect of a sudden nucleosynthesis spike before the formation of a solar system on the Galaxy age is evaluated. The region of admissible values of the parameters of galacticnucleosynthesis theory is discussed. The method of uranium-thorium isotopic ratios is supplemented with the 244Pu/238U ratio for yet another cosmochronometer pair, and the Galaxy age is estimated on the basis of the model modified in this way.

  3. Environmental isotopes as a useful tool for studies at mixed uranium mill tailings sites.

    PubMed

    Helling, C

    2000-01-01

    Groundwaters in the area of a mixed landfill (domestic waste above uranium mill tailings) in Dresden (Saxony, Germany) were investigated for their isotope signatures to distinguish between different groundwater types. To determine between the two contamination sources (waste and uranium mill tailings) a multi parameter interpretation was done using both, the main hydrochemical parameters the radionuclides 234U, 238U, 226Ra and 222Rn as well as the environmental isotopes of the elements hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur and carbon. The seepage water from the landfill shows higher delta34S, delta18O and tritium values as the inflow. The tritium values give an idea about water movement in the dump and mean residence time of the groundwater. The water in the dump shows varying delta13C values which indicate different processes occurring in the dump.

  4. Uranium and cadmium provoke different oxidative stress responses in Lemna minor L.

    PubMed

    Horemans, N; Van Hees, M; Van Hoeck, A; Saenen, E; De Meutter, T; Nauts, R; Blust, R; Vandenhove, H

    2015-01-01

    Common duckweed (Lemna minor L.) is ideally suited to test the impact of metals on freshwater vascular plants. Literature on cadmium (Cd) and uranium (U) oxidative responses in L. minor are sparse or, for U, non-existent. It was hypothesised that both metals impose concentration-dependent oxidative stress and growth retardation on L. minor. Using a standardised 7-day growth inhibition test, the adverse impact of these metals on L. minor growth was confirmed, with EC50 values for Cd and U of 24.1 ± 2.8 and 29.5 ± 1.9 μm, respectively, and EC10 values of 1.5 ± 0.2 and 6.5 ± 0.9 μm, respectively. The metal-induced oxidative stress response was compared through assessing the activity of different antioxidative enzymes [catalase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APOD), guaiacol peroxidase (GPOD) and syringaldizyne peroxidase (SPOD)]. Significant changes in almost all antioxidative enzymes indicated their importance in counteracting the U- and Cd-imposed oxidative burden. However, some striking differences were also observed. For activity of APODs and SODs, a biphasic but opposite response at low Cd compared to U concentrations was found. In addition, Cd (0.5-20 μm) strongly enhanced plant GPOD activity, whereas U inhibited it. Finally, in contrast to Cd, U up to 10 μm increased the level of chlorophyll a and b and carotenoids. In conclusion, although U and Cd induce similar growth arrest in L. minor, the U-induced oxidative stress responses, studied here for the first time, differ greatly from those of Cd. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  5. Process for producing enriched uranium having a .sup.235 U content of at least 4 wt. % via combination of a gaseous diffusion process and an atomic vapor laser isotope separation process to eliminate uranium hexafluoride tails storage

    DOEpatents

    Horton, James A.; Hayden, Jr., Howard W.

    1995-01-01

    An uranium enrichment process capable of producing an enriched uranium, having a .sup.235 U content greater than about 4 wt. %, is disclosed which will consume less energy and produce metallic uranium tails having a lower .sup.235 U content than the tails normally produced in a gaseous diffusion separation process and, therefore, eliminate UF.sub.6 tails storage and sharply reduce fluorine use. The uranium enrichment process comprises feeding metallic uranium into an atomic vapor laser isotope separation process to produce an enriched metallic uranium isotopic mixture having a .sup.235 U content of at least about 2 wt. % and a metallic uranium residue containing from about 0.1 wt. % to about 0.2 wt. % .sup.235 U; fluorinating this enriched metallic uranium isotopic mixture to form UF.sub.6 ; processing the resultant isotopic mixture of UF.sub.6 in a gaseous diffusion process to produce a final enriched uranium product having a .sup.235 U content of at least 4 wt. %, and up to 93.5 wt. % or higher, of the total uranium content of the product, and a low .sup.235 U content UF.sub.6 having a .sup.235 U content of about 0.71 wt. % of the total uranium content of the low .sup.235 U content UF.sub.6 ; and converting this low .sup.235 U content UF.sub.6 to metallic uranium for recycle to the atomic vapor laser isotope separation process.

  6. Process for producing enriched uranium having a {sup 235}U content of at least 4 wt. % via combination of a gaseous diffusion process and an atomic vapor laser isotope separation process to eliminate uranium hexafluoride tails storage

    DOEpatents

    Horton, J.A.; Hayden, H.W. Jr.

    1995-05-30

    An uranium enrichment process capable of producing an enriched uranium, having a {sup 235}U content greater than about 4 wt. %, is disclosed which will consume less energy and produce metallic uranium tails having a lower {sup 235}U content than the tails normally produced in a gaseous diffusion separation process and, therefore, eliminate UF{sub 6} tails storage and sharply reduce fluorine use. The uranium enrichment process comprises feeding metallic uranium into an atomic vapor laser isotope separation process to produce an enriched metallic uranium isotopic mixture having a {sup 235} U content of at least about 2 wt. % and a metallic uranium residue containing from about 0.1 wt. % to about 0.2 wt. % {sup 235} U; fluorinating this enriched metallic uranium isotopic mixture to form UF{sub 6}; processing the resultant isotopic mixture of UF{sub 6} in a gaseous diffusion process to produce a final enriched uranium product having a {sup 235}U content of at least 4 wt. %, and up to 93.5 wt. % or higher, of the total uranium content of the product, and a low {sup 235}U content UF{sub 6} having a {sup 235}U content of about 0.71 wt. % of the total uranium content of the low {sup 235}U content UF{sub 6}; and converting this low {sup 235}U content UF{sub 6} to metallic uranium for recycle to the atomic vapor laser isotope separation process. 4 figs.

  7. Improving precision in resonance ionization mass spectrometry : influence of laser bandwidth in uranium isotope ratio measurements.

    SciTech Connect

    Isselhardt, B. H.; Savina, M. R.; Knight, K. B.; Pellin, M. J.; Hutcheon, I. D.; Prussin, S. G.

    2011-03-01

    The use of broad bandwidth lasers with automated feedback control of wavelength was applied to the measurement of {sup 235}U/{sup 238}U ratios by resonance ionization mass spectrometry (RIMS) to decrease laser-induced isotopic fractionation. By broadening the bandwidth of the first laser in a three-color, three-photon ionization process from a bandwidth of 1.8 GHz to about 10 GHz, the variation in sequential relative isotope abundance measurements decreased from 10% to less than 0.5%. This procedure was demonstrated for the direct interrogation of uranium oxide targets with essentially no sample preparation.

  8. Uranium-thorium isotope geochemistry of saline ground waters from central Missouri

    SciTech Connect

    Banner, J.L.; Chen, J.H.; Wasserburg, G.J.

    1989-03-01

    The isotopic and elemental distributions of uranium and thorium were examined in a suite of saline ground waters from central Missouri using mass spectrometric techniques. The waters were sampled from natural springs and artesian wells in Mississippian and Ordovician aquifers and have a wide range in salinity (5 to 26 /per thousand/), deltaD (/minus/108 to /minus/45 /per thousand/), and delta/sup 18/O (/minus/14.7 to /minus/6.5 /per thousand/) values. The suite of samples has a large range in /sup 238/U (50 to 200 x 10/sup /minus/12/g/g) and /sup 232/Th (0.3 to 9.1 x 10/sup /minus/12/g/g) concentrations and extremely high /sup 234/U//sup 238/U activity ratios ranging from 2.15 to 16.0. These isotopic compositions represent pronounced uranium-series disequilibrium compared with the value of modern seawater (1.15) or the equilibrium value (1.00). For such /sup 234/U-enriched waters, /sup 234/U//sup 238/U isotope ratios can be determined with a precision of /+-/ 10 /per thousand/ (2sigma) on 10 mL of sample and less than /+-/5 /per thousand/ on 100 mL. In contrast to the large /sup 234/U enrichments, /sup 230/Th//sup 238/U activity ratios in the ground waters are significantly lower than the equilibrium value. The more saline samples have markedly higher /sup 234/U//sup 238/U activity ratios and lower deltaD and delta/sup 18/O values. Unfiltered and filtered (< 0.1 ..mu..m) aliquots of a saline sample have the same isotopic composition and concentration of uranium, indicating uranium essentially occurs entirely as a dissolved species. The filtered/unfiltered concentration ratio for thorium in this sample is 0.29, demonstrating the predominant association of thorium with particulates.

  9. Uranium Isotopic Ratio Measurements of U3O8 Reference Materials by Atom Probe Tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Fahey, Albert J.; Perea, Daniel E.; Bartrand, Jonah AG; Arey, Bruce W.; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai

    2016-01-01

    We report results of measurements of isotopic ratios obtained with atom probe tomography on U3O8 reference materials certified for their isotopic abundances of uranium. The results show good agreement with the certified values. High backgrounds due to tails from adjacent peaks complicate the measurement of the integrated peak areas as well as the fact that only oxides of uranium appear in the spectrum, the most intense of which is doubly charged. In addition, lack of knowledge of other instrumental parameters, such as the dead time, may bias the results. Isotopic ratio measurements can be performed at the nanometer-scale with the expectation of sensible results. The abundance sensitivity and mass resolving power of the mass spectrometer are not sufficient to compete with magnetic-sector instruments but are not far from measurements made by ToF-SIMS of other isotopic systems. The agreement of the major isotope ratios is more than sufficient to distinguish most anthropogenic compositions from natural.

  10. Uranium isotope composition of a laterite profile during extreme weathering of basalt in Guangdong, South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, J.; Zhou, Z.; Gong, Y.; Lundstrom, C.; Huang, F.

    2015-12-01

    Rock weathering and soil formation in the critical zone are important for material cycle from the solid Earth to superficial system. Laterite is a major type of soil in South China forming at hot-humid climate, which has strong effect on the global uranium cycle. Uranium is closely related to the environmental redox condition because U is stable at U(Ⅳ) in anoxic condition and U(Ⅵ) as soluble uranyl ion (UO22+) under oxic circumstance. In order to understand the behavior of U isotopes during crust weathering, here we report uranium isotopic compositions of soil and base rock samples from a laterite profile originated from extreme weathering of basalt in Guangdong, South China. The uranium isotopic data were measured on a Nu Plasma MC-ICP-MS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using the double spike method. The δ238U of BCR-1 is -0.29±0.03‰ (relative to the international standard CRM-112A), corresponding to a 238U/235U ratio of 137.911±0.004. Our result of BCR-1 agrees with previous analyses (e.g., -0.28‰ in Weyer et al. 2008) [1]. U contents of the laterite profile decrease from 1.9 ppm to 0.9 ppm with depth, and peak at 160 - 170 cm (2.3 ppm), much higher than the U content of base rocks (~0.5 ppm). In contrary, U/Th of laterites is lower than that of base rock (0.27) except the peak at the depth of 160-170 cm (0.38), indicating significant U loss during weathering. Notably, U isotope compositions of soils show a small variation from -0.38 to -0.28‰, consistent with the base rock within analytical error (0.05‰ to 0.08‰, 2sd). Such small variation can be explained by a "rind effect" (Wang et al., 2015) [2], by which U(Ⅳ) can be completely oxidized to U(VI) layer by layer during basalt weathering by dissolved oxygen. Therefore, our study indicates that U loss during basalt weathering at the hot-humid climate does not change U isotope composition of superficial water system. [1] Weyer S. et al. (2008) Natural fractionation of 238U/235

  11. The relationship of uranium isotopes to oxidation/reduction in the Edwards carbonate aquifer of Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowart, James B.

    1980-07-01

    The concentration of dissolved uranium and 234U/ 238U alpha activity ratio ("A.R.") were determined in water samples from 23 locations in the Edwards carbonate aquifer of south central Texas by isotope dilution methods and alpha spectrometry. This aquifer consists of two parts, an updip oxidized portion and a downdip reduced portion. At some places the boundary is associated with faulting and at others it is not. The boundary between the two portions of the aquifer can be located by an abrupt change in chemical properties of the water such as a large increase in concentration of Cl -, SO 42- and total dissolved solids, the presence of H 2S and a decrease in Eh in moving from updip to downdip. Compared with the oxidized samples, the uranium concentration is much lower and the A.R. higher in the reduced samples so that the uranium from each portion falls in a distinct field. The oxidized aquifer samples show very little variation in the measured uranium parameters even though, in some cases, there is evidence that the water has flowed through some tens of kilometers of aquifer. Samples collected near the boundary at those places not associated with faulting yield dissolved uranium values which fall in neither field and which, for the most part, cannot result from mixing of the oxidized and reduced waters. These samples probably result from changes in location of the oxidation-reduction boundary.

  12. Uranium isotopes in groundwater from the continental intercalaire aquifer in Algerian Tunisian Sahara (Northern Africa).

    PubMed

    Chkir, N; Guendouz, A; Zouari, K; Hadj Ammar, F; Moulla, A S

    2009-08-01

    The disequilibrium between (234)U and (238)U is commonly used as a tracer of groundwater flow. This paper aims to identify uranium contents and uranium isotopic disequilibria variation in groundwater sampled from deep Continental Intercalaire aquifer (southern Algeria and Tunisia). Large variations in both U contents (0.006-3.39ppb) and (234)U/(238)U activity ratios (0.4-15.38) are observed. We conduct a first assessment in order to verify whether the results of our investigation support and complete previous hydrogeological and isotopic studies. The dissolved U content and (234)U/(238)U activity ratio data were plotted on a two-dimensional diagram that was successfully utilized on sharing the CI aquifer into different compartments submitted to different oxidising/reducing conditions and leads also to distinguished two preferential flow paths in the Nefzaoua/Chott Fejej discharge area. Uranium isotopes disequilibrium indicate that ranium chemistry is mainly controlled by water-rock interaction enhanced by long residence time recognised for this aquifer.

  13. Absorption spectroscopy of uranium plasma for remote isotope analysis of next-generation nuclear fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyabe, M.; Oba, M.; Iimura, H.; Akaoka, K.; Maruyama, Y.; Ohba, H.; Tampo, M.; Wakaida, I.

    2013-07-01

    To determine experimental conditions suitable for isotope analysis, we studied the plume dynamics of uranium. A uranium oxide sample was ablated by 2nd harmonic radiation from a Nd:YAG laser at a fluence of 0.5 J/cm2. The temporal evolution of the ablation plume was investigated in vacuum and helium environments. In vacuum, the flow velocity perpendicular to the sample surface was determined to be 2.7 km/s for neutral atoms and 4.0 km/s for singly charged atoms. These velocities are about 20 % lower than those of cerium measured under similar conditions. From the evolution of the plume in helium, we found that an observation time of 3-5 μs and an observation height of about 2.5 mm are most suited for obtaining higher sensitivity. Observation times less than 3 μs were unsuitable for precise isotope analysis since the spectral modifications arising from the Doppler splitting effect are different between the two uranium isotopes. Using the established conditions, we evaluated the calibration curve linearity, limit of detection, and precision for three samples having different abundances of 235U.

  14. Isotopic tracking of Hanford 300 area derived uranium in the Columbia River.

    PubMed

    Christensen, John N; Dresel, P Evan; Conrad, Mark E; Patton, Gregory W; DePaolo, Donald J

    2010-12-01

    Our objectives in this study are to quantify the discharge rate of uranium (U) to the Columbia River from the Hanford Site's 300 Area and to follow that U downriver to constrain its fate. Uranium from the Hanford Site has variable isotopic composition due to nuclear industrial processes carried out at the site. This characteristic makes it possible to use high-precision isotopic measurements of U in environmental samples to identify even trace levels of contaminant U, determine its sources, and estimate discharge rates. Our data on river water samples indicate that as much as 3.2 kg/day can enter the Columbia River from the 300 Area, which is only a small fraction of the total load of dissolved natural background U carried by the Columbia River. This very low level of Hanford-derived U can be discerned, despite dilution to <1% of natural background U, 400 km downstream from the Hanford Site. These results indicate that isotopic methods can allow the amounts of U from the 300 Area of the Hanford Site entering the Columbia River to be measured accurately to ascertain whether they are an environmental concern or insignificant relative to natural uranium background in the Columbia River.

  15. Isotopic Tracking of Hanford 300 Area Derived Uranium in the Columbia River

    SciTech Connect

    Christensen, John N.; Dresel, P. Evan; Conrad, Mark E.; Patton, Gregory W.; DePaolo, Donald J.

    2010-10-31

    Our objectives in this study are to quantify the discharge rate of uranium (U) to the Columbia River from the Hanford Site's 300 Area, and to follow that U down river to constrain its fate. Uranium from the Hanford Site has variable isotopic composition due to nuclear industrial processes carried out at the site. This characteristic makes it possible to use high-precision isotopic measurements of U in environmental samples to identify even trace levels of contaminant U, determine its sources, and estimate discharge rates. Our data on river water samples indicate that as much as 3.2 kg/day can enter the Columbia River from the 300 Area, which is only a small fraction of the total load of dissolved natural background U carried by the Columbia River. This very low-level of Hanford derived U can be discerned, despite dilution to < 1 percent of natural background U, 350 km downstream from the Hanford Site. These results indicate that isotopic methods can allow the amounts of U from the 300 Area of the Hanford Site entering the Columbia River to be measured accurately to ascertain whether they are an environmental concern, or are insignificant relative to natural uranium background in the Columbia River.

  16. Theoretical investigations of uranium isotope fractionation caused by nuclear volume effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, S.

    2015-12-01

    Because the half-life times of uranium isotopes are all very long, e.g., 4.5Ga for 238U and 0.7Ga for 235U, people actually treat uranium isotope system as a stable one in many young geologic systems (e.g., Bopp et al., 2010; Basu et al., 2014). There is an increasing trend of using U isotope method to study surface geochemistry problems. For example, people start to use U isotopes as a new tracer to determine the change of redox conditions (Holmden et al., 2015; Wang et al., 2015). However, there are only a few equilibrium U isotope fractionation factors available right now. The new enterprise of U isotope method requires a much expanded data-base of equilibrium U isotope fractionation factor. Many evidences showed that heavy isotope systems could be significantly fractionated as the consequence of the nuclear volume effect (NVE) or so-called nuclear field shift effect,which is a driving force of mass-independent fractionation induced by differences in nuclear size and nuclear shape of isotopes. Here we theoretically estimate the magnitude of equilibrium isotope fractionation factors of U-bearing gaseous and solid compounds caused by NVE via density functional theory (DFT) quantum chemistry methods with careful evaluation on quantum relativistic effects. Our calculation results show the NVE drives 238U/235U fractionations can be up to -4.43‰ between U(VI) and U(IV) species, or can be up to -1.68‰ between U(IV) and U(III) species, at room temperature. The U4+-bearing species or phases tend to enrich heavier isotopes (i.e., 238U) relative to the oxidized phases (U6+-bearing), and enrich lighter isotopes (i.e., 235U) relative to the reduced U(III) phases (U3+-bearing), which generally agree with the recent experimental results (Wang et al., 2015). Our results provide a base for broad applications of equilibrium U isotope fractionation in surface environments.

  17. Fission track-secondary ion mass spectrometry as a tool for detecting the isotopic signature of individual uranium containing particles.

    PubMed

    Esaka, Fumitaka; Lee, Chi-Gyu; Magara, Masaaki; Kimura, Takaumi

    2012-04-06

    A fission track technique was used as a sample preparation method for subsequent isotope abundance ratio analysis of individual uranium containing particles with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to measure the particles with higher enriched uranium efficiently. A polycarbonate film containing particles was irradiated with thermal neutrons and etched with 6M NaOH solution. Each uranium containing particle was then identified by observing fission tracks created and a portion of the film having a uranium containing particle was cut out and put onto a glassy carbon planchet. The polycarbonate film, which gave the increases of background signals on the uranium mass region in SIMS analysis, was removed by plasma ashing with 200 W for 20 min. In the analysis of swipe samples having particles containing natural (NBL CRM 950a) or low enriched uranium (NBL CRM U100) with the fission track-SIMS method, uranium isotope abundance ratios were successfully determined. This method was then applied to the analysis of a real inspection swipe sample taken at a nuclear facility. As a consequence, the range of (235)U/(238)U isotope abundance ratio between 0.0276 and 0.0438 was obtained, which was higher than that measured by SIMS without using a fission track technique (0.0225 and 0.0341). This indicates that the fission track-SIMS method is a powerful tool to identify the particle with higher enriched uranium in environmental samples efficiently.

  18. Evaluation of uranium transitions for isotopically-selective laser induced fluorescence with diode lasers (Technical Report for ST064)

    SciTech Connect

    Cannon, B.D.

    1993-10-01

    Isotopically-selective excitation of uranium atoms by diode lasers can be the basis for a portable instrument to perform uranium isotopic assays in the field. Such an instrument would improve the ability of on-site inspections to detect and deter nuclear proliferation. Published and unpublished spectroscopic data on atomic uranium were examined to identify candidate transitions for isotopically-selective laser excitation with diode lasers. Eleven candidate transitions were identified and evaluated for their potential usefulness for a portable uranium assay instrument. Eight of these transitions are suitable for laser induced fluorescence using different excitation and detection wavelengths, which will improve sensitivity and elemental selectivity. Data sheets on the 25 uranium transitions in the wavelength range 629 nm to 1,000 nm that originate in the ground or first excited states of neutral atomic uranium are included. Each data sheet provides the wavelength, upper and lower energy levels, angular momentum quantum numbers, {sup 235}U isotope shift (relative to {sup 238}U), and high-resolution spectra of weapons-grade uranium (93% {sup 235}U and 7% {sup 238}U).

  19. CO-laser-induced photochemical reaction of UF6 with HCl for the isotope separation of uranium hexafluoride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Hong-Bin; Shen, Z. Y.; Zhang, Cun H.

    1993-05-01

    In this paper, we report the results of CO-laser induced photochemical reaction of UF6 with HCl for the isotope separation of uranium hexafluoride, we also discussed that the molecular collision inducing V-T, V-V relaxation process affects on the selectivity of the isotope separation. The obtained quantum coefficiency of the reaction is about 0.34.

  20. Design Study for a Low-Enriched Uranium Core for the High Flux Isotope Reactor, Annual report for FY 2009

    SciTech Connect

    Chandler, David; Freels, James D; Ilas, Germina; Miller, James Henry; Primm, Trent; Sease, John D; Guida, Tracey; Jolly, Brian C

    2010-02-01

    This report documents progress made during FY 2009 in studies of converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from high enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. Conversion from HEU to LEU will require a change in fuel form from uranium oxide to a uranium-molybdenum alloy. With axial and radial grading of the fuel foil and an increase in reactor power to 100 MW, calculations indicate that the HFIR can be operated with LEU fuel with no degradation in reactor performance from the current level. Results of selected benchmark studies imply that calculations of LEU performance are accurate. Studies are reported of the application of a silicon coating to surrogates for spheres of uranium-molybdenum alloy. A discussion of difficulties with preparing a fuel specification for the uranium-molybdenum alloy is provided. A description of the progress in developing a finite element thermal hydraulics model of the LEU core is provided.

  1. On-line production of Rb and Cs isotopes from uranium carbide targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrighetto, A.; Bajeat, O.; Barzakh, A. E.; Essabaa, S.; Fedorov, D. V.; Ionan, A. M.; Ivanov, V. S.; Leroy, R.; Lhersonneau, G.; Mezilev, K. A.; Moroz, F. V.; Orlov, S. Yu.; Panteleev, V. N.; Stroe, L.; Tecchio, L. B.; Villari, A.; Volkov, Yu. M.; Wang, X. F.

    2005-02-01

    A series of on-line mass separation experiments have been performed at the IRIS facility to measure the yield and release of Rb and Cs neutron-rich isotopes produced by fission reaction of 238U. A 1 GeV proton beam was used to bombard uranium carbide targets with the densities of 11 g/cm3 and 1.5 g/cm3 held at temperatures in the range (2000-2230) °C. The release curves of Rb and Cs long-lived isotopes were measured from both kinds of targets. The overall production efficiency was determined making use of experimentally measured cross-sections of that isotope production. Comparison of the experimental yields of Rb and Cs isotopes with the calculated ones after corrections for losses due to finite release times suggests that the diffusion is the dominating process reducing the efficiency for short-lived isotopes. When normalized to the same thickness, an enhancement for the high-density rod target of the measured isotope yields is observed when going far from stability. This is possibly explained by the reactions induced by secondary neutrons. A significant odd-even effect with higher yields of Cs even neutron isotopes has been observed, confirming a similar effect obtained in earlier experiments.

  2. Separation Of Uranium And Plutonium Isotopes For Measurement By Multi Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Martinelli, R E; Hamilton, T F; Williams, R W; Kehl, S R

    2009-03-29

    Uranium (U) and plutonium (Pu) isotopes in coral soils, contaminated by nuclear weapons testing in the northern Marshall Islands, were isolated by ion-exchange chromatography and analyzed by mass spectrometry. The soil samples were spiked with {sup 233}U and {sup 242}Pu tracers, dissolved in minerals acids, and U and Pu isotopes isolated and purified on commercially available ion-exchange columns. The ion-exchange technique employed a TEVA{reg_sign} column coupled to a UTEVA{reg_sign} column. U and Pu isotope fractions were then further isolated using separate elution schemes, and the purified fractions containing U and Pu isotopes analyzed sequentially using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MCICP-MS). High precision measurements of {sup 234}U/{sup 235}U, {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U, {sup 236}U/{sup 235}U, and {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu in soil samples were attained using the described methodology and instrumentation, and provide a basis for conducting more detailed assessments of the behavior and transfer of uranium and plutonium in the environment.

  3. Uranium isotope enrichment by complexation with chelating polymer adsorbent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badawy, Sayed M.

    2003-01-01

    Polyacrylamidoxime (PAO) granules prepared by radiation-induced polymerization of acrylonitrile and introduction of amidoxime groups by reaction with hydroxylamine are used for separation of 235U and 238U in solution by utilizing the small difference of stability constant of the complex between polymer ligand and metal ions. An isotope ratio of 0.00763 is obtained by single-column experiment. This value is 5% higher than that of the feed solution. The coordination of PAO with metal ions, Cu 2+, was investigated by FT-IR, XRD and ESR analysis.

  4. Natural uranium and thorium isotopes in sediment cores off Malaysian ports

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusoff, Abdul Hafidz; Sabuti, Asnor Azrin; Mohamed, Che Abd Rahim

    2015-06-01

    Sediment cores collected from three Malaysian marine ports, namely, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan and Klang were analyzed to determine the radioactivities of 234U, 238U, 230Th, 232Th and total organic carbon (TOC) content. The objectives of this study were to determine the factors that control the activity of uranium isotopes and identify the possible origin of uranium and thorium in these areas. The activities of 234U and 238U show high positive correlation with TOC at the middle of sediment core from Kota Kinabalu port. This result suggests that activity of uranium at Kota Kinabalu port was influenced by organic carbon. The 234U/238U value at the upper layer of Kota Kinabalu port was ≥1.14 while the ratio value at Labuan and Klang port was ≤ 1.14. These results suggest a reduction process occurred at Kota Kinabalu port where mobile U(VI) was converted to immobile U(IV) by organic carbon. Therefore, it can be concluded that the major input of uranium at Kota Kinabalu port is by sorptive uptake of authigenic uranium from the water column whereas the major inputs of uranium to Labuan and Klang port are of detrital origin. The ratio of 230Th/232Th was used to estimate the origin of thorium. Low ratio value (lt; 1.5) at Labuan and Klang ports support the suggestion that thorium from both areas were come from detrital input while the high ratio (> 1.5) of 230Th/232Th at Kota Kinabalu port suggest the anthropogenic input of 230Th to this area. The source of 230Th is probably from phosphate fertilizers used in the oil-palm cultivation in Kota Kinabalu that is adjacent to the Kota Kinabalu port.

  5. Uranium isotope evidence for an expansion of marine anoxia during the end-Triassic extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jost, Adam B.; Bachan, Aviv; van de Schootbrugge, Bas; Lau, Kimberly V.; Weaver, Karrie L.; Maher, Kate; Payne, Jonathan L.

    2017-08-01

    The end-Triassic extinction coincided with an increase in marine black shale deposition and biomarkers for photic zone euxinia, suggesting that anoxia played a role in suppressing marine biodiversity. However, global changes in ocean anoxia are difficult to quantify using proxies for local anoxia. Uranium isotopes (δ238U) in CaCO3 sediments deposited under locally well-oxygenated bottom waters can passively track seawater δ238U, which is sensitive to the global areal extent of seafloor anoxia due to preferential reduction of 238U(VI) relative to 235U(VI) in anoxic marine sediments. We measured δ238U in shallow-marine limestones from two stratigraphic sections in the Lombardy Basin, northern Italy, spanning over 400 m. We observe a ˜0.7‰ negative excursion in δ238U beginning in the lowermost Jurassic, coeval with the onset of the initial negative δ13C excursion and persisting for the duration of subsequent high δ13C values in the lower-middle Hettangian stage. The δ238U excursion cannot be realistically explained by local mixing of uranium in primary marine carbonate and reduced authigenic uranium. Based on output from a forward model of the uranium cycle, the excursion is consistent with a 40-100-fold increase in the extent of anoxic deposition occurring worldwide. Additionally, relatively constant uranium concentrations point toward increased uranium delivery to the oceans from continental weathering, which is consistent with weathering-induced eutrophication following the rapid increase in pCO2 during emplacement of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. The relative timing and duration of the excursion in δ238U implies that anoxia could have delayed biotic recovery well into the Hettangian stage.

  6. Uniform deposition of uranium hexafluoride (UF6): Standardized mass deposits and controlled isotopic ratios using a thermal fluorination method

    SciTech Connect

    McNamara, Bruce K.; O’Hara, Matthew J.; Casella, Andrew M.; Carter, Jennifer C.; Addleman, R. Shane; MacFarlan, Paul J.

    2016-07-01

    Abstract: We report a convenient method for the generation of volatile uranium hexafluoride (UF6) from solid uranium oxides and other uranium compounds, followed by uniform deposition of low levels of UF6 onto sampling coupons. Under laminar flow conditions, UF6 is shown to interact with surfaces within the chamber to a highly predictable degree. We demonstrate the preparation of uranium deposits that range between ~0.01 and 470±34 ng∙cm-2. The data suggest the method can be extended to creating depositions at the sub-picogram∙cm-2 level. Additionally, the isotopic composition of the deposits can be customized by selection of the uranium source materials. We demonstrate a layering technique whereby two uranium solids, each with a different isotopic composition, are employed to form successive layers of UF6 on a surface. The result is an ultra-thin deposit of UF6 that bears an isotopic signature that is a composite of the two uranium sources. The reported deposition method has direct application to the development of unique analytical standards for nuclear safeguards and forensics.

  7. Rapid fusion method for the determination of refractory thorium and uranium isotopes in soil samples

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, Sherrod L.; Hutchison, Jay B.; McAlister, Daniel R.

    2015-02-14

    Recently, approximately 80% of participating laboratories failed to accurately determine uranium isotopes in soil samples in the U.S Department of Energy Mixed Analyte Performance Evaluation Program (MAPEP) Session 30, due to incomplete dissolution of refractory particles in the samples. Failing laboratories employed acid dissolution methods, including hydrofluoric acid, to recover uranium from the soil matrix. The failures illustrate the importance of rugged soil dissolution methods for the accurate measurement of analytes in the sample matrix. A new rapid fusion method has been developed by the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to prepare 1-2 g soil sample aliquots very quickly, with total dissolution of refractory particles. Soil samples are fused with sodium hydroxide at 600 ºC in zirconium crucibles to enable complete dissolution of the sample. Uranium and thorium are separated on stacked TEVA and TRU extraction chromatographic resin cartridges, prior to isotopic measurements by alpha spectrometry on cerium fluoride microprecipitation sources. Plutonium can also be separated and measured using this method. Batches of 12 samples can be prepared for measurement in <5 hours.

  8. Rapid fusion method for the determination of refractory thorium and uranium isotopes in soil samples

    DOE PAGES

    Maxwell, Sherrod L.; Hutchison, Jay B.; McAlister, Daniel R.

    2015-02-14

    Recently, approximately 80% of participating laboratories failed to accurately determine uranium isotopes in soil samples in the U.S Department of Energy Mixed Analyte Performance Evaluation Program (MAPEP) Session 30, due to incomplete dissolution of refractory particles in the samples. Failing laboratories employed acid dissolution methods, including hydrofluoric acid, to recover uranium from the soil matrix. The failures illustrate the importance of rugged soil dissolution methods for the accurate measurement of analytes in the sample matrix. A new rapid fusion method has been developed by the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to prepare 1-2 g soil sample aliquots very quickly, withmore » total dissolution of refractory particles. Soil samples are fused with sodium hydroxide at 600 ºC in zirconium crucibles to enable complete dissolution of the sample. Uranium and thorium are separated on stacked TEVA and TRU extraction chromatographic resin cartridges, prior to isotopic measurements by alpha spectrometry on cerium fluoride microprecipitation sources. Plutonium can also be separated and measured using this method. Batches of 12 samples can be prepared for measurement in <5 hours.« less

  9. Uranium, plutonium, and thorium isotopes in the atmosphere and the lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Essien, I.O.

    1983-01-01

    Concentration of /sup 238/U in rain and snow collected at Fayetteville (36/sup 0/N, 94/sup 0/W), Arkansas, showed a marked increase during the summer months of 1980, while Mount St. Helens remained active. This observed increase of /sup 238/U can be explained as due to the fallout of natural uranium from the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Large increases in the concentration of thorium isotopes detected in rain and snow samples during the last months of 1982 and early months of 1983 probably originated from the eruption of El Chichon volcano, which occurred on 28 March 1982. About 450 Ci of /sup 232/Th is estimated to have been injected into the atmosphere by this eruption. Isotopic anomalies were observed in atmospheric samples such as rain and snow. These anomalies can be attributed to various natural as well as man-made sources: nuclear weapon tests, nuclear accidents involving the burn-up of nuclear powered satellites, and volcanic eruptions. The variation of /sup 234/U//sup 238/U ratios in radioactive minerals when leached with nitric acid were also noticed and this variation, while /sup 235/U//sup 238/U remained fairly constant, can be explained in terms of the ..cap alpha..-recoil effect and changes in oxidation state of uranium. Difference found in /sup 239/Pu//sup 238/U ratios in terrestrial samples and uranium minerals can be explained as due to fallout contamination.

  10. Determining the isotopic concentration of uranium from vector representation of the gamma spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Tristan Glover

    Gamma emissions from Uranium-235 in a source of interest were compared to gamma emissions from Protactinium-234m (which is in equilibrium with Uranium-238) in order to determine the isotopic composition of the source. The 144 keV gamma ray from U-235 was compared with 1001 keV gamma ray from Pa-234m. Two analytical methods were compared: the relative activity method and the vector representation method. The relative activity method is similar to the (standard) relative intensity method, but accounts for more variables. Calculations were performed using both methods in order to evaluate precision and accuracy. Relative activity compares the number of counts under one gamma-ray peak from a reference source to the number of counts under another peak from an unknown source. This method is sensitive to systematic errors in the efficiency calibration of the detector when two different peaks with different energies are used. Vector representation compares the count ratio of two gamma-ray peaks from one source to the count ratio of the same two gamma-ray peaks from another source. Vector representation was found to be practical for analyzing depleted uranium, but not highly enriched uranium (HEU), due to different branching ratios and detector efficiency.

  11. Establishing Specifications for Low Enriched Uranium Fuel Operations Conducted Outside the High Flux Isotope Reactor Site

    SciTech Connect

    Pinkston, Daniel; Primm, Trent; Renfro, David G; Sease, John D

    2010-10-01

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has funded staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to study the conversion of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from the current, high enriched uranium fuel to low enriched uranium fuel. The LEU fuel form is a metal alloy that has never been used in HFIR or any HFIR-like reactor. This report provides documentation of a process for the creation of a fuel specification that will meet all applicable regulations and guidelines to which UT-Battelle, LLC (UTB) the operating contractor for ORNL - must adhere. This process will allow UTB to purchase LEU fuel for HFIR and be assured of the quality of the fuel being procured.

  12. Testing the Ortec's Isotopic and Eberlines Snap software for Uranium waste measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Vo, Duc T.; Seo, P. N.; Li, T. K.

    2003-01-01

    Uranium enrichment plants normally generate lots of wastes. The wastes are in various matrices such as clothing, glass, concrete, aluminum, and steel, etc. They are in the quantity of a few grams to many kilograms and generally stored in 55-gallon drums. For accountability, it is important to determine the amount of uranium in the waste drums to a certain level of accuracy. There are several commercially available systems that can accurately determine the uranium mass in the waste drums, such as Tomographic-Gamma-Scanner1 (TGS) or Segmented Gamma-Ray Scanner2 (SGS). However, those systems are too cumbersome and expensive. Cheap and simple single detector systems are also available commercially from several companies. The workhorse of these systems is the software, which would work with any germanium detector system. We mocked up waste drums containing several hundred grams to several kilograms of uranium with different isotopic compositions in various matrices. We acquired data using a coaxial germanium detector. We tested two different software codes from two companies, the Ortec's Isotopic software and the Eberline's Snap software. The results with the germanium detector were very encouraging, which led us to test with the NaI detectors. The NaI detectors have much worse resolution than the germanium detectors. However, they are very cheap, can be very large in detector size and, thus, efficient for a given counting time, and are simpler because of not requiring liquid nitrogen for cooling. The results, advantages, and disadvantages of the two software codes and the two detector systems will be discussed.

  13. Neutron-Induced Fission Cross Section Measurements for Uranium Isotopes and Other Actinides at LANSCE

    SciTech Connect

    Laptev, Alexander B.; Tovesson, Fredrik K.; Hill, Tony S.

    2012-08-16

    A well established program of neutron-induced fission cross section measurement at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) is supporting the Fuel Cycle Research program (FC R&D). The incident neutron energy range spans from sub-thermal up to 200 MeV by combining two LANSCE facilities, the Lujan Center and the Weapons Neutron Research center (WNR). The time-of-flight method is implemented to measure the incident neutron energy. A parallel-plate fission ionization chamber was used as a fission fragment detector. The event rate ratio between the investigated foil and a standard {sup 235}U foil is translated into a fission cross section ratio. Thin actinide targets with deposits of <200 {micro}g/cm{sup 2} on stainless steel backing were loaded into a fission chamber. In addition to previously measured data for {sup 237}Np, {sup 239-242}Pu, {sup 243}Am, new measurements include the recently completed {sup 233,238}U isotopes, {sup 236}U data which is being analyzed, and {sup 234}U data acquired in the 2011-2012 LANSCE run cycle. The new data complete the full suite of Uranium isotopes which were investigated with this experimental approach. When analysis of the new measured data is completed, data will be delivered to evaluators. Having data for multiple Uranium isotopes will support theoretical modeling capabilities and strengthens nuclear data evaluation.

  14. Perspectives on planetary evolution from minor isotopes of major elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, T.; Luu, T. H.; Hin, R.; Coath, C.; Chen, H.

    2016-12-01

    The Calcium-Magnesium-Aluminum-Silicon (CMAS) system, which yielded great insights for experimentalists like Bowen, has an important isotopic dimension. Three of these elements have multiple stable isotopes that provide information on their nucleosynthetic heritage and mass dependent experiences, whereas currently mono-isotopic Al benefitted from the company of a short-lived radioactive nuclide in early solar system history that arguably powered planetary differentiation. Determining the isotopic variability of these major, planetary building components is modern twist to a traditional tale. Constraining the distribution of 26Al in the early solar system is critical in both understanding large scale processes in the nebula and the energy available for planetary melting. High initial 26Al/27Al ( 5x10-5) has long been inferred from analyses of calcium aluminum rich inclusions, but their thoroughly anomalous isotopic nature, not least elevated relative abundances of 48Ca, makes it quite uncertain if they provide a representative datum for the solar system. We contribute to this contentious issue with some new, high precision ( ±2ppm, 2se) Mg isotopic measurements on a range of bulk chondritic meteorites. On a Al-Mg `isochron' diagram, most bulk meteorites plot within error of a line indicating initial 26Al/27Al 5x10-5. Although the CR clan is a notable exception to this general rule, these systematics suggest that elevated 26Al was present throughout much of the solar system, and likely played a significant role in fueling planetary scale magmatic processes. Mass dependent Mg isotopic variability of bulk chondrites provides a valuable additional perspective on planetary evolution. The Earth has higher δ25Mg than any chondrite group but is similar to, or even isotopically lighter than, silicate achondites. This implies that Mg is isotopically fractionated during planetesimal accretion, most plausibly as a result of evaporative loss. This signature is also evident in

  15. Quantifying Uranium Isotope Ratios Using Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry: The Influence of Laser Parameters on Relative Ionization Probability

    SciTech Connect

    Isselhardt, Brett H.

    2011-09-01

    Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) has been developed as a method to measure relative uranium isotope abundances. In this approach, RIMS is used as an element-selective ionization process to provide a distinction between uranium atoms and potential isobars without the aid of chemical purification and separation. We explore the laser parameters critical to the ionization process and their effects on the measured isotope ratio. Specifically, the use of broad bandwidth lasers with automated feedback control of wavelength was applied to the measurement of 235U/238U ratios to decrease laser-induced isotopic fractionation. By broadening the bandwidth of the first laser in a 3-color, 3-photon ionization process from a bandwidth of 1.8 GHz to about 10 GHz, the variation in sequential relative isotope abundance measurements decreased from >10% to less than 0.5%. This procedure was demonstrated for the direct interrogation of uranium oxide targets with essentially no sample preparation. A rate equation model for predicting the relative ionization probability has been developed to study the effect of variation in laser parameters on the measured isotope ratio. This work demonstrates that RIMS can be used for the robust measurement of uranium isotope ratios.

  16. DESIGN STUDY FOR A LOW-ENRICHED URANIUM CORE FOR THE HIGH FLUX ISOTOPE REACTOR, ANNUAL REPORT FOR FY 2010

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, David Howard; Freels, James D; Ilas, Germina; Jolly, Brian C; Miller, James Henry; Primm, Trent; Renfro, David G; Sease, John D; Pinkston, Daniel

    2011-02-01

    This report documents progress made during FY 2010 in studies of converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from high enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. Conversion from HEU to LEU will require a change in fuel form from uranium oxide to a uranium-molybdenum alloy. With axial and radial grading of the fuel foil and an increase in reactor power to 100 MW, calculations indicate that the HFIR can be operated with LEU fuel with no degradation in performance to users from the current level. Studies are reported of support to a thermal hydraulic test loop design, the implementation of finite element, thermal hydraulic analysis capability, and infrastructure tasks at HFIR to upgrade the facility for operation at 100 MW. A discussion of difficulties with preparing a fuel specification for the uranium-molybdenum alloy is provided. Continuing development in the definition of the fuel fabrication process is described.

  17. UDATE1: A computer program for the calculation of uranium-series isotopic ages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1991-01-01

    UDATE1 is a FORTRAN-77 program with an interface for an Apple Macintosh computer that calculates isotope activities from measured count rates to date geologic materials by uranium-series disequilibria. Dates on pure samples can be determined directly by the accumulation of 230Th from 234U and of 231Pa from 235U. Dates for samples contaminated by clays containing abundant natural thorium can be corrected by the program using various mixing models. Input to the program and file management are made simple and user friendly by a series of Macintosh modal dialog boxes. ?? 1991.

  18. Mechanisms of magma generation beneath hawaii and mid-ocean ridges: uranium/thorium and samarium/neodymium isotopic evidence.

    PubMed

    Sims, K W; Depaolo, D J; Murrell, M T; Baldridge, W S; Goldstein, S J; Clague, D A

    1995-01-27

    Measurements of uranium/thorium and samarium/neodymium isotopes and concentrations in a suite of Hawaiian basalts show that uranium/thorium fractionation varies systematically with samarium/neodymium fractionation and major-element composition; these correlations can be understood in terms of simple batch melting models with a garnet-bearing peridotite magma source and melt fractions of 0.25 to 6.5 percent. Midocean ridge basalts shows a systematic but much different relation between uranium/thorium fractionation and samarium/neodymium fractionation, which, although broadly consistent with melting of a garnet-bearing peridotite source, requires a more complex melting model.

  19. Uranium Bio-accumulation and Cycling as revealed by Uranium Isotopes in Naturally Reduced Sediments from the Upper Colorado River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefebvre, Pierre; Noël, Vincent; Jemison, Noah; Weaver, Karrie; Bargar, John; Maher, Kate

    2016-04-01

    Uranium (U) groundwater contamination following oxidized U(VI) releases from weathering of mine tailings is a major concern at numerous sites across the Upper Colorado River Basin (CRB), USA. Uranium(IV)-bearing solids accumulated within naturally reduced zones (NRZs) characterized by elevated organic carbon and iron sulfide compounds. Subsequent re-oxidation of U(IV)solid to U(VI)aqueous then controls the release to groundwater and surface water, resulting in plume persistence and raising public health concerns. Thus, understanding the extent of uranium oxidation and reduction within NRZs is critical for assessing the persistence of the groundwater contamination. In this study, we measured solid-phase uranium isotope fractionation (δ238/235U) of sedimentary core samples from four study sites (Shiprock, NM, Grand Junction, Rifle and Naturita, CO) using a multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS). We observe a strong correlation between U accumulation and the extent of isotopic fractionation, with Δ238U up to +1.8 ‰ between uranium-enriched and low concentration zones. The enrichment in the heavy isotopes within the NRZs appears to be especially important in the vadose zone, which is subject to variations in water table depth. According to previous studies, this isotopic signature is consistent with biotic reduction processes associated with metal-reducing bacteria. Positive correlations between the amount of iron sulfides and the accumulation of reduced uranium underline the importance of sulfate-reducing conditions for U(IV) retention. Furthermore, the positive fractionation associated with U reduction observed across all sites despite some variations in magnitude due to site characteristics, shows a regional trend across the Colorado River Basin. The maximum extent of 238U enrichment observed in the NRZ proximal to the water table further suggests that the redox cycling of uranium, with net release of U(VI) to the groundwater by

  20. Comparison of measured and calculated uranium isotopic concentrations in cascade streams at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Blumkin, S.

    1982-06-16

    A test has been performed at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) in connection with studies for the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on the possibility of utilizing measurements of the concentrations of the minor uranium isotopes in /sup 235/U enrichment cascade external streams as a safeguards technique (MIST). This is the fourth plant test that has been performed in connection with the MIST studies, the first three having been done at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (ORGDP). The main objectives of the test were to measure the isotopic composition and flow rates of the plant external streams over a period of time; to design an appropriate plant model in the manner an IAEA safeguards team might do it and calculate the isotopic compositions of the plant streams; and to compare the calculated isotopic values with the measured ones. The calculated /sup 235/U to /sup 234/U concentration ratios in the product and tails streams did not match the average measured values in the high-power period as well as they did for the low-power period, when the same isotopic composition for natural U was assumed at both power levels - the actual composition of the natural U fed to the plant during the test not having been measured. Recalculation of the /sup 235/U to /sup 234/U concentrations with another assumed value for the /sup 234/U concentration in natural U, that is still within the range of reported observed values for it, resulted in better agreement with the measured plant stream values: + 0.7% for the product stream and + 0.2% in the tails stream for the single-cascade model and + 0.8% and - 0.7% respectively for a two-cascade plant model. The record on sources of the natural U that was fed during the test supports the assumption that the average /sup 234/U concentration in the natural U fed was probably different during the two operating periods.

  1. Uranium*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grenthe, Ingmar; Drożdżyński, Janusz; Fujino, Takeo; Buck, Edgar C.; Albrecht-Schmitt, Thomas E.; Wolf, Stephen F.

    Uranium compounds have been used as colorants since Roman times (Caley, 1948). Uranium was discovered as a chemical element in a pitchblende specimen by Martin Heinrich Klaproth, who published the results of his work in 1789. Pitchblende is an impure uranium oxide, consisting partly of the most reduced oxide uraninite (UO2) and partly of U3O8. Earlier mineralogists had considered this mineral to be a complex oxide of iron and tungsten or of iron and zinc, but Klaproth showed by dissolving it partially in strong acid that the solutions yielded precipitates that were different from those of known elements. Therefore he concluded that it contained a new element (Mellor, 1932); he named it after the planet Uranus, which had been discovered in 1781 by William Herschel, who named it after the ancient Greek deity of the Heavens.

  2. Influence of nutrient medium composition on uranium toxicity and choice of the most sensitive growth related endpoint in Lemna minor.

    PubMed

    Horemans, Nele; Van Hees, May; Saenen, Eline; Van Hoeck, Arne; Smolders, Valérie; Blust, Ronny; Vandenhove, Hildegarde

    2016-01-01

    Uranium (U) toxicity is known to be highly dependent on U speciation and bioavailability. To assess the impact of uranium on plants, a growth inhibition test was set up in the freshwater macrophyte Lemna minor. First growth media with different compositions were tested in order to find a medium fit for testing U toxicity in L. minor. Following arguments were used for medium selection: the ability to sustain L. minor growth, a high solubility of U in the medium and a high percentage of the more toxic U-species namely UO2(2+). Based on these selection criteria a with a low phosphate concentration of 0.5 mg L(-1) and supplemented with 5 mM MES (2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid) to ensure pH stability was chosen. This medium also showed highest U toxicity compared to the other tested media. Subsequently a full dose response curve for U was established by exposing L. minor plants to U concentrations ranging from 0.05 μM up to 150 μM for 7 days. Uranium was shown to adversely affect growth of L. minor in a dose dependent manner with EC10, EC30 and EC50 values ranging between 1.6 and 4.8 μM, 7.7-16.4 μM and 19.4-37.2 μM U, respectively, depending on the growth endpoint. Four different growth related endpoints were tested: frond area, frond number, fresh weight and dry weight. Although differences in relative growth rates and associated ECx-values calculated on different endpoints are small (maximal twofold difference), frond area is recommended to be used to measure U-induced growth effects as it is a sensitive growth endpoint and easy to measure in vivo allowing for measurements over time.

  3. Critical Need for Plutonium and Uranium Isotopic Standards with Lower Uncertainties

    DOE PAGES

    Mathew, Kattathu Joseph; Stanley, Floyd E.; Thomas, Mariam R.; ...

    2016-09-23

    Certified reference materials (CRMs) traceable to national and international safeguards database are a critical prerequisite for ensuring that nuclear measurement systems are free of systematic biases. CRMs are used to validate measurement processes associated with nuclear analytical laboratories. Diverse areas related to nuclear safeguards are impacted by the quality of the CRM standards available to analytical laboratories. These include: nuclear forensics, radio-chronometry, national and international safeguards, stockpile stewardship, nuclear weapons infrastructure and nonproliferation, fuel fabrication, waste processing, radiation protection, and environmental monitoring. For the past three decades the nuclear community is confronted with the strange situation that improvements in measurementmore » data quality resulting from the improved accuracy and precision achievable with modern multi-collector mass spectrometers could not be fully exploited due to large uncertainties associated with CRMs available from New Brunswick Laboratory (NBL) that are used for instrument calibration and measurement control. Similar conditions prevail for both plutonium and uranium isotopic standards and for impurity element standards in uranium matrices. Herein, the current status of U and Pu isotopic standards available from NBL is reviewed. Critical areas requiring improvement in the quality of the nuclear standards to enable the U. S. and international safeguards community to utilize the full potential of modern multi-collector mass spectrometer instruments are highlighted.« less

  4. Critical Need for Plutonium and Uranium Isotopic Standards with Lower Uncertainties

    SciTech Connect

    Mathew, Kattathu Joseph; Stanley, Floyd E.; Thomas, Mariam R.; Spencer, Khalil J.; Colletti, Lisa Michelle; Tandon, Lav

    2016-09-23

    Certified reference materials (CRMs) traceable to national and international safeguards database are a critical prerequisite for ensuring that nuclear measurement systems are free of systematic biases. CRMs are used to validate measurement processes associated with nuclear analytical laboratories. Diverse areas related to nuclear safeguards are impacted by the quality of the CRM standards available to analytical laboratories. These include: nuclear forensics, radio-chronometry, national and international safeguards, stockpile stewardship, nuclear weapons infrastructure and nonproliferation, fuel fabrication, waste processing, radiation protection, and environmental monitoring. For the past three decades the nuclear community is confronted with the strange situation that improvements in measurement data quality resulting from the improved accuracy and precision achievable with modern multi-collector mass spectrometers could not be fully exploited due to large uncertainties associated with CRMs available from New Brunswick Laboratory (NBL) that are used for instrument calibration and measurement control. Similar conditions prevail for both plutonium and uranium isotopic standards and for impurity element standards in uranium matrices. Herein, the current status of U and Pu isotopic standards available from NBL is reviewed. Critical areas requiring improvement in the quality of the nuclear standards to enable the U. S. and international safeguards community to utilize the full potential of modern multi-collector mass spectrometer instruments are highlighted.

  5. Partial Safety Analysis for a Reduced Uranium Enrichment Core for the High Flux Isotope Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Primm, Trent; Gehin, Jess C

    2009-04-01

    A computational model of the reactor core of the High Flux Isotope Rector (HFIR) was developed in order to analyze non-destructive accidents caused by transients during reactor operation. The reactor model was built for the latest version of the nuclear analysis software package called Program for the Analysis of Reactor Transients (PARET). Analyses performed with the model constructed were compared with previous data obtained with other tools in order to benchmark the code. Finally, the model was used to analyze the behavior of the reactor under transients using a different nuclear fuel with lower enrichment of uranium (LEU) than the fuel currently used, which has a high enrichment of uranium (HEU). The study shows that the presence of fertile isotopes in LEU fuel, which increases the neutron resonance absorption, reduces the impact of transients on the fuel and enhances the negative reactivity feedback, thus, within the limitations of this study, making LEU fuel appear to be a safe alternative fuel for the reactor core.

  6. Critical Need for Plutonium and Uranium Isotopic Standards with Lower Uncertainties

    SciTech Connect

    Mathew, Kattathu Joseph; Stanley, Floyd E.; Thomas, Mariam R.; Spencer, Khalil J.; Colletti, Lisa Michelle; Tandon, Lav

    2016-09-23

    Certified reference materials (CRMs) traceable to national and international safeguards database are a critical prerequisite for ensuring that nuclear measurement systems are free of systematic biases. CRMs are used to validate measurement processes associated with nuclear analytical laboratories. Diverse areas related to nuclear safeguards are impacted by the quality of the CRM standards available to analytical laboratories. These include: nuclear forensics, radio-chronometry, national and international safeguards, stockpile stewardship, nuclear weapons infrastructure and nonproliferation, fuel fabrication, waste processing, radiation protection, and environmental monitoring. For the past three decades the nuclear community is confronted with the strange situation that improvements in measurement data quality resulting from the improved accuracy and precision achievable with modern multi-collector mass spectrometers could not be fully exploited due to large uncertainties associated with CRMs available from New Brunswick Laboratory (NBL) that are used for instrument calibration and measurement control. Similar conditions prevail for both plutonium and uranium isotopic standards and for impurity element standards in uranium matrices. Herein, the current status of U and Pu isotopic standards available from NBL is reviewed. Critical areas requiring improvement in the quality of the nuclear standards to enable the U. S. and international safeguards community to utilize the full potential of modern multi-collector mass spectrometer instruments are highlighted.

  7. Isotopic determination of uranium in soil by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, George C.-Y.; Choi, Inhee; Mao, Xianglei; Zorba, Vassilia; Lam, Oanh P.; Shuh, David K.; Russo, Richard E.

    2016-08-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) operated under ambient pressure has been evaluated for isotopic analysis of uranium in real-world samples such as soil, with U concentrations in the single digit percentage levels. The study addresses the requirements for spectral decomposition of 235U and 238U atomic emission peaks that are only partially resolved. Although non-linear least-square fitting algorithms are typically able to locate the optimal combination of fitting parameters that best describes the experimental spectrum even when all fitting parameters are treated as free independent variables, the analytical results of such an unconstrained free-parameter approach are ambiguous. In this work, five spectral decomposition algorithms were examined, with different known physical properties (e.g., isotopic splitting, hyperfine structure) of the spectral lines sequentially incorporated into the candidate algorithms as constraints. It was found that incorporation of such spectral-line constraints into the decomposition algorithm is essential for the best isotopic analysis. The isotopic abundance of 235U was determined from a simple two-component Lorentzian fit on the U II 424.437 nm spectral profile. For six replicate measurements, each with only fifteen laser shots, on a soil sample with U concentration at 1.1% w/w, the determined 235U isotopic abundance was (64.6 ± 4.8)%, and agreed well with the certified value of 64.4%. Another studied U line - U I 682.691 nm possesses hyperfine structure that is comparatively broad and at a significant fraction as the isotopic shift. Thus, 235U isotopic analysis with this U I line was performed with spectral decomposition involving individual hyperfine components. For the soil sample with 1.1% w/w U, the determined 235U isotopic abundance was (60.9 ± 2.0)%, which exhibited a relative bias about 6% from the certified value. The bias was attributed to the spectral resolution of our measurement system - the measured line

  8. Uranium isotopic fractionation factors during U(VI) reduction by bacterial isolates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Anirban; Sanford, Robert A.; Johnson, Thomas M.; Lundstrom, Craig C.; Löffler, Frank E.

    2014-07-01

    We experimentally determined the magnitude of uranium isotopic fractionation induced by U(VI) reduction by metal reducing bacterial isolates. Our results indicate that microbial U(VI) reduction induces isotopic fractionation; heavier isotopes (i.e., 238U) partition into the solid U(IV) products. The magnitudes of isotopic fractionation (expressed as ε = 1000‰ * (α-1)) for 238U/235U were 0.68‰ ± 0.05‰ and 0.99‰ ± 0.12‰ for Geobacter sulfurreducens strain PCA and strain IFRC-N, respectively. The ε values for Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans strain FRC-W, strain FRC-R5, a novel Shewanella isolate, and Desulfitobacterium sp. strain Viet1 were 0.72‰ ± 0.15‰, 0.99‰ ± 0.12‰, 0.96‰ ± 0.16‰ and 0.86‰ ± 0.06‰, respectively. Our results show that the maximum ε values of ∼1.0‰ were obtained with low biomass (∼107 cells/mL) and low electron donor concentrations (∼500 μM). These results provide an initial assessment of 238U/235U shifts induced by microbially-mediated U(VI) reduction, which is needed as 238U/235U data are increasingly applied as redox indicators in various geochemical settings.

  9. Highly enriched isotopes of uranium and transuranium elements for scientific investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vesnovskii, Stanislav P.; Polynov, Vladimir N.

    1992-08-01

    The paper describes the production of highly enriched isotopes of uranium, plutonium, americium and curium by means of electromagnetic separation for scientific and applied research in physics, chemistry, geology and other fields. The equipment and radiochemical methods used allows to provide the isotopic pure samples in quantities sufficient to set up nuclear physics experiments, to produce reference materials and standard sources for calibration of radiometrical and mass spectrometrical equipment and for use in radionuclear metrology. For a series of nuclei unique characteristics of isotopic enrichment and radiochemical and chemical purity were achieved: 233U: 99.97%; 235U: 99.97%; 236U: 98.0%; 238U: 99.997%; 238Pu: 99.6%; 239Pu: 99.9977%; 240Pu: 99.9-100%; 241Pu: 96.998%; 242Pu: 97.8-99.96%; 244Pu: 96.7%; 241Am: 99.6%; 242mAm: 85.6%; 243Am: 99.2-99.94%; 243Cm: 99.99%; 245Cm: 99.998%; 246Cm: 99.8%; 247Cm: 90%; 248Cm: 97%. Methods of radiochemical and chemical separation, product certification, fabrication of special sources or targets and layers of highly enriched isotopes on various substrates are presented.

  10. Time Constraints on Soil Evolution from Uranium-series Isotopes in the South-eastern Australian Highlands: Evidences for a Coupling Between Soil Erosion and Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puthiyaveetil Othayoth, S.; Dosseto, A.; Hesse, P. P.; Handley, H. K.

    2011-12-01

    The evolution of soil resources (steady-state, aggradation or degradation) is determined by the balance between soil production and denudation rates. The uranium-series isotopic composition of four soil profiles from Frogs Hollow, a location in the upper catchment area of the Murrumbidgee River in southeastern Australia, has been determined to constrain the soil production rate in this region. The results are compared with previous estimates of soil residence time at this site, estimated from cosmogenic radionuclides and soil elemental chemistry data. Soil is increasingly weathered from bottom to top, which is evident from the decrease in (234U/238U) ratios and increase in relative quartz content with decreasing soil depth. The observed variations in mineralogy and geochemistry between the four soil profiles reflect differences in the degree of weathering. Sequential leaching was conducted to assess how uranium-series isotopes are distributed between primary and secondary minerals. Leached and unleached aliquots show similar mineralogy with minor variation in the relative mineral abundances whereas the elemental and isotopic compositions of uranium and thorium show notable differences. The unleached samples show more systematic variations in uranium-series isotopic compositions with depth when compared to leached samples. Soil residence times are calculated by modeling soil uranium-series isotopic composition using the model from (Dosseto et al., 2008). Inferred values vary from 3 to 30 kyr for profiles F1 (unleached aliquots) and F2. A negative correlation is observed between muscovite abundance and calculated soil residence times. The slope of this correlation is similar for different soil profiles and for both leached and unleached aliquots. Thus, we were able to apply this relationship to profiles where the residence time could not be calculated due to scatter in U-series isotope compositions. The inferred soil residence times range from 3 to 33 kyr for leached

  11. Sulfur Isotopes as Indicators of Bacterial Sulfate Reduction Processes Influencing Field Scale Uranium Bioremediation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druhan, J. L.; Conrad, M. E.; Williams, K. H.; N'guessan, L.; Long, P. E.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2007-12-01

    An in-situ acetate amendment at a DOE Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) site near Rifle, CO demonstrated successful reduction of aqueous U(VI), to less soluble U(IV) through stimulated microbial activity. U(VI) reduction rates were highest during iron reduction and decreased with the onset of sulfate reduction. However, sustained U(IV) attenuation was observed following subsequent termination of the acetate amendment. These findings illustrate the importance of the transition between iron and sulfate reducing conditions in stimulating bioreduction of uranium. The sulfur isotope compositions of sulfate and sulfide were measured through this transition in order to explore the utility of these data in tracking the extent of microbial sulfate reduction and to assess the stability of sulfide precipitates. Samples for isotopic analyses and aqueous measurements of sulfate, ferrous iron, U(VI) and acetate were collected in one background well and three monitoring wells down-gradient of the acetate injection. Results show an increase of up to 7‰ in the δ34S of sulfate at the onset of sulfate reduction, followed by a return to background δ34S values of -8‰ following cessation of the acetate amendment. The δ34S values of sulfide increased from roughly -20‰ at the onset of sulfate reduction to a maximum of -0.8‰ during peak sulfate removal, followed by a gradual return to values of roughly -28‰ upon cessation of the acetate amendment. These data present a unique perspective on the processes governing the bioreduction experiment in that the sulfate isotopes are a function of both transport and mixing processes, whereas the sulfide isotopes represent biogenic sulfide that is rapidly removed from the aqueous phase. Thus a comparable enrichment in sulfate isotopic data noted in the closest and furthest wells from the injection gallery suggest bioreduction in both of these locations, while a larger increase in sulfide isotopic values in the closest well

  12. Reaction paths and host phases of uranium isotopes (235U; 238U), Saanich Inlet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amini, M.; Holmden, C. E.; Francois, R. H.

    2009-12-01

    In recent times, Uranium has become increasingly the focus of stable isotope fractionation studies. Variations in 238U/235U have been reported as a result of redox reactions [1,2] from the nuclear field shift effect [3], and a mass-dependent, microbially-mediated, kinetic isotope effect [4]. The 238U/235U variability caused by changes in environmental redox conditions leads to an increase in the 238U/235U ratios of the reduced U species sequestered into marine sediments. This points to U isotope variability as a new tool to study ancient ocean redox changes. However, the process by which reduced sediments become enriched in the heavy isotopes of U is not yet known, and hence the utility of 238U/235U as a redox tracer remains to be demonstrated. In order to further constrain sedimentary U enrichment and related isotope effect, we are investigating U isotopic compositions of water samples and fresh surface sediment grab samples over a range of redox conditions in the seasonally anoxic Saanich Inlet, on the east coast of Vancouver Island. U was sequentially extracted from sediments in order to characterize specific fractions for their isotopic composition. The measurements were carried out by MC-ICPMS using 233U/236U-double spike technique. The data are reported as δ238U relative to NBL 112a with a 238U/235U ratio of 137.88 (2sd). External precision is better than 0.10‰ (2sd). Fifteeen analyses of seawater yielded δ238U of -0.42±0.08‰ (2sd). The results for the water samples indicate a homogenous δ238U value throughout the Saanich Inlet water column that matches the global seawater signature. All of the water samples from above and below average -0.42±0.05‰ (2sd). In contrast, a plankton net sample yielded a distinctly different, (about 0.5‰ lighter) isotope value. Bacterial reduction experiments [4] have also shown isotope enrichment factors of about -0.3‰. In addition, metal isotope fractionation occurs during adsorption with the light isotope being

  13. Uranium isotope evidence for temporary ocean oxygenation in the aftermath of the Sturtian Snowball Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Kimberly V.; Macdonald, Francis A.; Maher, Kate; Payne, Jonathan L.

    2017-01-01

    The appearance and radiation of animals are commonly attributed to Neoproterozoic oceanic oxygenation, yet independent geochemical evidence for such an event remains equivocal. Strata deposited between the Sturtian and Marinoan Snowball Earth glaciations (660 to 640 Ma) contain the earliest animal biomarkers and possible body fossils. To quantify the extent of seafloor oxygenation during this critical interval, we present uranium isotope ratios (238U/235U denoted as δ238 U) from limestone of the Taishir Formation in Mongolia through two stratigraphic sections that are separated by ∼75 km within the same depositional basin. Above the Sturtian glacial deposits, through ∼150 m of stratigraphy, δ238 U compositions have a mean value of -0.47‰. This interval is followed by a ∼0.3‰ decrease in δ238 U, coincident with the Taishir negative carbon isotope excursion. Thereafter, δ238 U values remain relatively low until the erosional unconformity at the base of the Marinoan glacial deposits. Using a box model, we show that the best explanation for the higher δ238 U values of the post-Sturtian limestones is extensive-but temporary-oxygenation of the seafloor, and is inconsistent with a scenario involving only increased delivery of uranium to the oceans due to post-Snowball weathering. The decline in δ238 U in overlying strata, coincident with the Taishir negative δ13 C excursion, indicates a subsequent decrease in seafloor oxygenation. The U isotopic data, combined with modeling results, challenge the notion of a simple, unidirectional oxygenation of Neoproterozoic oceans.

  14. Age of uranium mineralization at the Jabiluka and Ranger deposits, Northern Territory, Australia: New U- Pb isotope evidence.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludwig, K. R.; Grauch, R.I.; Nutt, C.J.; Nash, J.T.; Frishman, D.; Simmons, K.R.

    1987-01-01

    The Ranger and Jabiluka uranium deposits are the largest in the Alligator Rivers uranium field, which contains at least 20% of the world's low-cost uranium reserves. Ore occurs in early Proterozoic metasediments, below an unconformity with sandstones of the 1.65 b.y.-old Kombolgie Formation. This study has used U-Pb isotope data from a large number of whole-rock drill core samples with a variety of mineral assemblages and textures. Both Ranger and Jabiluka reflect a common, profound isotopic disturbance at about 400 to 600 m.y. This disturbance, which was especially pronounced at Jabiluka, may correspond to the development of basins and associated basalt flows to the W and SW.-from Authors

  15. The Itataia phosphate-uranium deposit (Ceará, Brazil) new petrographic, geochemistry and isotope studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veríssimo, César Ulisses Vieira; Santos, Roberto Ventura; Parente, Clóvis Vaz; Oliveira, Claudinei Gouveia de; Cavalcanti, José Adilson Dias; Nogueira Neto, José de Araújo

    2016-10-01

    The Itataia phosphate-uranium deposit is located in Santa Quitéria, in central Ceará State, northeastern Brazil. Mineralization has occurred in different stages and involves quartz leaching (episyenitization), brecciation and microcrystalline phase formation of concretionary apatite. The last constitutes the main mineral of Itatiaia uranium ore, namely collophane. Collophanite ore occurs in massive bodies, lenses, breccia zones, veins or episyenite in marble layers, calc-silicate rocks and gneisses of the Itataia Group. There are two accepted theories on the origin of the earliest mineralization phase of Itataia ore: syngenetic (primary) - where the ore is derived from a continental source and then deposited in marine and coastal environments; and epigenetic (secondary) - whereby the fluids are of magmatic, metamorphic and meteoric origin. The characterization of pre- or post-deformational mineralization is controversial, since the features of the ore are interpreted as deformation. This investigation conducted isotopic studies and chemical analyses of minerals in marbles and calc-silicate rocks of the Alcantil and Barrigas Formations (Itataia Group), as well as petrographic and structural studies. Analysis of the thin sections shows at least three phosphate mineral phases associated with uranium mineralizaton: (1) A prismatic fluorapatite phase associated with chess-board albite, arfvedsonite and ferro-eckermannite; (2) a second fluorapatite phase with fibrous radial or colloform habits that replaces calcium carbonate in marble, especially along fractures, with minerals such as quartz, chlorite and zeolite also identified in calc-silicate rocks; and (3) an younger phosphate phase of botryoidal apatite (fluorapatite and hydroxyapatite) related with clay minerals and probably others calcium and aluminum phosphates. Detailed isotopic analysis carried out perpendicularly to the mineralized levels and veins in the marble revealed significant variation in isotopic

  16. Design Study for a Low-Enriched Uranium Core for the High Flux Isotope Reactor, Annual Report for FY 2008

    SciTech Connect

    Primm, Trent; Chandler, David; Ilas, Germina; Miller, James Henry; Sease, John D; Jolly, Brian C

    2009-03-01

    This report documents progress made during FY 2008 in studies of converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. Conversion from HEU to LEU will require a change in fuel form from uranium oxide to a uranium-molybdenum alloy. With axial and radial grading of the fuel foil and an increase in reactor power to 100 MW, calculations indicate that the HFIR can be operated with LEU fuel with no degradation in reactor performance from the current level. Results of selected benchmark studies imply that calculations of LEU performance are accurate. Scoping experiments with various manufacturing methods for forming the LEU alloy profile are presented.

  17. Uranium isotopic compositions of the crust and ocean: Age corrections, U budget and global extent of modern anoxia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tissot, François L. H.; Dauphas, Nicolas

    2015-10-01

    The 238U/235U isotopic composition of uranium in seawater can provide important insights into the modern U budget of the oceans. Using the double spike technique and a new data reduction method, we analyzed an array of seawater samples and 41 geostandards covering a broad range of geological settings relevant to low and high temperature geochemistry. Analyses of 18 seawater samples from geographically diverse sites from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Persian Gulf, and English Channel, together with literature data (n = 17), yield a δ238U value for modern seawater of -0.392 ± 0.005‰ relative to CRM-112a. Measurements of the uranium isotopic compositions of river water, lake water, evaporites, modern coral, shales, and various igneous rocks (n = 64), together with compilations of literature data (n = 380), allow us to estimate the uranium isotopic compositions of the various reservoirs involved in the modern oceanic uranium budget, as well as the fractionation factors associated with U incorporation into those reservoirs. Because the incorporation of U into anoxic/euxinic sediments is accompanied by large isotopic fractionation (ΔAnoxic/Euxinic-SW = +0.6‰), the size of the anoxic/euxinic sink strongly influences the δ238U value of seawater. Keeping all other fluxes constant, the flux of uranium in the anoxic/euxinic sink is constrained to be 7.0 ± 3.1 Mmol/yr (or 14 ± 3% of the total flux out of the ocean). This translates into an areal extent of anoxia into the modern ocean of 0.21 ± 0.09% of the total seafloor. This agrees with independent estimates and rules out a recent uranium budget estimate by Henderson and Anderson (2003). Using the mass fractions and isotopic compositions of various rock types in Earth's crust, we further calculate an average δ238U isotopic composition for the continental crust of -0.29 ± 0.03‰ corresponding to a 238U/235U isotopic ratio of 137.797 ± 0.005. We discuss the implications of

  18. Determination of the origin of elevated uranium at a Former Air Force Landfill using non-parametric statistics analysis and uranium isotope ratio analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Weismann, J.; Young, C.; Masciulli, S.; Caputo, D.

    2007-07-01

    factors so that gross alpha action levels can be applied to future long-term landfill monitoring to track radiological conditions at lower cost. Ratios of isotopic uranium results were calculated to test whether the elevated uranium displayed signatures indicative of military use. Results of all ratio testing strongly supports the conclusion that the uranium found in groundwater, surface water, and sediment at OU 2 is naturally-occurring and has not undergone anthropogenic enrichment or processing. U-234:U-238 ratios also show that a disequilibrium state, i.e., ratio greater than 1, exists throughout OU 2 which is indicative of long-term aqueous transport in aged aquifers. These results all support the conclusion that the elevated uranium observed at OU 2 is due to the high concentrations in the regional watershed. Based on the results of this monitoring program, we concluded that the elevated uranium concentrations measured in OU 2 groundwater, surface water, and sediment are due to the naturally-occurring uranium content of the regional watershed and are not the result of waste burials in the former landfill. Several lines of evidence indicate that natural uranium has been naturally concentrated beneath OU 2 in the geologic past and the higher of uranium concentrations in down-gradient wells is the result of geochemical processes and not the result of a uranium ore disposal. These results therefore provide the data necessary to support radiological closure of OU 2. (authors)

  19. The isotopic composition of uranium and lead in Allende inclusions and meteoritic phosphates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, J. H.; Wasserburg, G. J.

    1981-01-01

    The isotopic compositions of uranium and lead in Ca-Al-rich inclusions from the Allende chondrite and in whitlockite from the St. Severin chondrite and the Angra dos Reis achondrite are reported. Isoptopic analysis of acid soluble fractions of the Allende inclusions and the meteoritic whitlockite, which show isotopic anomalies in other elements, reveals U-235/U-238 ratios from 1/137.6 to 1/138.3, within 20 per mil of normal terrestrial U abundances. The Pb isotopic compositions of five coarse-grained Allende inclusions give a mean Pb-207/Pb-206 model age of 4.559 + or - 0.015 AE, in agreement with the U results. Pb isotope ratios of two fine-grained inclusions and a coarse-grained inclusion with strong mass fractionation and some nonlinear isotopic anomalies indicate that the U-Pb systems of these inclusions have evolved differently from the rest of Allende. Th/U abundance ratios in the Allende inclusions and meteoritic phosphate are found to range from 3.8 to 96, presumably indicating an optimal case for Cm/U fractionation, although the normal U concentrations do not support claims of abundant live Cm-247 or Cm-247/U-238 fractionation at the time of meteorite formation, in contrast to previous results. A limiting Cm-247/U-235 ratio of 0.004 at the time of meteorite formation is calculated which implies that the last major r process contribution at the protosolar nebula was approximately 100 million years prior to Al-26 formation and injection.

  20. Highly enriched isotope samples of uranium and transuranium elements for scientific investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vesnovskii, Stanislav P.; Polynov, Vladimir N.; Danilin, Lev. D.

    1992-02-01

    The paper describes the production of highly enriched isotopes of uranium, plutonium, americium and curium by electromagnetic separation for scientific and applied researches in physics, chemistry, geology, medicine, biology and other fields. Using the equipment described, the isotopes are produced in quantities sufficient to set up nuclear physical experiments, to produce nuclear reference materials and standard sources for calibration of radiometrical and mass spectrometrical equipment, in radionuclide metrology, etc. For the following isotopes the indicated degrees of isotopic enrichment were achieved: 233U - 99.97%; 235U - 99.97%; 236U - 98.0%; 238U - 99.997%; 238Pu - 99.6%; 239Pu - 99.9977%; 240Pu - 99.9-100%; 241Pu - 96.998%; 242Pu - 97.8-99.96%; 244Pu - 96.7%; 241Am - 99.6%; 242Am - 73.6%; 243Am - 99.2-99.94%; 243Cm - 99.99%; 245Cm - 99.998%; 246Cm - 99.8%; 247Cm - 90%; 248Cm - 97%. Methods for preparing layers of highly enriched isotopes on various substances are presented: - electrochemical deposition of transuranic elements from aqueous-organic and organic media and vacuum spraying: - the method of foil and coating formation via compounds in the vapour phase; - the method of fabrication of layers of transuranic elements on superthin (1-2 μm) metal substrates with additional isolating polymer-metal coatings (0.2-0.4 μm), that substantially decrease material transfer from the active layer and increase safety of product handling.

  1. The isotopic composition of uranium and lead in Allende inclusions and meteoritic phosphates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, J. H.; Wasserburg, G. J.

    1981-01-01

    The isotopic compositions of uranium and lead in Ca-Al-rich inclusions from the Allende chondrite and in whitlockite from the St. Severin chondrite and the Angra dos Reis achondrite are reported. Isoptopic analysis of acid soluble fractions of the Allende inclusions and the meteoritic whitlockite, which show isotopic anomalies in other elements, reveals U-235/U-238 ratios from 1/137.6 to 1/138.3, within 20 per mil of normal terrestrial U abundances. The Pb isotopic compositions of five coarse-grained Allende inclusions give a mean Pb-207/Pb-206 model age of 4.559 + or - 0.015 AE, in agreement with the U results. Pb isotope ratios of two fine-grained inclusions and a coarse-grained inclusion with strong mass fractionation and some nonlinear isotopic anomalies indicate that the U-Pb systems of these inclusions have evolved differently from the rest of Allende. Th/U abundance ratios in the Allende inclusions and meteoritic phosphate are found to range from 3.8 to 96, presumably indicating an optimal case for Cm/U fractionation, although the normal U concentrations do not support claims of abundant live Cm-247 or Cm-247/U-238 fractionation at the time of meteorite formation, in contrast to previous results. A limiting Cm-247/U-235 ratio of 0.004 at the time of meteorite formation is calculated which implies that the last major r process contribution at the protosolar nebula was approximately 100 million years prior to Al-26 formation and injection.

  2. Third Minima in Thorium and Uranium Isotopes in a Self-Consistent Theory

    SciTech Connect

    McDonnell, J. D.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Well-developed third minima, corresponding to strongly elongated and reflection-asymmetric shapes associated with dimolecular configurations, have been predicted in some non-self-consistent models to impact fission pathways of thorium and uranium isotopes. These predictions have guided the interpretation of resonances seen experimentally. On the other hand, self-consistent calculations consistently predict very shallow potential-energy surfaces in the third minimum region.

    Purpose: We investigate the interpretation of third-minimum configurations in terms of dimolecular (cluster) states. We study the isentropic potential-energy surfaces of selected even-even thorium and uranium isotopes at several excitation energies. In order to understand the driving effects behind the presence of third minima, we study the interplay between pairing and shell effects.

    Methods: We use the finite-temperature superfluid nuclear density functional theory. We consider two Skyrme energy density functionals: a traditional functional SkM and a recent functional UNEDF1 optimized for fission studies.

    Results: We predict very shallow or no third minima in the potential-energy surfaces of 232Th and 232U. In the lighter Th and U isotopes with N = 136 and 138, the third minima are better developed. We show that the reflection-asymmetric configurations around the third minimum can be associated with dimolecular states involving the spherical doubly magic 132Sn and a lighter deformed Zr or Mo fragment. The potential-energy surfaces for 228,232Th and 232U at several excitation energies are presented. We also study isotopic chains to demonstrate the evolution of the depth of the third minimum with neutron number.

    Conclusions: We show that the neutron shell effect that governs the existence of the dimolecular states around the third minimum is consistent with the spherical-to-deformed shape transition in the Zr andMo isotopes around N = 58.We demonstrate that the depth of

  3. Third minima in thorium and uranium isotopes in a self-consistent theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonnell, J. D.; Nazarewicz, W.; Sheikh, J. A.

    2013-05-01

    Background: Well-developed third minima, corresponding to strongly elongated and reflection-asymmetric shapes associated with dimolecular configurations, have been predicted in some non-self-consistent models to impact fission pathways of thorium and uranium isotopes. These predictions have guided the interpretation of resonances seen experimentally. On the other hand, self-consistent calculations consistently predict very shallow potential-energy surfaces in the third minimum region.Purpose: We investigate the interpretation of third-minimum configurations in terms of dimolecular (cluster) states. We study the isentropic potential-energy surfaces of selected even-even thorium and uranium isotopes at several excitation energies. In order to understand the driving effects behind the presence of third minima, we study the interplay between pairing and shell effects.Methods: We use the finite-temperature superfluid nuclear density functional theory. We consider two Skyrme energy density functionals: a traditional functional SkM* and a recent functional UNEDF1 optimized for fission studies.Results: We predict very shallow or no third minima in the potential-energy surfaces of 232Th and 232U. In the lighter Th and U isotopes with N=136 and 138, the third minima are better developed. We show that the reflection-asymmetric configurations around the third minimum can be associated with dimolecular states involving the spherical doubly magic 132Sn and a lighter deformed Zr or Mo fragment. The potential-energy surfaces for 228,232Th and 232U at several excitation energies are presented. We also study isotopic chains to demonstrate the evolution of the depth of the third minimum with neutron number.Conclusions: We show that the neutron shell effect that governs the existence of the dimolecular states around the third minimum is consistent with the spherical-to-deformed shape transition in the Zr and Mo isotopes around N=58. We demonstrate that the depth of the third minimum

  4. Uranium isotopes in tree bark as a spatial tracer of environmental contamination near former uranium processing facilities in southwest Ohio.

    PubMed

    Conte, Elise; Widom, Elisabeth; Kuentz, David

    2017-09-14

    Inappropriate handling of radioactive waste at nuclear facilities can introduce non-natural uranium (U) into the environment via the air or groundwater, leading to anthropogenic increases in U concentrations. Uranium isotopic analyses of natural materials (e.g. soil, plants or water) provide a means to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic U in areas near sources of radionuclides to the environment. This study examines the utility of two different tree bark transects for resolving the areal extent of U atmospheric contamination using several locations in southwest Ohio that historically processed U. This study is the first to utilize tree bark sampling transects to assess environmental contamination emanating from a nuclear facility. The former Fernald Feed Materials Production Center (FFMPC; Ross, Ohio) produced U metal from natural U ores and recycled nuclear materials from 1951 to 1989. Alba Craft Laboratory (Oxford, Ohio) machined several hundred tons of natural U metal from the FFMPC between 1952 and 1957. The Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company (HHM; Hamilton, Ohio) intermittently fabricated slugs rolled from natural U metal stock for use in nuclear reactors from 1943 to 1951. We have measured U concentrations and isotope signatures in tree bark sampled along an ∼35 km SSE-NNW transect from the former FFMPC to the vicinity of the former Alba Craft laboratories (transect #1) and an ∼20 km SW- NE (prevailing local wind direction) transect from the FFMPC to the vicinity of the former HHM (transect #2), with a focus on old trees with thick, persistent bark that could potentially record a time-integrated signature of environmental releases of U related to anthropogenic activity. Our results demonstrate the presence of anthropogenic U contamination in tree bark from the entire study area in both transects, with U concentrations within 1 km of the FFMPC up to ∼400 times local background levels of 0.066 ppm. Tree bark samples from the Alba Craft and

  5. Fluxes of uranium and thorium series isotopes in the Santa Barbara Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Willard S.; Bruland, Kenneth W.; Michel, Jacqueline

    1981-05-01

    Samples from the MANOP Santa Barbara Basin sediment trap intercomparison were analyzed for the isotopes of uranium, thorium, radium, lead, and polonium. All of the traps showed approximately the same compositions and isotopic ratios, indicating that they trapped similar materials. The 234Th flux via falling particles was very close to the flux predicted from the production and scavenging rates of 234Th from the water column. The 210Pb content of the trapped particles and the surface sediments were the same, however, the measured flux of 210Pb was seven times greater than the predicted flux. Predicted and measured fluxes of 228Th and 210Po were similarly out of balance. To explain this apparent inconsistency, we suggest (as others have done) that the Santa Barbara Basin is an area where scavenging from the water column is intensified and where sediments deposited initially on the margins may be physically remobilized on a short time scale. These two effects increase the apparent area from which the basin derives the longer-lived isotopes but does not increase significantly the supply of the short-lived 234Th.

  6. Identifying the sources of subsurface contamination at the Hanford site in Washington using high-precision uranium isotopic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, J. N.; Dresel, P. E.; Maher, K.; Conrad, M. S.; Depaolo, D. J.

    2003-04-01

    The contrasts in isotopic composition between natural and anthropogenic uranium promotes the measurement of uranium isotopic composition as a fingerprint and tracer of uranium contamination in the environment. At the Hanford site, there are multiple plumes of a variety of contaminants, including uranium, resulting from decades of nuclear fuel production and processing. We focused in particular on a uranium groundwater plume and two vadose zone U plumes associated with the B-BX-BY tank farm. The groundwater plume (>30 ppb U) is currently approximately 250 m wide, at least 900 m long with U concentrations up to 525 ppb. The precise origin and history of this contamination is not well understood, since a number of tanks and incidents are potential sources. Here we report the isotopic compositions of U from vadose zone samples obtained from two contaminated cores in the B-BX-BY tank farm, and of U from groundwater samples. The isotopic analyses produce a link between a particular vadose zone U plume and groundwater contamination, identify contamination sources, and provide estimates of the relative proportions of anthropogenic uranium in the analyzed samples. In addition, the U isotopic compositions can be related to the estimated history of U use to constrain the history of contamination events in the B-BX-BY tank farm. Samples from two vadose zone cores were analyzed, one from near tank BX-102, the other near tank B-110. Both these cores are located SW of the axis of the groundwater plume. Isotopic compositions (234U/238U, 235U/238U and 236U/238U) of chemically separated U were measured on an Isoprobe, multiple collector ICP source mass spectrometer. Based on the U isotopic data, we find that the vadose zone plume associated with tank BX-102 is more likely a source of the ground water plume, rather than the vadose zone plume associated with tank B-110. From a comparison with a model history of the isotopic composition of processed U, the BX-102 vadose zone plume is

  7. Application of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to the determination of uranium isotope ratios in individual particles for nuclear safeguards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiao Zhi; Esaka, Fumitaka; Esaka, Konomi T.; Magara, Masaaki; Sakurai, Satoshi; Usuda, Shigekazu; Watanabe, Kazuo

    2007-10-01

    The capability of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for the determination of uranium isotope ratios in individual particles was determined. For this purpose, we developed an experimental procedure including single particle transfer with a manipulator, chemical dissolution and isotope ratio analysis, and applied to the analysis of individual uranium particles in certified reference materials (NBL CRM U050 and U350). As the result, the 235U/ 238U isotope ratio for the particle with the diameter between 0.5 and 3.9 μm was successfully determined with the deviation from the certified ratio within 1.8%. The relative standard deviation (R.S.D.) of the 235U/ 238U isotope ratio was within 4.2%. Although the analysis of 234U/ 238U and 236U/ 238U isotope ratios gave the results with inferior precision, the R.S.D. within 20% was possible for the measurement of the particle with the diameter more than 2.1 μm. The developed procedure was successfully applied to the analysis of a simulated environmental sample prepared from a mixture of indoor dust (NIST SRM 2583) and uranium particles (NBL CRM U050, U350 and U950a). From the results, the proposed procedure was found to be an alternative analytical tool for nuclear safeguards.

  8. Evaluation of {sup 235}U Isotopic Dilution with the Addition of Depleted Uranium to Supernatant Liquid Waste

    SciTech Connect

    Oji, Lawrence N.; Hobbs, David T.; D'Entremont, Paul D.

    2004-02-15

    Laboratory-scale results on experiments performed to examine the feasibility of isotopic dilution of {sup 235}U in supernatant liquid storage tanks at the Savannah River Site are described. The isotopic dilution tests were accomplished by adding an alkaline depleted uranium solution to small portions of simulated and actual storage tank waste solutions with enriched {sup 235}U compositions. Based on the laboratory observations, recommendations were made, which involved the addition of significant quantities of uranyl carbonate solution to more than 4 million l of {sup 235}U enriched waste stored in tank 43H at the site to reduce the risk for criticality.A post-uranyl carbonate addition analysis on the tank supernate confirmed the effectiveness of depleted uranium in isotopic dilution of {sup 235}U. The {sup 235}U enrichment in tank 43H was isotopicaly diluted from an original high of >4 wt% down to <0.5 wt%, as predicted from the laboratory investigations.

  9. Method and apparatus for isotope-selectively exciting gaseous or vaporous uranium hexafluoride molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Fill, E.E.; Jetter, H.L.; Volk, R.

    1981-06-09

    A method of isotope-selectively exciting gaseous or vaporous uranium hexafluoride molecules by subjecting them to the action of a monochromatic iodine laser beam, the frequency of which can be adjusted and tuned to an absorption band of the molecules to be excited, the laser beam being scattered by liquid and/or solid nitrogen to obtain a triple raman-scattering. In a preferred embodiment, the laser has an emission frequency of 7600 to 7610 cm-1 and the tuning is effected by means of a magnetic field. An apparatus suitable for carrying out such a method comprises a high-performance iodine laser and an optical resonator into which the emission beam or pulses of the laser are focused, one or more dewar vessels filled with liquid or solid nitrogen being located within the optical resonator. In a preferred embodiment, the laser beam tube is located between the poles of an electromagnet.

  10. On the accuracy of gamma spectrometric isotope ratio measurements of uranium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramebäck, H.; Lagerkvist, P.; Holmgren, S.; Jonsson, S.; Sandström, B.; Tovedal, A.; Vesterlund, A.; Vidmar, T.; Kastlander, J.

    2016-04-01

    The isotopic composition of uranium was measured using high resolution gamma spectrometry. Two acid solutions and two samples in the form of UO2 pellets were measured. The measurements were done in close geometries, i.e. directly on the endcap of the high purity germanium detector (HPGe). Applying no corrections for count losses due to true coincidence summing (TCS) resulted in up to about 40% deviation in the abundance of 235U from the results obtained with mass spectrometry. However, after correction for TCS, excellent agreement was achieved between the results obtained using two different measurement methods, or a certified value. Moreover, after corrections, the fitted relative response curves correlated excellently with simulated responses, for the different geometries, of the HPGe detector.

  11. Distribution of uranium isotopes in the main channel of Yellow river (Huanghe), China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Xueyan; Yu, Zhigang; Ku, Teh-Lung; Kang, Xinglun; Wei, Wei; Chen, Hongtao

    2009-03-01

    Uranium isotopes were measured in waters and suspended particulate matters (SPM) of the main channel of Yellow River, China that were sampled during four field trips between August 2005 and July 2006. The results show that the concentration of dissolved U (2.04-7.83 μg/l) and the activity ratio of 234U/ 238U (1.36-1.67) are much higher than the average U concentrations and activity ratios of global major rivers. Mass balance calculations using the results of simulated experiments and measurement data show that the section of the Yellow River between Lanzhou and Sanmenxia has its dissolved U derived from two sources: suspended sediments (68%) and groundwater/runoff from loess deposits (32%). Both sources are related to the heavy erosion of the Chinese Loess Plateau.

  12. Sulfur isotopes as indicators of amended bacterial sulfate reduction processes influencing field scale uranium bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Druhan, Jennifer L; Conrad, Mark E; Williams, Kenneth H; N'Guessan, Lucie; Long, Philip E; Hubbard, Susan S

    2008-11-01

    Aqueous uranium (U(VI)) concentrations in a contaminated aquifer in Rifle Colorado have been successfully lowered through electron donor amended bioreduction. Samples collected during the acetate amendment experiment were analyzed for aqueous concentrations of Fe(ll), sulfate, sulfide, acetate, U(VI), and delta(34)S of sulfate and sulfide to explore the utility of sulfur isotopes as indicators of in situ acetate amended sulfate and uranium bioreduction processes. Enrichment of up to 7% per hundred in delta(34)S of sulfate in down-gradient monitoring wells indicates a transition to elevated bacterial sulfate reduction. A depletion in Fe(II), sulfate, and sulfide concentrations atthe height of sulfate reduction, along with an increase in the delta(34)S of sulfide to levels approaching the delta(34)S values of sulfate, indicates sulfate limited conditions concurrent with a rebound in U(VI) concentrations. Upon cessation of acetate amendment, sulfate and sulfide concentrations increased, while delta(34)S values of sulfide returned to less than -20% per hundred and sulfate delta(34)S decreased to near-background values, indicating lower levels of sulfate reduction accompanied by a corresponding drop in U(VI). Results indicate a transition between electron donor and sulfate-limited conditions at the height of sulfate reduction and suggest stability of biogenic FeS precipitates following the end of acetate amendment.

  13. Sulfur Isotopes as Indicators of Amended Bacterial Sulfate Reduction Processes Influencing Field Scale Uranium Bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Druhan, Jennifer L.; Conrad, Mark E.; Williams, Kenneth H.; N'Guessan, A. Lucie; Long, Philip E.; Hubbard, Susan S.

    2008-11-01

    Aqueous uranium (U(VI)) concentrations in a contaminated aquifer in Rifle Colorado have been successfully lowered through electron donor amended bioreduction. Samples collected during the acetate amendment experiment were analyzed for aqueous concentrations of Fe(II), sulfate, sulfide, acetate, U(VI), and δ34S of sulfate and sulfide to explore the utility of sulfur isotopes as indicators of in situ acetate amended sulfate and uranium bioreduction processes. Enrichment of up to 7‰ in δ34S of sulfate in down-gradient monitoring wells indicates a transition to elevated bacterial sulfate reduction. A depletion in Fe(II), sulfate, and sulfide concentrations at the height of sulfate reduction, along with an increase in the δ34S of sulfide to levels approaching the d34S values of sulfate, indicates sulfate limited conditions concurrent with a rebound in U(VI) concentrations. Upon cessation of acetate amendment, sulfate and sulfide concentrations increased, while δ34S values of sulfide returned to less than -20‰ and sulfate δ34S decreased to near-background values, indicating lower levels of sulfate reduction accompanied by a corresponding drop in U(VI). Results indicate a transition between electron donor and sulfate-limited conditions at the height of sulfate reduction and suggest stability of biogenic FeS precipitates following the end of acetate amendment.

  14. Depleted uranium mobility across a weapons testing site: isotopic investigation of porewater, earthworms, and soils.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Ian W; Graham, Margaret C; MacKenzie, Angus B; Ellam, Robert M; Farmer, John G

    2008-12-15

    The mobility and bioavailability of depleted uranium (DU) in soils at a UK Ministry of Defence (UK MoD) weapons testing range were investigated. Soil and vegetation were collected near a test-firing position and at eight points along a transect line extending approximately 200 m down-slope, perpendicular to the firing line, toward a small stream. Earthworms and porewaters were subsequently separated from the soils and both total filtered porewater (<0.2 microm) and discrete size fractions (0.2 microm-100 kDa, 100-30 kDa, 30-3 kDa, and <3 kDa)obtainedvia centrifugal ultrafiltration were examined. Uranium concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) for soils and ICP-mass spectrometry (MS) for earthworms and porewaters, while 235U:238U atom ratios were determined by multicollector (MC)-ICP-MS. Comparison of the porewater and earthworm isotopic values with those of the soil solids indicated that DU released into the environment during weapons test-firing operations was more labile and more bioavailable than naturally occurring U in the soils at the testing range. Importantly, DU was shown to be present in soil porewater even at a distance of approximately 185 m from the test-firing position and, along the extent of the transect was apparently associated with organic colloids.

  15. Experimental investigation of uranium-series isotope mobility in a basaltic weathering profile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dosseto, Anthony; Menozzi, Davide; Kinsley, Leslie

    2015-04-01

    The measurement of uranium (U)-series isotopes in regolith can be used to determine the formation rate of weathering profiles. This approach aims at following how the U-series isotope composition of primary minerals (i.e. those derived from the parent material) vary during the development of the weathering profile. Nevertheless, regolith samples are a complex mixture of primary minerals, secondary minerals that are the residue of primary mineral weathering, secondary minerals that precipitate from pore water, minerals derived from atmospheric deposition and organic matter. In this study, firstly we aim at isolating primary minerals and the secondary minerals derived from them, by evaluating a sequential extraction procedure designed to eliminate carbonates, Fe-Mn oxides and organic matter. Secondly, we investigate the behaviour of U-series isotopes during primary mineral dissolution by applying a mild HF/HCl etching solution to the residues of the sequential extraction. These experiments were performed on bedrock, saprolite and soil derived from a basaltic weathering profile in south-eastern Australia. Results show that up to 50% of U is removed during sequential extraction, suggesting that (i) there is a large pool of labile U in the bedrock and (ii) secondary phases and organic matter account for a large fraction of the U budget in bulk saprolite and soil. Sequential extraction has little impact on the (234U/238U) activity ratio of bedrock and saprolite, whilst it shows a decrease in soil. This suggests that the pool of U removed from bedrock and saprolite has a (234U/238U) similar to that of primary minerals; but in the soil, the U removed (mostly from organic matter) is enriched in 234U. This is expected as organic matter uptakes U from pore solutions, which are generally enriched in 234U. During HF/HCl etching, the (234U/238U) of bedrock and saprolite is greater than 1. Sheng and Kuroda [1] previously proposed that (234U/238U) >1 in rocks could be explained by

  16. A new ground-level fallout record of uranium and plutonium isotopes for northern temperate latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warneke, Thorsten; Croudace, Ian W.; Warwick, Phillip E.; Taylor, Rex N.

    2002-11-01

    Plutonium and uranium isotope ratios can be used to differentiate the sources of nuclear contamination from nuclear weapon establishments (Environ. Sci. Technol. 34 (2000) 4496; Internal Report for AWRE Aldermaston, UK (1961)), weapon fallout (Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 51 (1987) 2623; Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 63 (1983) 202; Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 22 (1974) 111; Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 64 (2000) 989), reprocessing plants, reactor or satellite accidents (Science 105 (1979) 583; Science 238 (1987) 512) and in addition they provide markers for post-1952 geochronology of environmental systems. A good record of plutonium and uranium isotope ratios of the background resulting from atmospheric nuclear testing is essential for source characterisation studies. Using recently developed mass spectrometric techniques (J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 16 (2001) 279) we present here the first complete records between 1952 and the present day of northern temperate latitude 240Pu/ 239Pu and 238U/ 235U atom ratios for atmospheric deposition. Such information was not derived directly during the period of atmospheric testing because suitable mass spectrometric capability was not available. The currently derived records are based on an annual herbage archive and a core from an Alpine glacier. These studies reveal hitherto unseen fluctuations in the 238U/ 235U atmospheric fallout record, some of which are directly related to nuclear testing. In addition, they also provide the first evidence that plutonium contamination originating from Nevada Desert atmospheric weapon tests in 1952 and 1953 extended eastwards as far as northwestern Europe. The results presented here demonstrate that we now have the capability to detect and precisely identify sources of plutonium in the environment with implications for the development of atmospheric transport models, recent geochronology and environmental studies.

  17. Innovative lasers for uranium isotope separation. Final report, September 1, 1989--April 1, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Brake, M.L.; Gilgenbach, R.M.

    1993-07-01

    Copper vapor laser have important applications to uranium atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS). We have investigated two innovative methods of exciting/pumping copper vapor lasers which have the potential to improve the efficiency and scaling of large laser systems used in uranium isotope separation. Experimental research has focused on the laser discharge kinetics of (1) microwave, and (2) electron beam excitation/pumping of large-volume copper vapor lasers. Microwave resonant cavity produced copper vapor plasmas at 2.45 GHz, have been investigated in three separate experimental configurations. The first examined the application of CW (0-500W) power and was found to be an excellent method for producing an atomic copper vapor from copper chloride. The second used a pulsed (5kW, 0.5--5 kHz) signal superimposed on the CW signal to attempt to produce vaporization, dissociation and excitation to the laser states. Enhanced emission of the optical radiation was observed but power densities were found to be too low to achieve lasing. In a third experiment we attempted to increase the applied power by using a high power magnetron to produce 100 kW of pulsed power. Unfortunately, difficulties with the magnetron power supply were encountered leaving inconclusive results. Detailed modeling of the electromagnetics of the system were found to match the diagnostics results well. An electron beam pumped copper vapor system (350 kV, 1.0 kA, 300 ns) was investigated in three separate copper chloride heating systems, external chamber, externally heated chamber and an internally heated chamber. Since atomic copper spectral lines were not observed, it is assumed that a single pulse accelerator is not capable of both dissociating the copper chloride and exciting atomic copper and a repetitively pulsed electron beam generator is needed.

  18. Static, mixed-array total evaporation for improved quantitation of plutonium minor isotopes in small samples

    DOE PAGES

    Stanley, F. E.; Byerly, Benjamin L.; Thomas, Mariam R.; ...

    2016-03-31

    Actinide isotope measurements are a critical signature capability in the modern nuclear forensics “toolbox”, especially when interrogating anthropogenic constituents in real-world scenarios. Unfortunately, established methodologies, such as traditional total evaporation via thermal ionization mass spectrometry, struggle to confidently measure low abundance isotope ratios (<10-6) within already limited quantities of sample. Herein, we investigate the application of static, mixed array total evaporation techniques as a straightforward means of improving plutonium minor isotope measurements, which have been resistant to enhancement in recent years because of elevated radiologic concerns. Furthermore, results are presented for small sample (~20 ng) applications involving a well-known plutoniummore » isotope reference material, CRM-126a, and compared with traditional total evaporation methods.« less

  19. Static, mixed-array total evaporation for improved quantitation of plutonium minor isotopes in small samples

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, F. E.; Byerly, Benjamin L.; Thomas, Mariam R.; Spencer, Khalil J.

    2016-03-31

    Actinide isotope measurements are a critical signature capability in the modern nuclear forensics “toolbox”, especially when interrogating anthropogenic constituents in real-world scenarios. Unfortunately, established methodologies, such as traditional total evaporation via thermal ionization mass spectrometry, struggle to confidently measure low abundance isotope ratios (<10-6) within already limited quantities of sample. Herein, we investigate the application of static, mixed array total evaporation techniques as a straightforward means of improving plutonium minor isotope measurements, which have been resistant to enhancement in recent years because of elevated radiologic concerns. Furthermore, results are presented for small sample (~20 ng) applications involving a well-known plutonium isotope reference material, CRM-126a, and compared with traditional total evaporation methods.

  20. Static, Mixed-Array Total Evaporation for Improved Quantitation of Plutonium Minor Isotopes in Small Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, F. E.; Byerly, Benjamin L.; Thomas, Mariam R.; Spencer, Khalil J.

    2016-06-01

    Actinide isotope measurements are a critical signature capability in the modern nuclear forensics "toolbox", especially when interrogating anthropogenic constituents in real-world scenarios. Unfortunately, established methodologies, such as traditional total evaporation via thermal ionization mass spectrometry, struggle to confidently measure low abundance isotope ratios (<10-6) within already limited quantities of sample. Herein, we investigate the application of static, mixed array total evaporation techniques as a straightforward means of improving plutonium minor isotope measurements, which have been resistant to enhancement in recent years because of elevated radiologic concerns. Results are presented for small sample (~20 ng) applications involving a well-known plutonium isotope reference material, CRM-126a, and compared with traditional total evaporation methods.

  1. The quantitative analysis of uranium isotopes in the urine of the civilian population of eastern Afghanistan after Operation Enduring Freedom.

    PubMed

    Durakovic, Asaf

    2005-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the concentrations and precise isotopic compositions of four uranium isotopes (234U, 235U, 236U, and 238U) in urine specimens from the civilian population of Afghanistan after Allied Forces Operation Enduring Freedom. Eight male civilians from Nangarhar-Jalalabad region who presented with symptoms of fatigue, fever, musculoskeletal and neurological alterations, headaches, and respiratory impairment after inhalation of dust during the bombing raids in June 2002 had urine samples collected under controlled conditions and analyzed in duplicate for 234U, 235U, 236U, and 238U, with multicollector, inductively coupled, plasma ionization mass spectrometry. Control samples with an internal urine standard were analyzed with the same method. The mean concentration of uranium in eight samples was found to be considerably greater (275.04 ng/L; SD, 137.80 ng/L; SE, 48.72 ng/L) than what is regarded as a reference range (1-20 ng/L). The 238U/235U ratio was 137.87 +/- 0.20, which is consistent with that of natural uranium. The 234U/238U ratio for the Afghan samples was 0.000055 +/- 0.000001, also consistent with natural uranium. 236U, which usually forms a component of depleted uranium, was not detected (measured 236U/ 238U ratio, < 10(-7)). Our results demonstrate that contamination in Afghanistan with a source consistent with natural uranium has resulted in total uranium concentrations up to 100 times higher than the normal range for various geographic and environmental areas throughout the world. The cause of our findings is currently being evaluated as a part of our ongoing research.

  2. Uranium Isotope Evidence for Temporary Ocean Oxygenation Following the Sturtian Glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, K. V.; Maher, K.; Macdonald, F. A.; Payne, J.

    2015-12-01

    The link between widespread ocean oxygenation in the Neoproterozoic and the rise of animals has long been debated, largely because the timing and nature of oxygenation of the oceans remain poorly constrained. Strata deposited during the Cryogenian non-glacial interlude (660 to 635 Ma), between the Sturtian and Marinoan Snowball Earth glaciations, contain the earliest fossil evidence of animals. To quantitatively estimate patterns of seafloor oxygenation during this critical interval, we present uranium isotope (δ238U) data from limestone of the Taishir Formation (Fm) in Mongolia in two stratigraphic sections that are separated by ~75 km across the basin. The Taishir Fm hosts two large δ13C excursions that co-vary in total organic and inorganic (carbonate) carbon: a basal carbonate δ13C excursion to -4‰ in the Sturtian cap carbonate, followed by a rise to enriched values of +8‰, a second negative δ13C excursion to -7‰ referred to as the Taishir excursion, followed by a second rise to +10‰. Above the Sturtian glacial deposits, in the stratigraphic interval below the Taishir excursion, δ238U compositions have a mean value that is similar to that of modern seawater. After the Taishir excursion, the δ238U record exhibits a step decrease of ~0.3‰, and δ238U remains approximately constant until the erosional unconformity at the base of the Marinoan glacial deposits. We use a box model to constrain the uranium cycle behavior that best explains our observations. In the model, the best explanation for the less negative post-Sturtian values of δ238U is extensive oxygenation of the seafloor. Moreover, the model demonstrates that the higher δ238U values of the post-Sturtian limestones are inconsistent with an increased flux of uranium to the oceans due to post-Snowball weathering as the primary driver of the excursion. Thus, we favor a scenario in which there was a rise in oxygen levels following the Sturtian glaciation followed by a decrease in seafloor

  3. A Metal Stable Isotope Approach to Understanding Uranium Mobility Across Roll Front Redox Boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, S. T.; Basu, A.; Christensen, J. N.; DePaolo, D. J.; Heikoop, J. M.; Reimus, P. W.; Maher, K.; Weaver, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Sedimentary roll-front uranium (U) ore deposits are the principal source of U for nuclear fuel in the USA and an important part of the current all-of-the-above energy strategy. Mining of roll-front U ore in the USA is primarily by in situ alkaline oxidative dissolution of U minerals. There are significant environmental benefits to in situ mining including no mine tailings or radioactive dust, however, the long-term immobilization of U in the aquifer after the completion of mining remains uncertain. We have utilized the metal stable isotopes U, Se and Mo in groundwater from roll-front mines in Texas and Wyoming to quantify the aquifer redox conditions and predict the onset of U reduction after post mining aquifer restoration. Supporting information from the geochemistry of groundwater and aquifer sediments are used to understand the transport of U prior to and after in situ mining. Groundwater was collected across 4 mining units at the Rosita mine in the Texas coastal plain and 2 mining units at the Smith Ranch mine in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. In general, the sampled waters are moderately reducing and ore zone wells contain the highest aqueous U concentrations. The lowest U concentrations occur in monitoring wells downgradient of the ore zone. 238U/235U is lowest in downgradient wells and is correlated with aqueous U concentrations. Rayleigh distillation models of the 238U/235U are consistent with U isotope fractionation factors of 1.0004-1.001, similar to lab-based studies. Based on these results we conclude that redox reactions continue to affect U distribution in the ore zone and downgradient regions. We also measured aqueous selenium isotope (δ82Se) and molybdenum isotope (δ98Mo) compositions in the Rosita groundwater. Se(VI) primarily occurs in the upgradient wells and is absent in most ore zone and downgradient wells. Rayleigh distillation models suggest reduction of Se(VI) along the groundwater flow path and when superimposed on the U isotope data

  4. Concentrations and activity ratios of uranium isotopes in groundwater from Donana National Park, South of Spain

    SciTech Connect

    Bolivar, J. P.; Olias, M.; Gonzalez-Garcia, F.; Garcia-Tenorio, R.

    2008-08-07

    The levels and distribution of natural radionuclides in groundwaters from the unconfined Almonte-Marismas aquifer, upon which Donana National Park is located, have been analysed. Most sampled points were multiple piezometers trying to study the vertical distribution of the hydrogeochemical characteristics in the aquifer. Temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen and redox potential were determined in the field. A large number of parameters, physico-chemical properties, major and minor ions, trace elements and natural radionuclides (U-isotopes, Th-isotopes, Ra-isotopes and {sup 210}Po), were also analysed. In the southern zone, where aeolian sands crop out, water composition is of the sodium chloride type, and the lower U-isotopes concentrations have been obtained. As water circulates through the aquifer, bicarbonate and calcium concentrations increase slightly, and higher radionuclides concentrations were measured. Finally, we have demonstrated that {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U activity ratios can be used as markers of the type of groundwater and bedrock, as it has been the case for old waters with marine origin confined by a marsh in the south-east part of aquifer.

  5. Enclosure from DOE letter dated 7/20/07 - Table 5-2, Isotopic Compositions of Rocky Flats Plutonium and Uranium

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This enclosure from a DOE letter to EPA regarding a waste container disposed at the WIPP from the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project includes Table 5-2, Isotopic Compositions of Rocky Flats Plutonium and Uranium.

  6. EPA Method: Rapid Radiochemical Method for Americium-241, Radium-226, Plutonium-238/-239, Radiostronium, and Isotopic Uranium in Water for Environmental Restoration Following Homeland Security Events

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    SAM lists this method for the qualitative determination of Americium-241, Radium-226, Plutonium-238, Plutonium-239 and isotopic uranium in drinking water samples using alpha spectrometry and radiostrontium using beta counting.

  7. Comparison of femtosecond and nanosecond laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for uranium isotopic measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Havrilla, George Joseph; McIntosh, Kathryn Gallagher; Judge, Elizabeth; Dirmyer, Matthew R.; Campbell, Keri; Gonzalez, Jhanis J.

    2016-10-20

    Feasibility tests were conducted using femtosecond and nanosecond laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for rapid uranium isotopic measurements. The samples used in this study consisted of a range of pg quantities of known 235/238 U solutions as dried spot residues of 300 pL drops on silicon substrates. The samples spanned the following enrichments of 235U: 0.5, 1.5, 2, 3, and 15.1%. In this direct comparison using these particular samples both pulse durations demonstrated near equivalent data can be produced on either system with respect to accuracy and precision. There is no question that either LA-ICP-MS method offers the potential for rapid, accurate and precise isotopic measurements of U10Mo materials whether DU, LEU or HEU. The LA-ICP-MS equipment used for this work is commercially available. The program is in the process of validating this work for large samples using center samples strips from Y-12 MP-1 LEU-Mo Casting #1.

  8. Measurement of Uranium Isotope Ratios in Keratinous Materials: A Noninvasive Bioassay for Special Nuclear Material.

    PubMed

    Brockman, John D; Brown, John W N; Morrell, Jonathan S; Robertson, J David

    2016-09-06

    Hair, toenail, and fingernail are noninvasive, integrative biological monitors routinely used to assess mineral intake.1-4 In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of distinguishing between exposure to natural, depleted, and enriched U by measuring the (235)U/(238)U, (234)U/(238)U, and (236)U/(238)U ratios in the hair, fingernails, and toenails of occupationally exposed workers and control volunteers. The exposure history of cases and controls to non-natural U was assessed through voluntary self-reporting using a simple questionnaire. The measured U isotope ratios and U concentration in the hair, toenail, and fingernail of cases were compared to a nonexposed control group. No difference was observed in the uranium concentration between the two groups. Significant differences between the cases and the control group were observed in the (235)U/(238)U and (236)U/(238)U isotope ratios but not the (234)U/(238)U. This is the first time that hair, fingernail, and toenail have been demonstrated to be sensitive to occupational exposure to enriched and depleted U, a result with significant implications for proliferation compliance monitoring.

  9. Uranium isotopes distinguish two geochemically distinct stages during the later Cambrian SPICE event

    PubMed Central

    Dahl, Tais W.; Boyle, Richard A.; Canfield, Donald E.; Connelly, James N.; Gill, Benjamin C.; Lenton, Timothy M.; Bizzarro, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Anoxic marine zones were common in early Paleozoic oceans (542–400 Ma), and present a potential link to atmospheric pO2 via feedbacks linking global marine phosphorous recycling, primary production and organic carbon burial. Uranium (U) isotopes in carbonate rocks track the extent of ocean anoxia, whereas carbon (C) and sulfur (S) isotopes track the burial of organic carbon and pyrite sulfur (primary long-term sources of atmospheric oxygen). In combination, these proxies therefore reveal the comparative dynamics of ocean anoxia and oxygen liberation to the atmosphere over million-year time scales. Here we report high-precision uranium isotopic data in marine carbonates deposited during the Late Cambrian ‘SPICE’ event, at ca. 499 Ma, documenting a well-defined −0.18‰ negative δ238U excursion that occurs at the onset of the SPICE event’s positive δ13C and δ34S excursions, but peaks (and tails off) before them. Dynamic modelling shows that the different response of the U reservoir cannot be attributed solely to differences in residence times or reservoir sizes - suggesting that two chemically distinct ocean states occurred within the SPICE event. The first ocean stage involved a global expansion of euxinic waters, triggering the spike in U burial, and peaking in conjunction with a well-known trilobite extinction event. During the second stage widespread euxinia waned, causing U removal to tail off, but enhanced organic carbon and pyrite burial continued, coinciding with evidence for severe sulfate depletion in the oceans (Gill et al., 2011). We discuss scenarios for how an interval of elevated pyrite and organic carbon burial could have been sustained without widespread euxinia in the water column (both non-sulfidic anoxia and/or a more oxygenated ocean state are possibilities). Either way, the SPICE event encompasses two different stages of elevated organic carbon and pyrite burial maintained by high nutrient fluxes to the ocean, and potentially

  10. Isotopic evidence for reductive immobilization of uranium across a roll-front mineral deposit

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Shaun T.; Basu, Anirban; Christensen, John N.; Reimus, Paul; Heikoop, Jeffrey; Simmons, Ardyth; Woldegabriel, Giday; Maher, Kate; Weaver, Karrie; Clay, James; DePaolo, Donald J.

    2016-05-20

    We use uranium (U) isotope ratios to detect and quantify the extent of natural U reduction in groundwater across a roll front redox gradient. Our study was conducted at the Smith Ranch-Highland in situ recovery (ISR) U mine in eastern Wyoming, USA, where economic U deposits occur in the Paleocene Fort Union formation. To evaluate the fate of aqueous U in and adjacent to the ore body, we investigated the chemical composition and isotope ratios of groundwater samples from the roll-front type ore body and surrounding monitoring wells of a previously mined area. The 238U/235U of groundwater varies by approximately 3‰ and is correlated with U concentrations. Fluid samples down-gradient of the ore zone are the most depleted in 238U and have the lowest U concentrations. Activity ratios of 234U/238U are ~5.5 up-gradient of the ore zone, ~1.0 in the ore zone, and between 2.3 and 3.7 in the down-gradient monitoring wells. High-precision measurements of 234U/238U and 238U/235U allow for development of a conceptual model that evaluates both the migration of U from the ore body and the extent of natural attenuation due to reduction. We find that the premining migration of U down-gradient of the delineated ore body is minimal along eight transects due to reduction in or adjacent to the ore body, whereas two other transects show little or no sign of reduction in the down-gradient region. Lastly, these results suggest that characterization of U isotopic ratios at the mine planning stage, in conjunction with routine geochemical analyses, can be used to identify where more or less postmining remediation will be necessary.

  11. Isotopic evidence for reductive immobilization of uranium across a roll-front mineral deposit

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Shaun T.; Basu, Anirban; Christensen, John N.; Reimus, Paul; Heikoop, Jeffrey; Simmons, Ardyth; Woldegabriel, Giday; Maher, Kate; Weaver, Karrie; Clay, James; DePaolo, Donald J.

    2016-05-20

    We use uranium (U) isotope ratios to detect and quantify the extent of natural U reduction in groundwater across a roll front redox gradient. Our study was conducted at the Smith Ranch-Highland in situ recovery (ISR) U mine in eastern Wyoming, USA, where economic U deposits occur in the Paleocene Fort Union formation. To evaluate the fate of aqueous U in and adjacent to the ore body, we investigated the chemical composition and isotope ratios of groundwater samples from the roll-front type ore body and surrounding monitoring wells of a previously mined area. The 238U/235U of groundwater varies by approximately 3‰ and is correlated with U concentrations. Fluid samples down-gradient of the ore zone are the most depleted in 238U and have the lowest U concentrations. Activity ratios of 234U/238U are ~5.5 up-gradient of the ore zone, ~1.0 in the ore zone, and between 2.3 and 3.7 in the down-gradient monitoring wells. High-precision measurements of 234U/238U and 238U/235U allow for development of a conceptual model that evaluates both the migration of U from the ore body and the extent of natural attenuation due to reduction. We find that the premining migration of U down-gradient of the delineated ore body is minimal along eight transects due to reduction in or adjacent to the ore body, whereas two other transects show little or no sign of reduction in the down-gradient region. Lastly, these results suggest that characterization of U isotopic ratios at the mine planning stage, in conjunction with routine geochemical analyses, can be used to identify where more or less postmining remediation will be necessary.

  12. Isotopic evidence for reductive immobilization of uranium across a roll-front mineral deposit

    DOE PAGES

    Brown, Shaun T.; Basu, Anirban; Christensen, John N.; ...

    2016-05-20

    We use uranium (U) isotope ratios to detect and quantify the extent of natural U reduction in groundwater across a roll front redox gradient. Our study was conducted at the Smith Ranch-Highland in situ recovery (ISR) U mine in eastern Wyoming, USA, where economic U deposits occur in the Paleocene Fort Union formation. To evaluate the fate of aqueous U in and adjacent to the ore body, we investigated the chemical composition and isotope ratios of groundwater samples from the roll-front type ore body and surrounding monitoring wells of a previously mined area. The 238U/235U of groundwater varies by approximatelymore » 3‰ and is correlated with U concentrations. Fluid samples down-gradient of the ore zone are the most depleted in 238U and have the lowest U concentrations. Activity ratios of 234U/238U are ~5.5 up-gradient of the ore zone, ~1.0 in the ore zone, and between 2.3 and 3.7 in the down-gradient monitoring wells. High-precision measurements of 234U/238U and 238U/235U allow for development of a conceptual model that evaluates both the migration of U from the ore body and the extent of natural attenuation due to reduction. We find that the premining migration of U down-gradient of the delineated ore body is minimal along eight transects due to reduction in or adjacent to the ore body, whereas two other transects show little or no sign of reduction in the down-gradient region. Lastly, these results suggest that characterization of U isotopic ratios at the mine planning stage, in conjunction with routine geochemical analyses, can be used to identify where more or less postmining remediation will be necessary.« less

  13. Determination of alpha-emitting uranium isotopes in soft tissues by solvent extraction and alpha-spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Singh, N P; Wrenn, M E

    1983-04-01

    A radiochemical procedure has been developed for the determination of alpha-emitting isotopes of uranium ((238)U, (235)U and (234)U) in soft tissues. Known amounts of sample are spiked with (232)U internal tracer and wet-ashed. Uranium is co-precipitated with iron hydroxide as carrier, and extracted into 20% trilaurylamine solution in xylene after dissolution of the precipitate in 10M hydrochloric acid. The uranium, after stripping into an aqueous phase, is electro-deposited onto a platinum disc and counted by alpha-spectrometry. The radiochemical recovery ranges from 60 to 85% for bovine liver samples. The average radiochemical recoveries for human tissues vary from 53 to 78%.

  14. Constrains on the Uranium Isotopic Composition of Seawater and Implications for Coral U/Th Geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chutcharavan, P. M.; Dutton, A.; Ellwood, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Coral U-series geochronology is an important tool for calibrating records of sea level change during the late Quaternary and coral 14C dates for the radiocarbon timescale. However, coralline aragonite is highly susceptible to diagenesis, and samples must be carefully screened to ensure a specimen is unaltered. One method used to accept or reject U-series ages is the initial coral 234U/238U activity ratio, which reflects the 234U/238U activity of seawater at the time of coral skeleton formation. Due to the long residence time of uranium in the ocean (~400,000 years), researchers often assume that seawater 234U/238U has remained constant throughout the late Pleistocene. Coral specimens whose U-series ages yield an initial 234U/238U value that is significantly different than modern seawater are considered altered. Several studies have demonstrated that coral initial 234U/238U and, hence, seawater 234U/238U may have varied significantly on glacial-interglacial timescales, but the cause of this variability is subject to debate. To evaluate the pattern and mechanisms of 234U/238U variability in seawater over the last glacial cycle, we draw upon a compilation of U-series measurements of shallow and deep water corals to better define the observed variability. Observed trends from the coral record will be assessed using a simple two-box model of the ocean to determine how changes to the ocean's uranium isotope budget during glacial cycles can explain shifts in seawater 234U/238U. An improved understanding the evolution of seawater 234U/238U composition will enable more robust interpretations of both closed-system and open-system ages for corals. Such interpretations of U-series ages are essential to the development of robust chronologies for climate and sea level change and for improving the calibration of the radiocarbon timescale.

  15. Linking specific heterotrophic bacterial populations to bioreduction of uranium and nitrate using stable isotope probing in contaminated subsurface sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Akob, Denise M.; Kerkhof, Lee; Kusel, Kirsten; Watson, David B; Palumbo, Anthony Vito; Kostka, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Shifts in terminal electron-accepting processes during biostimulation of uranium-contaminated sediments were linked to the composition of stimulated microbial populations using DNA-based stable isotope probing. Nitrate reduction preceded U(VI) and Fe(III) reduction in [{sup 13}C]ethanol-amended microcosms. The predominant, active denitrifying microbial groups were identified as members of the Betaproteobacteria, whereas Actinobacteria dominated under metal-reducing conditions.

  16. Rate equation model of laser induced bias in uranium isotope ratios measured by resonance ionization mass spectrometry

    DOE PAGES

    Isselhardt, B. H.; Prussin, S. G.; Savina, M. R.; ...

    2015-12-07

    Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) has been developed as a method to measure uranium isotope abundances. In this approach, RIMS is used as an element-selective ionization process between uranium atoms and potential isobars without the aid of chemical purification and separation. The use of broad bandwidth lasers with automated feedback control of wavelength was applied to the measurement of the 235U/238U ratio to decrease laser-induced isotopic fractionation. In application, isotope standards are used to identify and correct bias in measured isotope ratios, but understanding laser-induced bias from first-principles can improve the precision and accuracy of experimental measurements. A rate equationmore » model for predicting the relative ionization probability has been developed to study the effect of variations in laser parameters on the measured isotope ratio. The model uses atomic data and empirical descriptions of laser performance to estimate the laser-induced bias expected in experimental measurements of the 235U/238U ratio. Empirical corrections are also included to account for ionization processes that are difficult to calculate from first principles with the available atomic data. As a result, development of this model has highlighted several important considerations for properly interpreting experimental results.« less

  17. Rate equation model of laser induced bias in uranium isotope ratios measured by resonance ionization mass spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Isselhardt, B. H.; Prussin, S. G.; Savina, M. R.; Willingham, D. G.; Knight, K. B.; Hutcheon, I. D.

    2015-12-07

    Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) has been developed as a method to measure uranium isotope abundances. In this approach, RIMS is used as an element-selective ionization process between uranium atoms and potential isobars without the aid of chemical purification and separation. The use of broad bandwidth lasers with automated feedback control of wavelength was applied to the measurement of the 235U/238U ratio to decrease laser-induced isotopic fractionation. In application, isotope standards are used to identify and correct bias in measured isotope ratios, but understanding laser-induced bias from first-principles can improve the precision and accuracy of experimental measurements. A rate equation model for predicting the relative ionization probability has been developed to study the effect of variations in laser parameters on the measured isotope ratio. The model uses atomic data and empirical descriptions of laser performance to estimate the laser-induced bias expected in experimental measurements of the 235U/238U ratio. Empirical corrections are also included to account for ionization processes that are difficult to calculate from first principles with the available atomic data. As a result, development of this model has highlighted several important considerations for properly interpreting experimental results.

  18. Rate equation model of laser induced bias in uranium isotope ratios measured by resonance ionization mass spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Isselhardt, B. H.; Prussin, S. G.; Savina, M. R.; Willingham, D. G.; Knight, K. B.; Hutcheon, I. D.

    2016-01-01

    Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) has been developed as a method to measure uranium isotope abundances. In this approach, RIMS is used as an element-selective ionization process between uranium atoms and potential isobars without the aid of chemical purification and separation. The use of broad bandwidth lasers with automated feedback control of wavelength was applied to the measurement of the U-235/U-238 ratio to decrease laser-induced isotopic fractionation. In application, isotope standards are used to identify and correct bias in measured isotope ratios, but understanding laser-induced bias from first-principles can improve the precision and accuracy of experimental measurements. A rate equation model for predicting the relative ionization probability has been developed to study the effect of variations in laser parameters on the measured isotope ratio. The model uses atomic data and empirical descriptions of laser performance to estimate the laser-induced bias expected in experimental measurements of the U-235/U-238 ratio. Empirical corrections are also included to account for ionization processes that are difficult to calculate from first principles with the available atomic data. Development of this model has highlighted several important considerations for properly interpreting experimental results.

  19. Validation of Electrochemically Modulated Separations Performed On-Line with MC-ICP-MS for Uranium and Plutonium Isotopic Analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Liezers, Martin; Olsen, Khris B.; Mitroshkov, Alexandre V.; Duckworth, Douglas C.

    2010-08-11

    The most time consuming process in uranium or plutonium isotopic analyses is performing the requisite chromatographic separation of the actinides. Filament preparation for thermal ionization (TIMS) adds further delays, but is generally accepted due to the unmatched performance in trace isotopic analyses. Advances in Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) are beginning to rival the performance of TIMS. Methods, such as Electrochemically Modulated Separations (EMS) can efficiently pre-concentrate U or Pu quite selectively from small solution volumes in a matrix of 0.5 M nitric acid. When performed in-line with ICP-MS, the rapid analyte release from the electrode is fast, and large transient analyte signal enhancements of >100 fold can be achieved as compared to more conventional continuous nebulization of the original starting solution. This makes the approach ideal for very low level isotope ratio measurements. In this paper, some aspects of EMS performance are described. These include low level Pu isotope ratio behavior versus concentration by MC-ICP-MS and uranium rejection characteristics that are also important for reliable low level Pu isotope ratio determinations.

  20. A procedural manual for measurement of uranium and thorium isotopes utilizing the USGS-Stanford Finnegan Mat 262

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shamp, Donald D.

    2001-01-01

    Over the past several decades investigators have extensively examined the 238U-234U- 230Th systematics of a variety of geologic materials using alpha spectroscopy. Analytical uncertainty for 230Th by alpha spectroscopy has been limited to about 2% (2σ). The advantage of thermal ionization mass spectroscopy (TIMS), introduced by Edwards and co-workers in the late 1980’s is the increased detectability of these isotopes by a factor of ~200, and decreases in the uncertainty for 230Th to about 5‰ (2σ) error. This report is a procedural manual for using the USGS-Stanford Finnegan-Mat 262 TIMS to collect and isolate Uranium and Thorium isotopic ratio data. Chemical separation of Uranium and Thorium from the sample media is accomplished using acid dissolution and then processed using anion exchange resins. The Finnegan-Mat262 Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS) utilizes a surface ionization technique in which nitrates of Uranium and Thorium are placed on a source filament. Upon heating, positive ion emission occurs. The ions are then accelerated and focused into a beam which passes through a curved magnetic field dispersing the ions by mass. Faraday cups and/or an ion counter capture the ions and allow for quantitative analysis of the various isotopes.

  1. Direct isotope ratio analysis of individual uranium-plutonium mixed particles with various U/Pu ratios by thermal ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Daisuke; Esaka, Fumitaka; Miyamoto, Yutaka; Magara, Masaaki

    2015-02-01

    Uranium and plutonium isotope ratios in individual uranium-plutonium (U-Pu) mixed particles with various U/Pu atomic ratios were analyzed without prior chemical separation by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Prior to measurement, micron-sized particles with U/Pu ratios of 1, 5, 10, 18, and 70 were produced from uranium and plutonium certified reference materials. In the TIMS analysis, the peaks of americium, plutonium, and uranium ion signals were successfully separated by continuously increasing the evaporation filament current. Consequently, the uranium and plutonium isotope ratios, except the (238)Pu/(239)Pu ratio, were successfully determined for the particles at all U/Pu ratios. This indicates that TIMS direct analysis allows for the measurement of individual U-Pu mixed particles without prior chemical separation.

  2. Isolation and Puification of Uranium Isotopes for Measurement by Mass-Spectrometry (233, 234, 235, 236, 238U) and Alpha Spectrometry (232U)

    SciTech Connect

    Marinelli, R; Hamilton, T; Brown, T; Marchetti, A; Williams, R; Tumey, S

    2006-05-30

    This report describes a standardized methodology used by researchers from the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS) (Energy and Environment Directorate) and the Environmental Radiochemistry Group (Chemistry and Materials Science Directorate) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for the full isotopic analysis of uranium from solution. The methodology has largely been developed for use in characterizing the uranium composition of selected nuclear materials but may also be applicable to environmental studies and assessments of public, military or occupational exposures to uranium using in-vitro bioassay monitoring techniques. Uranium isotope concentrations and isotopic ratios are measured using a combination of Multi Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (MC ICP-MS), Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and Alpha Spectrometry.

  3. Uranium and minor-element partitioning in Fe-Ti oxides and zircon from partially melted granodiorite, Crater Lake, Oregon

    SciTech Connect

    La Tourrette, T.Z.; Burnett, D.S. ); Bacon C.R. )

    1991-02-01

    Crystal-liquid partitioning in Fe-Ti oxides and zircon was studied in partially melted granodiorite blocks ejected during the climactic eruption of Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake), Oregon. The blocks, which contain up to 33% rhyolite glass (75 wt% SiO{sub 2}), are interpreted to be portions of the magma chamber walls that were torn off during eruption. The glass is clear and well homogenized for all measured elements except Zr. Results for Fe-Ti oxides give D{sub U}{sup oxide/liq} {approx} 0.1. Partitioning of Mg, Mn, Al, Si, V, and Cr in Fe-Ti oxides indicates that grains surrounded by glass are modestly well equilibrated with the melt for many of the minor elements, while those that are inclusions in relict plagioclase are not. Uranium and ytterbium inhomogeneities in zircons indicate that the zircons have only partially equilibrated with the melt and that uranium appears to have been diffusing out of the zircons have only partially equilibrated with the melt and that uranium appears to have been diffusing out of the zircons faster that the zircons were dissolving. Based on the authors measurements and given their low abundances in most rocks, Fe-Ti oxides probably do not play a major role in U-Th fractional during partial melting. The partial melts were undersaturated with zircon and apatite, but both phases are present in the authors samples. This demonstrates an actual case of nonequilibrium source retention of accessory phases, which in general could be an important trace element fractionation mechanism. Their results do not support the hypothesis that liquid structure is the dominant factor controlling trace-element partitioning in high-silica rhyolites.

  4. Organic matter and containment of uranium and fissiogenic isotopes at the Oklo natural reactors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nagy, B.; Gauthier-Lafaye, F.; Holliger, P.; Davis, D.W.; Mossman, D.J.; Leventhal, J.S.; Rigali, M.J.; Parnell, J.

    1991-01-01

    SOME of the Precambrian natural fission reactors at Oklo in Gabon contain abundant organic matter1,2, part of which was liquefied at the time of criticality and subsequently converted to a graphitic solid3,4. The liquid organic matter helps to reduce U(VI) to U(IV) from aqueous solutions, resulting in the precipitation of uraninite5. It is known that in the prevailing reactor environments, precipitated uraninite grains incorporated fission products. We report here observations which show that these uraninite crystals were held immobile within the resolidified, graphitic bitumen. Unlike water-soluble (humic) organic matter, the graphitic bituminous organics at Oklo thus enhanced radionu-clide containment. Uraninite encased in solid graphitic matter in the organic-rich reactor zones lost virtually no fissiogenic lan-thanide isotopes. The first major episode of uranium and lead migration was caused by the intrusion of a swarm of adjacent dolerite dykes about 1,100 Myr after the reactors went critical. Our results from Oklo imply that the use of organic, hydrophobic solids such as graphitic bitumen as a means of immobilizing radionuclides in pretreated nuclear waste warrants further investigation. ?? 1991 Nature Publishing Group.

  5. NUCLEAR ISOTOPIC DILUTION OF HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM BY DRY BLENDING VIA THE RM-2 MILL TECHNOLOGY

    SciTech Connect

    Raj K. Rajamani; Sanjeeva Latchireddi; Vikas Devrani; Harappan Sethi; Roger Henry; Nate Chipman

    2003-08-01

    DOE has initiated numerous activities to focus on identifying material management strategies to disposition various excess fissile materials. In particular the INEEL has stored 1,700 Kg of offspec HEU at INTEC in CPP-651 vault facility. Currently, the proposed strategies for dispositioning are (a) aqueous dissolution and down blending to LEU via facilities at SRS followed by shipment of the liquid LEU to NFS for fabrication into LWR fuel for the TVA reactors and (b) dilution of the HEU to 0.9% for discard as a waste stream that would no longer have a criticality or proliferation risk without being processed through some type of enrichment system. Dispositioning this inventory as a waste stream via aqueous processing at SRS has been determined to be too costly. Thus, dry blending is the only proposed disposal process for the uranium oxide materials in the CPP-651 vault. Isotopic dilution of HEU to typically less than 20% by dry blending is the key to solving the dispositioning issue (i.e., proliferation) posed by HEU stored at INEEL. RM-2 mill is a technology developed and successfully tested for producing ultra-fine particles by dry grinding. Grinding action in RM-2 mill produces a two million-fold increase in the number of particles being blended in a centrifugal field. In a previous study, the concept of achieving complete and adequate blending and mixing (i.e., no methods were identified to easily separate and concentrate one titanium compound from the other) in remarkably short processing times was successfully tested with surrogate materials (titanium dioxide and titanium mono-oxide) with different particle sizes, hardness and densities. In the current project, the RM-2 milling technology was thoroughly tested with mixtures of natural uranium oxide (NU) and depleted uranium oxide (DU) stock to prove its performance. The effects of mill operating and design variables on the blending of NU/DU oxides were evaluated. First, NU and DU both made of the same oxide

  6. Uranium isotope dynamics across salinity and redox gradients in a coastal aquifer: implications for the oceanic uranium budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linhoff, B.; Charette, M. A.; Thompson, W. G.

    2014-12-01

    To balance the ocean's uranium budget it may be necessary to invoke submarine groundwater discharge as a major source for uranium. However, uranium removal from seawater has been observed in coastal aquifers where steep redox gradients at the seawater-freshwater mixing zone result in the reduction of soluble U(IV) to insoluble U(IV). We investigated uranium cycling in groundwater within a permeable sand subterranean estuary in Waquoit Bay, MA using major and trace element chemistry as well as ∂234U measurements. Groundwater and sediment samples were collected across the seawater-freshwater mixing zone. In the groundwater samples uranium does not behave conservatively. During mixing it is removed in the intermediate salinities (3-4 m; 2-12 salinity; 0.1 nM U) and enriched in higher salinities (4-6 m; 20-25 salinity; 32 nM) while in salinities >25, uranium is again removed (7-8 m; 8 nM). Geochemical modeling suggests that U is removed at the seawater-freshwater interface by adsorption to Mn-oxides (3-4 m) while in the deeper saline aquifer (7-8 m), U is removed through reduction from U(VI) to U(IV). Surprisingly, while ∂234U is above secular equilibrium in both the freshwater and seawater, within the intermediate salinities ∂234U is depleted below secular equilibrium (as much as ∂234U = -50). Sediment samples were subjected to a partial leach to extract surface-exchangeable U. This leach was analyzed for ∂234U and found to be highly depleted (∂234U -80 - -20). Based on the depleted ∂234U of the sediment leaches and groundwater, we hypothesize that the high U concentrations observed within the intermediate salinities likely have a sediment source. This also implies that U within this intermediate salinity zone must have a long residence time relative to groundwater-surface water exchange rates. This might be possible if redox boundaries and Mn-oxides act as a barrier to U in the intermediate salinities allowing U leached from sediments to accumulate

  7. Uranium-lead isotope systematics of Mars inferred from the basaltic shergottite QUE 94201

    SciTech Connect

    Gaffney, A M; Borg, L E; Connelly, J N

    2006-12-22

    Uranium-lead ratios (commonly represented as {sup 238}U/{sup 204}Pb = {mu}) calculated for the sources of martian basalts preserve a record of petrogenetic processes that operated during early planetary differentiation and formation of martian geochemical reservoirs. To better define the range of {mu} values represented by the source regions of martian basalts, we completed U-Pb elemental and isotopic analyses on whole rock, mineral and leachate fractions from the martian meteorite Queen Alexandra Range 94201 (QUE 94201). The whole rock and silicate mineral fractions have unradiogenic Pb isotopic compositions that define a narrow range ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 204}Pb = 11.16-11.61). In contrast, the Pb isotopic compositions of weak HCl leachates are more variable and radiogenic. The intersection of the QUE 94201 data array with terrestrial Pb in {sup 206}Pb/{sup 204}Pb-{sup 207}Pb/{sup 204}Pb-{sup 208}Pb/{sup 204}Pb compositional space is consistent with varying amounts of terrestrial contamination in these fractions. We calculate that only 1-7% contamination is present in the purified silicate mineral and whole rock fractions, whereas the HCl leachates contain up to 86% terrestrial contamination. Despite the contamination, we are able to use the U-Pb data to determine the initial {sup 206}Pb/{sup 204}Pb of QUE 94201 (11.086 {+-} 0.008) and calculate the {mu} value of the QUE 94201 mantle source to be 1.823 {+-} 0.008. This is the lowest {mu} value calculated for any martian basalt source, and, when compared to the highest values determined for martian basalt sources, indicates that {mu} values in martian source reservoirs vary by at least 100%. The range of source {mu} values further indicates that the {mu} value of bulk silicate Mars is approximately three. The amount of variation in the {mu} values of the mantle sources ({mu} {approx} 2-4) is greater than can be explained by igneous processes involving silicate phases alone. We suggest the possibility that a small

  8. Design Study for a Low-Enriched Uranium Core for the High Flux Isotope Reactor, Annual Report for FY 2006

    SciTech Connect

    Primm, R. T.; Ellis, R. J.; Gehin, J. C.; Clarno, K. T.; Williams, K. A.; Moses, D. L.

    2006-11-01

    Neutronics and thermal-hydraulics studies show that, for equivalent operating power [85 MW(t)], a low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel cycle based on uranium-10 wt % molybdenum (U-10Mo) metal foil with radially, “continuously graded” fuel meat thickness results in a 15% reduction in peak thermal flux in the beryllium reflector of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) as compared to the current highly enriched uranium (HEU) cycle. The uranium-235 content of the LEU core is almost twice the amount of the HEU core when the length of the fuel cycle is kept the same for both fuels. Because the uranium-238 content of an LEU core is a factor of 4 greater than the uranium-235 content, the LEU HFIR core would weigh 30% more than the HEU core. A minimum U-10Mo foil thickness of 84 μm is required to compensate for power peaking in the LEU core although this value could be increased significantly without much penalty. The maximum U-10Mo foil thickness is 457μm. Annual plutonium production from fueling the HFIR with LEU is predicted to be 2 kg. For dispersion fuels, the operating power for HFIR would be reduced considerably below 85 MW due to thermal considerations and due to the requirement of a 26-d fuel cycle. If an acceptable fuel can be developed, it is estimated that $140 M would be required to implement the conversion of the HFIR site at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from an HEU fuel cycle to an LEU fuel cycle. To complete the conversion by fiscal year 2014 would require that all fuel development and qualification be completed by the end of fiscal year 2009. Technological development areas that could increase the operating power of HFIR are identified as areas for study in the future.

  9. Groundwater Ages and Stable Isotope Fingerprints of Contaminated Water to Examine Potential Solute Sources at a Uranium Processing Mill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurst, T. G.; Solomon, D. K.

    2007-12-01

    To evaluate sources of high solute concentrations in groundwater near a uranium processing facility, groundwater recharge dates are correlated to specific solute concentrations and depth in the water column. Stable isotopes are also used as potential fingerprints of water sourced from mill tailing cells. Passive diffusion samplers, to be analyzed for 3He/4He ratio, were deployed in 15 different wells with samplers at two depths in the saturated interval. Low-flow purging and sampling was then conducted to isolate sampling points at different depths in the wells, with sampling at multiple depths being completed in 4 of the 15 wells sampled. Laboratory analyses were conducted for CFC recharge age, as well as T/3He recharge age. Contract laboratories analyzed for: deuterium and oxygen-18 isotopes of water; sulfur-34 and oxygen-18 isotopes of sulfate; trace metals uranium, manganese, and selenium; and nitrate and sulfate. Analysis for 235U/238U isotope ratios will be conducted to further identify fingerprint signals of source water. Groundwater recharge ages determined using CFC analysis show some vertical stratification in ages across the water column. Upon initial data processing and analysis, measured CFC ages ranged from 30 to 40 years within the water column of one well to only several years difference in another well. Additional results for trace metal concentrations, stable isotope ratios, and T/3He recharge ages will be reported when results are received. Further post-processing of CFC laboratory analysis and noble gas analyses will provide greater clarity as to groundwater ages within the aquifer and, combined with field pumping data, will allow for a comprehensive groundwater model to be constructed. This study provides great insight to potential mine tailings leakage problems and using isotopes and groundwater age dating techniques as a means of tracing contaminated groundwater to the leakage source. Utilizing stable isotopes of water and sulfate, combined

  10. Determination of total and isotopic uranium by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry at the Fernald Environmental Management Project

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, F.L.; Bolin, R.N.; Feller, M.T.; Danahy, R.J.

    1995-04-01

    At the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP) in southwestern Ohio, ICP-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), with sample introduction by peristaltic pumping, is used to determine total and isotopic uranium (U-234, U-235, U-236 and U-238) in soil samples. These analyses are conducted in support of the environmental cleanup of the FEMP site. Various aspects of the sample preparation and instrumental analysis will be discussed. Initial sample preparation consists of oven drying to determine moisture content, and grinding and rolling to homogenize the sample. This is followed by a nitric/hydrofluoric acid digestion to bring the uranium in the sample into solution. Bismuth is added to the sample prior to digestion to monitor for losses. The total uranium (U-238) content of this solution and the U{sup 235}/U{sup 238} ratio are measured on the first pass through the ICP-MS. To determine the concentration of the less abundant U{sup 234} and U{sup 236} isotopes, the digestate is further concentrated by using Eichrom TRU-Spec extraction columns before the second pass through the ICP-MS. Quality controls for both the sample preparation and instrumental protocols will also be discussed. Finally, an explanation of the calculations used to report the data in either weight percent or activity units will be given.

  11. Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel Conversion Activities for the High Flux Isotope Reactor, Annual Report for FY 2011

    SciTech Connect

    Renfro, David G; Cook, David Howard; Freels, James D; Griffin, Frederick P; Ilas, Germina; Sease, John D; Chandler, David

    2012-03-01

    This report describes progress made during FY11 in ORNL activities to support converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. Conversion from HEU to LEU will require a change in fuel form from uranium oxide to a uranium-molybdenum (UMo) alloy. With both radial and axial contouring of the fuel foil and an increase in reactor power to 100 MW, calculations indicate that the HFIR can be operated with LEU fuel with no degradation in performance to users from the current levels achieved with HEU fuel. Studies are continuing to demonstrate that the fuel thermal safety margins can be preserved following conversion. Studies are also continuing to update other aspects of the reactor steady state operation and accident response for the effects of fuel conversion. Technical input has been provided to Oregon State University in support of their hydraulic testing program. The HFIR conversion schedule was revised and provided to the GTRI program. In addition to HFIR conversion activities, technical support was provided directly to the Fuel Fabrication Capability program manager.

  12. Molecular marker and stable carbon isotope analyses of carbonaceous Ambassador uranium ores of Mulga Rock in Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaraula, C.; Schwark, L.; Moreau, X.; Grice, K.; Bagas, L.

    2013-12-01

    Mulga Rock is a multi-element deposit containing uranium hosted by Eocene peats and lignites deposited in inset valleys incised into Permian rocks of the Gunbarrel Basin and Precambrian rocks of the Yilgarn Craton and Albany-Fraser Orogen. Uranium readily adsorbs onto minerals or phytoclasts to form organo-uranyl complexes. This is important in pre-concentrating uranium in this relatively young ore deposit with rare uraninite [UO2] and coffinite [U(SiO4)1-x(OH)4x], more commonly amorphous and sub-micron uranium-bearing particulates. Organic geochemical and compound-specific stable carbon isotope analyses were conducted to identify possible associations of molecular markers with uranium accumulation and to recognize effect(s) of ionizing radiation on molecular markers. Samples were collected from the Ambassador deposit containing low (<200 ppm) to high (>2000 ppm) uranium concentrations. The bulk rock C/N ratios of 82 to 153, Rock-Eval pyrolysis yields of 316 to 577 mg hydrocarbon/g TOC (Hydrogen Index, HI) and 70 to 102 mg CO2/g TOC (Oxygen Index, OI) are consistent with a terrigenous and predominantly vascular plant OM source deposited in a complex shallow water system, ranging from lacustrine to deltaic, swampy wetland and even shallow lake settings as proposed by previous workers. Organic solvent extracts were separated into saturated hydrocarbon, aromatic hydrocarbon, ketone, and a combined free fatty acid and alcohol fraction. The molecular profiles appear to vary with uranium concentration. In samples with relatively low uranium concentrations, long-chain n-alkanes, alcohols and fatty acids derived from epicuticular plant waxes dominate. The n-alkane distributions (C27 to C31) reveal an odd/even preference (Carbon Preference Index, CPI=1.5) indicative of extant lipids. Average δ13C of -27 to -29 ‰ for long-chain n-alkanes is consistent with a predominant C3 plant source. Samples with relatively higher uranium concentrations contain mostly intermediate

  13. Uranium stable isotope fractionation in the Black Sea: Modern calibration of the 238U/235U paleo-redox proxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolison, John M.; Stirling, Claudine H.; Middag, Rob; Rijkenberg, Micha J. A.

    2017-04-01

    The isotopic compositions of redox-sensitive metals, including uranium (U), in marine sediments have recently emerged as powerful diagnostic tracers of the redox state of the ancient ocean-atmosphere system. Reliable interpretation of sedimentary isotopic information requires a thorough understanding of the environmental controls on isotopic fractionation in modern anoxic environments before being applied to the paleo-record. In this study, the relationship between ocean anoxia and the isotopic fractionation of U was investigated in the water column and sediments of the Black Sea, the world's largest anoxic basin. Paired measurements of 238U/235U and U concentration, supported by other redox parameters, were obtained for water column and sediment samples collected during the 2013 GA04N GEOTRACES expedition to the Black Sea. Removal of U from the water column occurs during the redox transition of soluble U(VI) to relatively insoluble U(IV), resulting in up to 43% of U being removed from solution in euxinic bottom waters. Uranium reduction and removal is accompanied by a progressive shift in 238U/235U towards isotopically light values in the water column as heavier 238U is preferentially exported to sediments over lighter 235U. This gives rise to apparent isotope enrichment factors of ε = -0.63 ± 0.09‰ and ε = -0.84 ± 0.11‰ when U removal is modelled by Rayleigh and closed system equilibrium isotope fractionation, respectively. These ε values fall within the range determined for bacterial U reduction experiments, and together with a striking correlation between the distributions of U and H2S, implicate microbially-mediated U(VI)-U(IV) reduction as the primary mechanism controlling U isotopic shifts in the Black Sea. The 238U/235U of underlying sediments is related to the the 238U/235U of Black Sea bottom waters through the isotope enrichment factor of the U reduction reaction but the relationship between sedimentary and water column 238U/235U is complicated

  14. NGSI FY15 Final Report. Innovative Sample Preparation for in-Field Uranium Isotopic Determinations

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshida, Thomas M.; Meyers, Lisa

    2015-11-10

    Our FY14 Final Report included an introduction to the project, background, literature search of uranium dissolution methods, assessment of commercial off the shelf (COTS) automated sample preparation systems, as well as data and results for dissolution of bulk quantities of uranium oxides, and dissolution of uranium oxides from swipe filter materials using ammonium bifluoride (ABF). Also, discussed were reaction studies of solid ABF with uranium oxide that provided a basis for determining the ABF/uranium oxide dissolution mechanism. This report details the final experiments for optimizing dissolution of U3O8 and UO2 using ABF and steps leading to development of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for dissolution of uranium oxides on swipe filters.

  15. Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel Design with Two-Dimensional Grading for the High Flux Isotope Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Ilas, Germina; Primm, Trent

    2011-05-01

    An engineering design study of the conversion of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from high-enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel is ongoing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The computational models developed during fiscal year 2010 to search for an LEU fuel design that would meet the requirements for the conversion and the results obtained with these models are documented and discussed in this report. Estimates of relevant reactor performance parameters for the LEU fuel core are presented and compared with the corresponding data for the currently operating HEU fuel core. The results obtained indicate that the LEU fuel design would maintain the current performance of the HFIR with respect to the neutron flux to the central target region, reflector, and beam tube locations under the assumption that the operating power for the reactor fueled with LEU can be increased from the current value of 85 MW to 100 MW.

  16. Uniform deposition of uranium hexafluoride (UF6): Standardized mass deposits and controlled isotopic ratios using a thermal fluorination method.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Bruce K; O'Hara, Matthew J; Casella, Andrew M; Carter, Jennifer C; Addleman, R Shane; MacFarlan, Paul J

    2016-07-01

    We report a convenient method for the generation of volatile uranium hexafluoride (UF6) from solid uranium oxides and other U compounds, followed by uniform deposition of low levels of UF6 onto sampling coupons. Under laminar flow conditions, UF6 is shown to interact with surfaces within a fixed reactor geometry to a highly predictable degree. We demonstrate the preparation of U deposits that range between approximately 0.01 and 500ngcm(-2). The data suggest the method can be extended to creating depositions at the sub-picogramcm(-2) level. The isotopic composition of the deposits can be customized by selection of the U source materials and we demonstrate a layering technique whereby two U solids, each with a different isotopic composition, are employed to form successive layers of UF6 on a surface. The result is an ultra-thin deposit that bears an isotopic signature that is a composite of the two U sources. The reported deposition method has direct application to the development of unique analytical standards for nuclear safeguards and forensics. Further, the method allows access to very low atomic or molecular coverages of surfaces. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Study of radioactive isotopes of beryllium, polonium, uranium, and plutonium in the atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, S.C.

    1986-01-01

    Radiochemical measurements were carried out for /sup 239.240/Pu in a total of 94 rain and snow samples collected at Fayetteville (36/sup 0/ N, 94/sup 0/W), Arkansas, during the period between May 1983 and November 1985. The concentrations of /sup 7/Be in most of these samples were also measured and these results were compared with previous samples. Average concentrations of cosmic-ray-produced radionuclide /sup 7/Be in rain remained fairly constant year after year. The annual rate of /sup 7/Be deposition at Fayetteville, Arkansas, was calculated from these data to be 5.2 dpm/cm/sup 2//year, which corresponds to a value of 2.8 x 10/sup -2/ atoms/cm/sup 2//second for the /sup 7/Be production rate in the atmosphere. The concentrations of bomb-produced radionuclides such as /sup 89/Sr, /sup 90/Sr and /sup 239.240/Pu in rain have drastically decreased since the last nuclear test explosion was conducted by the government of People's Republic of China in 1980. The concentrations of uranium isotopes and radon daughters in rain, on the other hand, were found to be affected by atmospheric injections of volcanic ashes from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and the 1982 eruption of El Chichon volcano in Mexico. Moreover, the burnups of the nuclear-powered Soviet satellites have caused marked increases in the levels of /sup 235/U and /sup 234/U in some of the rain samples. A sharp increase in the /sup 210/Po//sup 7/Be ratio in rain samples collected toward the end of 1980 and the beginning of 1981 was attributed to an atmospheric injection of /sup 210/Po from a series of major eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

  18. Method for determination of uranium isotopes in environmental samples by liquid-liquid extraction with triisooctylamine/xylene in hydrochloric media and alpha spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Popov, L

    2012-10-01

    Alternative method for determination of uranium isotopes in various environmental samples is presented. The method is based on total decomposition of the solid materials and preconcentration of liquid samples. The separation of uranium from interfering radionuclides and stable matrix elements is attained by liquid-liquid extraction with triisooctylamine/xylene in hydrochloric media. After the additional removal of stable iron by extraction with diisopropyl ether, purified uranium is electrodeposited on stainless steel disks and measured by alpha spectrometry. The analytical method has been successfully applied to the determination of uranium isotopes in water and bottom sediments from the rivers Danube, Ogosta and Tzibritza in Northwestern Bulgaria. The analytical quality was checked by analyzing reference materials with different matrices.

  19. Uranium and minor-element partitioning in Fe-Ti oxides and zircon from partially melted granodiorite, Crater Lake, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tourrette, T.Z.L.; Burnett, D.S.; Bacon, C.R.

    1991-01-01

    Crystal-liquid partitioning in Fe-Ti oxides and zircon was studied in partially melted granodiorite blocks ejected during the climactic eruption of Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake), Oregon. The blocks, which contain up to 33% rhyolite glass (75 wt% SiO2), are interpreted to be portions of the magma chamber walls that were torn off during eruption. The glass is clear and well homogenized for all measured elements except Zr. Results for Fe-Ti oxides give DUoxide/liq ??? 0.1. Partitioning of Mg, Mn, Al, Si, V, and Cr in Fe-Ti oxides indicates that grains surrounded by glass are moderately well equilibrated with the melt for many of the minor elements, while those that are inclusions in relict plagioclase are not. Uranium and ytterbium inhomogeneities in zircons indicate that the zircons have only partially equilibrated with the melt and that uranium appears to have been diffusing out of the zircons faster than the zircons were dissolving. Minimum U, Y, and P concentrations in zircons give maximum DUzrc/liq = 13,DYzrc/liq = 23, and DPzrc/liq = 1, but these are considerably lower than reported by other workers for U and Y. Based on our measurements and given their low abundances in most rocks, Fe-Ti oxides probably do not play a major role in U-Th fractionation during partial melting. The partial melts were undersaturated with zircon and apatite, but both phases are present in our samples. This demonstrates an actual case of non-equilibrium source retention of accessory phases, which in general could be an important trace-element fractionation mechanism. Our results do not support the hypothesis that liquid structure is the dominant factor controlling trace-element partitioning in high-silica rhyolites. Rough calculations based on Zr gradients in the glass indicate that the samples could have been partially molten for 800 to 8000 years. ?? 1991.

  20. Determination of uranium isotopic composition and 236U content of soil samples and hot particles using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Boulyga, S F; Becker, J S

    2001-07-01

    As a result of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) the environment was contaminated with spent nuclear fuel. The 236U isotope was used in this study to monitor the spent uranium from nuclear fallout in soil samples collected in the vicinity of the Chernobyl NPP. Nuclear track radiography was applied for the identification and extraction of hot radioactive particles from soil samples. A rapid and sensitive analytical procedure was developed for uranium isotopic ratio measurement in environmental samples based on double-focusing inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (DF-ICP-MS) with a MicroMist nebulizer and a direct injection high-efficiency nebulizer (DIHEN). The performance of the DF-ICP-MS with a quartz DIHEN and plasma shielded torch was studied. Overall detection efficiencies of 4 x 10(-4) and 10(-3) counts per atom were achieved for 238U in DF-ICP-QMS with the MicroMist nebulizer and DIHEN, respectively. The rate of formation of uranium hydride ions UH+/U+ was 1.2 x 10(-4) and 1.4 x 10(-4), respectively. The precision of short-term measurements of uranium isotopic ratios (n = 5) in 1 microg L(-1) NBS U-020 standard solution was 0.11% (238U/235U) and 1.4% (236U/238U) using a MicroMist nebulizer and 0.25% (235U/238U) and 1.9% (236U/P38U) using a DIHEN. The isotopic composition of all investigated Chernobyl soil samples differed from those of natural uranium; i.e. in these samples the 236U/238U ratio ranged from 10(-5) to 10(-3). Results obtained with ICP-MS, alpha- and gamma-spectrometry showed differences in the migration properties of spent uranium, plutonium, and americium. The isotopic ratio of uranium was also measured in hot particles extracted from soil samples.

  1. Determination of lead, uranium, thorium, and thallium in silicate glass standard materials by isotope dilution mass spectrometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, I.L.; Garner, E.L.; Gramlich, J.W.; Moore, L.J.; Murphy, T.J.; Machlan, L.A.; Shields, W.R.; Tatsumoto, M.; Knight, R.J.

    1973-01-01

    A set of four standard glasses has been prepared which have been doped with 61 different elements at the 500-, 50-, 1-, and 0.02-ppm level. The concentrations of lead, uranium, thorium, and thallium have been determined by isotope dilution mass spectrometry at a number of points in each of the glasses. The results obtained from independent determinations in two laboratories demonstrate the homogeneity of the samples and that precision of the order of 0.5% (95% L.E.) may be obtained by the method even at the 20-ppb level for these elements. The chemical and mass spectrometric procedures necessary are presented.

  2. Determining the isotopic compositions of uranium and fission products in radioactive environmental microsamples using laser ablation ICP-MS with multiple ion counters.

    PubMed

    Boulyga, Sergei F; Prohaska, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents the application of a multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS)--a Nu Plasma HR--equipped with three ion-counting multipliers and coupled to a laser ablation system (LA) for the rapid and sensitive determination of the 235U/238U, 236U/238U, 145Nd/143Nd, 146Nd/143Nd, 101Ru/(99Ru+99Tc) and 102Ru/(99Ru+99Tc) isotope ratios in microsamples collected in the vicinity of Chernobyl. Microsamples with dimensions ranging from a hundred mum to about 1 mm and with surface alpha activities of 3-38 mBq were first identified using nuclear track radiography. U, Nd and Ru isotope systems were then measured sequentially for the same microsample by LA-MC-ICP-MS. The application of a zoom ion optic for aligning the ion beams into the ion counters allows fast switching between different isotope systems, which enables all of the abovementioned isotope ratios to be measured for the same microsample within a total analysis time of 15-20 min (excluding MC-ICP-MS optimization and calibration). The 101Ru/(99Ru+99Tc) and 102Ru/(99Ru+99Tc) isotope ratios were measured for four microsamples and were found to be significantly lower than the natural ratios, indicating that the microsamples were contaminated with the corresponding fission products (Ru and Tc). A slight depletion in 146Nd of about 3-5% was observed in the contaminated samples, but the Nd isotopic ratios measured in the contaminated samples coincided with natural isotopic composition within the measurement uncertainty, as most of the Nd in the analyzed samples originates from the natural soil load of this element. The 235U/238U and 236U/238U isotope ratios were the most sensitive indicators of irradiated uranium. The present work yielded a significant variation in uranium isotope ratios in microsamples, in contrast with previously published results from the bulk analysis of contaminated samples originating from the vicinity of Chernobyl. Thus, the 235U/238U ratios measured in ten

  3. 238U and 235U isotope fractionation upon oxidation of uranium-bearing rocks by fracture waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernyshev, I. V.; Golubev, V. N.; Chugaev, A. V.; Mandzhieva, G. V.

    2016-10-01

    The variations in 238U/235U values accompanying mobilization of U by fracture waters from uranium-bearing rocks, in which U occurs as a fine impregnation of oxides and silicates, were studied by the high-precision (±0.07‰) MC-ICP-MS method. Transition of U into the aqueous phase in the oxidized state U(VI) is accompanied by its isotope fractionation with enrichment of dissolved U(VI) in the heavy isotope 238U up to 0.32‰ in relation to the composition of the solid phases. According to the sign, this effect is consistent with the tendency of the behavior of 238U and 235U upon interaction of river waters with rocks of the catchment areas [11] and with the effect observed during oxidation of uraninite by the oxygen-bearing NaHCO3 solution [12].

  4. Investigating Uranium Mobility Using Stable Isotope Partitioning of 238U/235U and a Reactive Transport Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bizjack, M.; Johnson, T. M.; Druhan, J. L.; Shiel, A. E.

    2015-12-01

    We report a numerical reactive transport model which explicitly incorporates the effectively stable isotopes of uranium (U) and the factors that influence their partitioning in bioactive systems. The model reproduces trends observed in U isotope ratios and concentration measurements from a field experiment, thereby improving interpretations of U isotope ratios as a tracer for U reactive transport. A major factor contributing to U storage and transport is its redox state, which is commonly influenced by the availability of organic carbon to support metal-reducing microbial communities. Both laboratory and field experiments have demonstrated that biogenic reduction of U(VI) fractionates the stable isotope ratio 238U/235U, producing an isotopically heavy solid U(IV) product. It has also been shown that other common reactive transport processes involving U do not fractionate isotopes to a consistently measurable level, which suggests the capacity to quantify the extent of bioreduction occurring in groundwater containing U using 238U/235U ratios. A recent study of a U bioremediation experiment at the Rifle IFRC site (Colorado, USA) applied Rayleigh distillation models to quantify U stable isotope fractionation observed during acetate amendment. The application of these simplified models were fit to the observations only by invoking a "memory-effect," or a constant source of low-concentration, unfractionated U(VI). In order to more accurately interpret the measured U isotope ratios, we present a multi-component reactive transport model using the CrunchTope software. This approach is capable of quantifying the cycling and partitioning of individual U isotopes through a realistic network of transport and reaction pathways including reduction, oxidation, and microbial growth. The model incorporates physical heterogeneity of the aquifer sediments through zones of decreased permeability, which replicate the observed bromide tracer, major ion chemistry, U concentration, and U

  5. Uranium and thorium isotopes in the rivers of the Amazonian basin: hydrology and weathering processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, Aguinaldo N., Jr.; Al-Gharib, Iyad; Bernat, Michel; Fernex, François

    2003-01-01

    hydroxylamine extracts. As expected, the 1 in the Trombetas and Negro rivers. Such ratios probably result from the binding of dissolved uranium to solid sediment.isotopes were used as tools to evaluate the chemical weathering rate of rocks in the Amazon system, which was estimated to be 2·7 cm 1000 year

  6. Identifying the sources of subsurface contamination at the Hanford site in Washington using high-precision uranium isotopic measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Christensen, John N.; Dresel, P. Evan; Conrad, Mark E.; Maher, Kate; DePaolo, Donald J.

    2004-03-30

    In the mid-1990s, a groundwater plume of uranium (U) was detected in monitoring wells in the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area (WMA) at the Hanford Site in Washington. This area has been used since the late 1940s to store high-level radioactive waste and other products of U fuel-rod processing. Using multiple collector ICP source magnetic sector mass spectrometry (MC ICPMS) high precision uranium isotopic analyses were conducted of samples of vadose zone contamination and of groundwater. The ratios {sup 236}U/{sup 238}U, {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U and {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U are used to distinguish contaminant sources. Based on the isotopic data, the source of the groundwater contamination appears to be related to a 1951 overflow event at tank BX-102 that spilled high level U waste into the vadose zone. The U isotopic variation of the groundwater plume is a result of mixing between contaminant U from this spill and natural background U. Vadose zone U contamination at tank B-110 likely predates the recorded tank leak and can be ruled out as a source of groundwater contamination, based on the U isotopic composition. The locus of vadose zone contamination is displaced from the initial locus of groundwater contamination, indicating that lateral migration in the vadose zone was at least 8 times greater than vertical migration. The time evolution of the groundwater plume suggests an average U migration rate of {approx}0.7-0.8 m/day showing slight retardation relative to a ground water flow of {approx}1 m/day.

  7. Establishing a Cost Basis for Converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor from High Enriched to Low Enriched Uranium Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Primm, Trent; Guida, Tracey

    2010-02-01

    Under the auspices of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors Program, the National Nuclear Security Administration /Department of Energy (NNSA/DOE) has, as a goal, to convert research reactors worldwide from weapons grade to non-weapons grade uranium. The High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) is one of the candidates for conversion of fuel from high enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). A well documented business model, including tasks, costs, and schedules was developed to plan the conversion of HFIR. Using Microsoft Project, a detailed outline of the conversion program was established and consists of LEU fuel design activities, a fresh fuel shipping cask, improvements to the HFIR reactor building, and spent fuel operations. Current-value costs total $76 million dollars, include over 100 subtasks, and will take over 10 years to complete. The model and schedule follows the path of the fuel from receipt from fuel fabricator to delivery to spent fuel storage and illustrates the duration, start, and completion dates of each subtask to be completed. Assumptions that form the basis of the cost estimate have significant impact on cost and schedule.

  8. About the assumption of linearity in soil-to-plant transfer factors for uranium and thorium isotopes and 226Ra.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Rodríguez P; Vera, Tomé F; Lozano, J C

    2002-02-04

    The linearity assumption for soil and plant concentrations of radionuclides is usually a good approximation for use in food-chain models. To verify this assumption, different samples of plant and substrate were collected from a granitic zone located near a disused uranium mine in order to cover a large range of concentrations. In all of the samples, the activity concentration of 226Ra and of different isotopes of uranium (238U and 234U) and thorium (232Th, 230Th and 228Th) were determined. The results indicate that the linearity assumption can be considered valid when the range of concentrations taken into account is large (approx. two orders of magnitude). Otherwise, there is a clear deviation from linearity. Also, the influence of different stable elements on the soil-plant transfer factors was studied by using multivariate regression methods. The uptake of uranium, thorium and radium was found to be mainly associated with the concentration of iron in the plant and the phosphorus and alkaline earths in the substrate.

  9. A combined chemical, isotopic and microstructural study of pyrite from roll-front uranium deposits, Lake Eyre Basin, South Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingham, Edwina S.; Cook, Nigel J.; Cliff, John; Ciobanu, Cristiana L.; Huddleston, Adam

    2014-01-01

    The common sulfide mineral pyrite is abundant throughout sedimentary uranium systems at Pepegoona, Pepegoona West and Pannikan, Lake Eyre Basin, South Australia. Combined chemical, isotopic and microstructural analysis of pyrite indicates variation in fluid composition, sulfur source and precipitation conditions during a protracted mineralization event. The results show the significant role played by pyrite as a metal scavenger and monitor of fluid changes in low-temperature hydrothermal systems. In-situ micrometer-scale sulfur isotope analyses of pyrite demonstrated broad-scale isotopic heterogeneity (δ34S = -43.9 to +32.4‰VCDT), indicative of complex, multi-faceted pyrite evolution, and sulfur derived from more than a single source. Preserved textures support this assertion and indicate a genetic model involving more than one phase of pyrite formation. Authigenic pyrite underwent prolonged evolution and recrystallization, evidenced by a genetic relationship between archetypal framboidal aggregates and pyrite euhedra. Secondary hydrothermal pyrite commonly displays hyper-enrichment of several trace elements (Mn, Co, Ni, As, Se, Mo, Sb, W and Tl) in ore-bearing horizons. Hydrothermal fluids of magmatic and meteoric origins supplied metals to the system but the geochemical signature of pyrite suggests a dominantly granitic source and also the influence of mafic rock types. Irregular variation in δ34S, coupled with oscillatory trace element zonation in secondary pyrite, is interpreted in terms of continuous variations in fluid composition and cycles of diagenetic recrystallization. A late-stage oxidizing fluid may have mobilized selenium from pre-existing pyrite. Subsequent restoration of reduced conditions within the aquifer caused ongoing pyrite re-crystallization and precipitation of selenium as native selenium. These results provide the first qualitative constraints on the formation mechanisms of the uranium deposits at Beverley North. Insights into

  10. Uranium isotopes and dissolved organic carbon in loess permafrost: Modeling the age of ancient ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ewing, Stephanie A.; Paces, James B.; O'Donnell, J.A.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Kanevskiy, M.Z.; Aiken, George R.; Shur, Y.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Striegl, Robert G.

    2015-01-01

    The residence time of ice in permafrost is an indicator of past climate history, and of the resilience and vulnerability of high-latitude ecosystems to global change. Development of geochemical indicators of ground-ice residence times in permafrost will advance understanding of the circumstances and evidence of permafrost formation, preservation, and thaw in response to climate warming and other disturbance. We used uranium isotopes to evaluate the residence time of segregated ground ice from ice-rich loess permafrost cores in central Alaska. Activity ratios of 234U vs. 238U (234U/238U) in water from thawed core sections ranged between 1.163 and 1.904 due to contact of ice and associated liquid water with mineral surfaces over time. Measured (234U/238U) values in ground ice showed an overall increase with depth in a series of five neighboring cores up to 21 m deep. This is consistent with increasing residence time of ice with depth as a result of accumulation of loess over time, as well as characteristic ice morphologies, high segregated ice content, and wedge ice, all of which support an interpretation of syngenetic permafrost formation associated with loess deposition. At the same time, stratigraphic evidence indicates some past sediment redistribution and possibly shallow thaw among cores, with local mixing of aged thaw waters. Using measures of surface area and a leaching experiment to determine U distribution, a geometric model of (234U/238U) evolution suggests mean ages of up to ∼200 ky BP in the deepest core, with estimated uncertainties of up to an order of magnitude. Evidence of secondary coatings on loess grains with elevated (234U/238U) values and U concentrations suggests that refinement of the geometric model to account for weathering processes is needed to reduce uncertainty. We suggest that in this area of deep ice-rich loess permafrost, ice bodies have been preserved from the last glacial period (10–100 ky BP), despite subsequent

  11. Uranium isotopes and dissolved organic carbon in loess permafrost: Modeling the age of ancient ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, S. A.; Paces, J. B.; O'Donnell, J. A.; Jorgenson, M. T.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Aiken, G. R.; Shur, Y.; Harden, J. W.; Striegl, R.

    2015-03-01

    The residence time of ice in permafrost is an indicator of past climate history, and of the resilience and vulnerability of high-latitude ecosystems to global change. Development of geochemical indicators of ground-ice residence times in permafrost will advance understanding of the circumstances and evidence of permafrost formation, preservation, and thaw in response to climate warming and other disturbance. We used uranium isotopes to evaluate the residence time of segregated ground ice from ice-rich loess permafrost cores in central Alaska. Activity ratios of 234U vs. 238U (234U/238U) in water from thawed core sections ranged between 1.163 and 1.904 due to contact of ice and associated liquid water with mineral surfaces over time. Measured (234U/238U) values in ground ice showed an overall increase with depth in a series of five neighboring cores up to 21 m deep. This is consistent with increasing residence time of ice with depth as a result of accumulation of loess over time, as well as characteristic ice morphologies, high segregated ice content, and wedge ice, all of which support an interpretation of syngenetic permafrost formation associated with loess deposition. At the same time, stratigraphic evidence indicates some past sediment redistribution and possibly shallow thaw among cores, with local mixing of aged thaw waters. Using measures of surface area and a leaching experiment to determine U distribution, a geometric model of (234U/238U) evolution suggests mean ages of up to ∼200 ky BP in the deepest core, with estimated uncertainties of up to an order of magnitude. Evidence of secondary coatings on loess grains with elevated (234U/238U) values and U concentrations suggests that refinement of the geometric model to account for weathering processes is needed to reduce uncertainty. We suggest that in this area of deep ice-rich loess permafrost, ice bodies have been preserved from the last glacial period (10-100 ky BP), despite subsequent fluctuations in

  12. Budgets and behaviors of uranium and thorium series isotopes in the Santa Monica Basin off the California Coast

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Lei.

    1991-12-16

    Samples from three time-series sediment traps deployed in the Santa Monica Basin off the California coast were analyzed to study the flux and scavenging of uranium and thorium series isotopes. Variations of uranium and thorium series isotopes fluxes in the water column were obtained by integrating these time-series deployment results. Mass and radionuclide fluxes measured from bottom sediment traps compare favorably with fluxed determined from sediment core data. This agreement suggests that the near-bottom sediment traps are capable of collecting settling particles representative of the surface sediment. The phase distributions of {sup 234}Th in the water column were calculated by an inverse method using sediment trap data, which help to study the variations of {sup 234}Th scavenging in the water column. Scavenging and radioactive decay of {sup 234}Th are the two principal processes for balancing {sup 234}Th budget in the water column. The residence times of dissolved and particulate {sup 234}Th were determined by a {sup 234}Th scavenging model.

  13. The Role of COMSOL Toward a Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel Design for the High Flux Isotope Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Freels, James D; Arimilli, Rao V; Lowe, Kirk T; Bodey, Isaac T

    2009-01-01

    Design and safety analyses are underway to convert the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) from a high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to a low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. The primary constraint for the project is that the overall fuel plate dimensions and the current neutron flux performance must remain unchanged. This allows minimal impact on the facility and cost for the conversion, and provides transparency to the HFIR customer base and research projects that depend on the facility for isotopes and neutron flux. As a consequence, the LEU design demands more accuracy and less margin in the analysis efforts than the original design. Several technical disciplines are required to complete this conversion including nuclear reactor physics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, fuel fabrication, and engineering design. The role of COMSOL is to provide the fully-coupled 3D multi-physics analysis for heat transfer, turbulent flow, and structural mechanics of the fuel plates and flow channels. A goal is for COMSOL to simulate the entire fuel element array of fuel plates (171 inner, 369 outer). This paper describes the progress that has been made toward development of benchmark validation models of the existing HEU inner-element fuel plates.

  14. Budgets and behaviors of uranium and thorium series isotopes in the Santa Monica Basin off the California Coast

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Lei

    1991-12-16

    Samples from three time-series sediment traps deployed in the Santa Monica Basin off the California coast were analyzed to study the flux and scavenging of uranium and thorium series isotopes. Variations of uranium and thorium series isotopes fluxes in the water column were obtained by integrating these time-series deployment results. Mass and radionuclide fluxes measured from bottom sediment traps compare favorably with fluxed determined from sediment core data. This agreement suggests that the near-bottom sediment traps are capable of collecting settling particles representative of the surface sediment. The phase distributions of 234Th in the water column were calculated by an inverse method using sediment trap data, which help to study the variations of 234Th scavenging in the water column. Scavenging and radioactive decay of 234Th are the two principal processes for balancing 234Th budget in the water column. The residence times of dissolved and particulate 234Th were determined by a 234Th scavenging model.

  15. Tracing and Apportioning Sources of Uranium to the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River Using Uranium Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, J. N.; Dresel, P. E.; Conrad, M. E.; Patton, G. W.; Depaolo, D. J.

    2004-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site is situated along an unimpounded portion of the Columbia River, the highest discharge volume river west of the continental divide. Decades of nuclear related activities have left significant local contamination (e.g. nitrate, U, tritium, Cr6+, 99Tc) in the vadose zone and groundwater within the site. Some of this contamination has reached the Columbia River, and there remains the potential for further contaminant migration to the river. We collected and analyzed samples of Columbia River water for U and Sr isotopes in coordination with the ongoing sampling and monitoring of the river. The U and Sr isotopic data allow us to evaluate sources of U (e.g. natural background, Hanford related, agricultural runoff) and their relative contributions to the river's U budget. The data also provide constraints on the flux of contaminant U from the Hanford Site to the river. We analyzed two sample traverses across the Columbia, one near the Vernita Bridge, upstream from Hanford Site contamination, and a second about 5 km downstream of the Hanford Site. An island divides the downstream traverse into western (main channel) and eastern portions. Filtered (0.45 micron) water samples were analyzed for U isotopic composition (including 236U, one marker of spent U fuel) and U concentration, as well as 87Sr/86Sr and Sr concentration. The samples from the upstream traverse had no detectible 236U (236U/238U < 2x10-8), one marker of spent U fuel, natural 238U/235U, uniform (234U/238U, 87Sr/86Sr, U and Sr concentrations. In contrast, the downstream traverse showed variation in all of these parameters. Concentrations of U are 0.5 ppb to 1.2 ppb and are all well below the EPA MCL of 30 ppb for drinking water. In the western channel, measured 236U/238U is 3.4x10-5 to < 2x10-8, with a co-variation in 238U/235U toward enriched ratios. This correlation is consistent with the U isotopic compositions of a groundwater sample from the environs of a former

  16. Chemical and isotopic studies of granitic Archean rocks, Owl Creek Mountains, Wyoming: Uranium-thorium-lead systematics of an Archean granite from the Owl Creek Mountains, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Stuckless, J.S.; Nkomo, I.T.; Butt, K.A.

    1986-01-01

    Isotopic analyses of apparently unaltered whole-rock samples of a granite from the Owl Creek Mountains, Wyo., yield a lead-lead isochron age of 2730 {plus minus} 35 Ma, which is somewhat older than the age obtained by the rubidium-strontium whole-rock method. Thorium-lead data for the same samples deviate markedly from an isochronal relation; however, calculated initial {sup 208}Pb/{sup 204}Pb ratios correlate with whole-rock {delta}{sup 18}O values and lead to the conclusion that the {sup 232}Th-{sup 208}Pb data are not colinear because of an originally heterogeneous granitic magma. Relationships in the {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U-{sup 206}Pb/{sup 238}U system show that uranium was mobilized during early Laramide time or shortly before, such that most surface and shallow drill-core samples lost 60-80 percent of their uranium, and some fractured, deeper drill-core samples gained from 50 to 10,000 percent uranium. Fission-track maps show that much uranium is located along edges and cleavages of biotite and magnetic where it is readily accessible to oxidizing ground water. Furthermore, qualitative comparisons of uranium distribution in samples with excess radiogenic lead and in samples with approximately equilibrium amounts of uranium and lead suggest that the latter contain more uranium in these readily accessible sites. Unlike other granites that have uranium distributions and isotopic systematics similar to those observed in this study, the granite of the Owl Creek Mountains is not associated with economic uranium deposits.

  17. Technical Report on the Behavior of Trace Elements, Stable Isotopes, and Radiogenic Isotopes During the Processing of Uranium Ore to Uranium Ore Concentrate

    SciTech Connect

    Marks, N. E.; Borg, L. E.; Eppich, G. R.; Gaffney, A. M.; Genneti, V. G.; Hutcheon, I. D.; Kristo, M. J.; Lindvall, R. E.; Ramon, C.; Robel, M.; Roberts, S. K.; Schorzman, K. C.; Sharp, M. A.; Singleton, M. J.; Williams, R. W.

    2015-07-09

    The goals of this SP-1 effort were to understand how isotopic and elemental signatures behave during mining, milling, and concentration and to identify analytes that might preserve geologic signatures of the protolith ores. The impurities that are preserved through the concentration process could provide useful forensic signatures and perhaps prove diagnostic of sample origin.

  18. Uranium Isotopes in Calcium Carbonate: A Possible Proxy for Paleo-pH and Carbonate Ion Concentration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, X.; Romaniello, S. J.; Herrmann, A. D.; Wasylenki, L. E.; Anbar, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Natural variations of 238U/235U in marine carbonates are being explored as a paleoredox proxy. However, in order for this proxy to be robust, it is important to understand how pH and alkalinity affect the fractionation of 238U/235U during coprecipitation with calcite and aragonite. Recent work suggests that the U/Ca ratio of foraminiferal calcite may vary with seawater [CO32-] concentration due to changes in U speciation[1]. Here we explore analogous isotopic consequences in inorganic laboratory co-precipitation experiments. Uranium coprecipitation experiments with calcite and aragonite were performed at pH 8.5 ± 0.1 and 7.5 ± 0.1 using a constant addition method [2]. Dissolved U in the remaining solution was periodically collected throughout the experiments. Samples were purified with UTEVA resin and 238U/235U was determined using a 233U-236U double-spike and MC-ICP-MS, attaining a precision of ± 0.10 ‰ [3]. Small but resolvable U isotope fractionation was observed in aragonite experiments at pH ~8.5, preferentially enriching heavier U isotopes in the solid phase. 238U/235U of the dissolved U in these experiments can be fit by Rayleigh fractionation curves with fractionation factors of 1.00002 - 1.00009. In contrast, no resolvable U isotope fractionation was detected in an aragonite experiment at pH ~7.5 or in calcite experiments at either pH. Equilibrium isotope fractionation among dissolved U species is the most likely mechanism driving these isotope effects. Our quantitative model of this process assumes that charged U species are preferentially incorporated into CaCO3 relative to the neutral U species Ca2UO2(CO3)3(aq), which we hypothesize to have a lighter equilibrium U isotope composition than the charged U species. According to this model, the magnitude of U isotope fractionation should scale with the fraction of the neutral U species in the solution, in agreement with our experimental results. These findings suggest that U isotope variations in

  19. Utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium with breeding of the 233U isotope in the VVER reactors using thorium and heavy water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshalkin, V. E.; Povyshev, V. M.

    2015-12-01

    A method for joint utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium in the thorium-uranium—plutonium oxide fuel of a water-moderated reactor with a varying water composition (D2O, H2O) is proposed. The method is characterized by efficient breeding of the 233U isotope and safe reactor operation and is comparatively simple to implement.

  20. A Heterogeneous Sodium Fast Reactor Designed to Transmute Minor Actinide Actinide Waste Isotopes into Plutonium Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Samuel E. Bays

    2011-02-01

    An axial heterogeneous sodium fast reactor design is developed for converting minor actinide waste isotopes into plutonium fuel. The reactor design incorporates zirconium hydride moderating rods in an axial blanket above the active core. The blanket design traps the active core’s axial leakage for the purpose of transmuting Am-241 into Pu-238. This Pu-238 is then co-recycled with the spent driver fuel to make new driver fuel. Because Pu-238 is significantly more fissile than Am-241 in a fast neutron spectrum, the fissile worth of the initial minor actinide material is upgraded by its preconditioning via transmutation in the axial targets. Because, the Am-241 neutron capture worth is significantly stronger in a moderated epithermal spectrum than the fast spectrum, the axial targets serve as a neutron trap which recovers the axial leakage lost by the active core. The sodium fast reactor proposed by this work is designed as an overall transuranic burner. Therefore, a low transuranic conversion ratio is achieved by a degree of core flattening which increases axial leakage. Unlike a traditional “pancake” design, neutron leakage is recovered by the axial target/blanket system. This heterogeneous core design is constrained to have sodium void and Doppler reactivity worth similar to that of an equivalent homogeneous design. Because minor actinides are irradiated only once in the axial target region; elemental partitioning is not required. This fact enables the use of metal targets with electrochemical reprocessing. Therefore, the irradiation environment of both drivers and targets was constrained to ensure applicability of the established experience database for metal alloy sodium fast reactor fuels.

  1. Variation of uranium isotopic composition in soil within the JCO grounds from the 30 September 1999 criticality accident at JCO, Tokai-mura, Japan.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Masayoshi; Kawabata, Yoshiko; Murata, Yoshimasa; Komura, Kazuhisa

    2002-08-01

    Following the 30 September 1999 criticality accident at JCO, 29 surface and 3 core soil samples were collected inside and outside the JCO grounds to evaluate possible contamination by 235U-enriched uranium (18.8%) being handled at the time of the accident. Uranium (234U, 235U, and 238U) and thorium (228Th, 230Th, and 232Th) isotopes were determined by alpha-spectrometry and ICP-MS after radiochemical separation. Concentrations of 238U and 234U ranged from 11.3 to 63.5 and 11.6 to 360 mBq g(-1), respectively. Higher amounts of 238U and/or 234U were found in the vicinity of the uranium conversion building. The calculated 234U/235U activity ratios ranged from a 1.0 radioactive equilibrium value to an unusually high 5.7 value. Several of the soil samples showed considerably higher 235U/238U atomic ratios (1.06-4.37%) than 0.725% for natural uranium. Based on the assumption that measured U-series nuclides in soil samples taken from the JCO grounds were almost at radioactive equilibrium up to 230Th, excess uranium could be calculated for each sample. The results suggest that the excess uranium in the soils have lower 235U/238U atomic ratios (a few %) than the 18.8% enrichment of the precipitation tank uranium.

  2. Application of copper vapour lasers for controlling activity of uranium isotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Barmina, E V; Sukhov, I A; Lepekhin, N M; Priseko, Yu S; Filippov, V G; Simakin, Aleksandr V; Shafeev, Georgii A

    2013-06-30

    Beryllium nanoparticles are generated upon ablation of a beryllium target in water by a copper vapour laser. The average size of single crystalline nanoparticles is 12 nm. Ablation of a beryllium target in aqueous solutions of uranyl chloride leads to a significant (up to 50 %) decrease in the gamma activity of radionuclides of the uranium-238 and uranium-235 series. Data on the recovery of the gamma activity of these nuclides to new steady-state values after laser irradiation are obtained. The possibility of application of copper vapour lasers for radioactive waste deactivation is discussed. (laser applications and other topics in quantum electronics)

  3. Elemental and Isotopic Analysis of Uranium Oxide an NIST Glass Standards by FEMTOSECOND-LA-ICP-MIC-MS

    SciTech Connect

    Ebert, Chris; Zamzow, Daniel S.; McBay, Eddie H.; Bostick, Debra A.; Bajic, Stanley J.; Baldwin, David P.; Houk, R.S.

    2009-06-01

    The objective of this work was to test and demonstrate the analytical figures of merit of a femtosecond-laser ablation (fs-LA) system coupled with an inductively coupled plasma-multi-ion collector-mass spectrometer (ICP-MIC-MS). The mobile fs-LA sampling system was designed and assembled at Ames Laboratory and shipped to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where it was integrated with an ICP-MIC-MS. The test period of the integrated systems was February 2-6, 2009. Spatially-resolved analysis of particulate samples is accomplished by 100-shot laser ablation using a fs-pulsewidth laser and monitoring selected isotopes in the resulting ICP-MS transient signal. The capability of performing high sensitivity, spatially resolved, isotopic analyses with high accuracy and precision and with virtually no sample preparation makes fs-LA-ICP-MIC-MS valuable for the measurement of actinide isotopes at low concentrations in very small samples for nonproliferation purposes. Femtosecond-LA has been shown to generate particles from the sample that are more representative of the bulk composition, thereby minimizing weaknesses encountered in previous work using nanosecond-LA (ns-LA). The improvement of fs- over ns-LA sampling arises from the different mechanisms for transfer of energy into the sample in these two laser pulse-length regimes. The shorter duration fs-LA pulses induce less heating and cause less damage to the sample than the longer ns pulses. This results in better stoichiometric sampling (i.e., a closer correlation between the composition of the ablated particles and that of the original solid sample), which improves accuracy for both intra- and inter-elemental analysis. The primary samples analyzed in this work are (a) solid uranium oxide powdered samples having different {sup 235}U to {sup 238}U concentration ratios, and (b) glass reference materials (NIST 610, 612, 614, and 616). Solid uranium oxide samples containing {sup 235}U in depleted, natural, and enriched

  4. Demonstration of femtosecond laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for uranium isotopic measurements in U-10Mo nuclear fuel foils

    SciTech Connect

    Havrilla, George Joseph; Gonzalez, Jhanis

    2015-06-10

    The use of femtosecond laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to demonstrate the feasibility of measuring the isotopic ratio of uranium directly in U-10Mo fuel foils. The measurements were done on both the flat surface and cross sections of bare and Zr clad U-10Mo fuel foil samples. The results for the depleted uranium content measurements were less than 10% of the accepted U235/238 ratio of 0.0020. Sampling was demonstrated for line scans and elemental mapping over large areas. In addition to the U isotopic ratio measurement, the Zr thickness could be measured as well as trace elemental composition if required. A number of interesting features were observed during the feasibility measurements which could provide the basis for further investigation using this methodology. The results demonstrate the feasibility of using fs-LA-ICP-MS for measuring the U isotopic ratio in U-10Mo fuel foils.

  5. High-Fidelity Modelng and Simulation for a High Flux Isotope Reactor Low-Enriched Uranium Core Design

    DOE PAGES

    Betzler, Benjamin R.; Chandler, David; Davidson, Eva E.; ...

    2017-05-08

    A high-fidelity model of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) with a low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel design and a representative experiment loading has been developed to serve as a new reference model for LEU conversion studies. With the exception of the fuel elements, this HFIR LEU model is completely consistent with the current highly enriched uranium HFIR model. Results obtained with the new LEU model provide a baseline for analysis of alternate LEU fuel designs and further optimization studies. The newly developed HFIR LEU model has an explicit representation of the HFIR-specific involute fuel plate geometry, including the within-plate fuelmore » meat contouring, and a detailed geometry model of the fuel element side plates. Such high-fidelity models are necessary to accurately account for the self-shielding from 238U and the depletion of absorber materials present in the side plates. In addition, a method was developed to account for fuel swelling in the high-density LEU fuel plates during the depletion simulation. In conclusion, calculated time-dependent metrics for the HFIR LEU model include fission rate and cumulative fission density distributions, flux and reaction rates for relevant experiment locations, point kinetics data, and reactivity coefficients.« less

  6. Innovative lasers for uranium isotope separation. Progress report for the period September 1, 1989--May 31, 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Brake, M.L.; Gilgenbach, R.M.

    1990-06-01

    Copper vapor lasers have important applications to uranium atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS). The authors have spent the first year of the project investigating two innovative methods of exciting/pumping copper vapor lasers which have the potential to improve the efficiency and scaling of large laser systems used in uranium isotope separation. Experimental research has focused on the laser discharge kinetics of (1) microwave and (2) electron beam excitation/pumping of large-volume copper vapor lasers. During the first year, the experiments have been designed and constructed and initial data has been taken. Highlights of some of the first year results as well as plans for the future include the following: Microwave resonant cavity produced copper vapor plasmas at 2.45 GHz, both pulsed (5 kW, 5kHz) and CW (0--500 Watts) have been investigated using heated copper chloride as the copper source. The visible emitted light has been observed and intense lines at 510.6 nm and 578.2 nm have been observed. Initial measurements of the electric field strengths have been taken with probes, the plasma volume has been measured with optical techniques, and the power has been measured with power meters. A self-consistent electromagnetic model of the cavity/plasma system which uses the above data as input shows that the copper plasma has skin depths around 100 cm, densities around 10{sup 12} {number_sign}/cc, collisional frequencies around 10{sup 11}/sec., conductivities around 0.15 (Ohm-meter){sup {minus}1}. A simple model of the heat transfer predicts temperatures of {approximately}900 K. All of these parameters indicate that microwave discharges may be well suited as a pump source for copper lasers. These preliminary studies will be continued during the second year with additional diagnostics added to the system to verify the model results. Chemical kinetics of the system will also be added to the model.

  7. The applicability of MGA method for depleted and natural uranium isotopic analysis in the presence of actinides (232Th, 237Np, 233Pa and 241Am).

    PubMed

    Yücel, Haluk

    2007-11-01

    The multi-group analysis (MGA) method for the determination of uranium isotopic abundances in depleted uranium (DU) and natural uranium (NU) samples is applied in this study. A set of non-destructive gamma-ray measurements of DU and NU samples were performed using a planar Ge detector. The relative abundances of 235U and 238U isotopes were compared with the declared values of the standards. The relative abundance for 235U obtained by MGA for a "clean" DU or NU sample with a content of uranium>1wt% is determined with an accuracy of about +/-5%. However, when several actinides such as 232Th, 237Np, 233Pa and 241Am are present along with uranium isotopes simulating "dirty" DU or NU, it has been observed that MGA method gives erroneous results. The 235U abundance results for the samples were 6-25 times higher than the declared values in the presence of above-mentioned actinides, since MGA is utilized the X-ray and gamma-ray peaks in the 80-130 keV energy region, covering XKalpha and XKbeta regions. After the least-squares fitting of the spectra, it is found that the increases in the intensities of the X-ray and gamma-ray peaks of uranium are remarkably larger in the complex 80-130 keV region. On the other hand, it is observed that the interferences of the actinide peaks are relatively less dominant in the higher gamma-ray region of 130-300 keV. The results imply the need for dirty DU and NU samples that the MGA method should utilize the higher energy gamma-rays (up to 1001 keV of (234m)Pa) combined with lower energies of the spectra, which may be collected in a two detector mode (a planar Ge and a high efficient coaxial Ge).

  8. Minor Sulfur Isotope Constraints on the composition of Earth's Archean atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claire, M.

    2016-12-01

    Minor sulfur isotope anomalies in the sedimentary record are direct recorders of ancient chemical reactions that occurred in the atmosphere, and therefore form the most direct proxy for Archean atmospheric composition. The mere presence of mass-independently fractionated sulfur isotopes (MIF-S) in the rock record has resolved nearly a century's worth of debate by constraining atmospheric oxygen to trace levels prior to 2.4 billion years ago, and indirectly indicates the presence of a dominant reducing gas, likely H2 or CH4. The MIF-S database has grown substantially in the past decade, and reveals complex time- and facies-dependent changes in MIF-S magnitudes. The structure within the sedimentary MIF-S record suggests that constraints beyond this simple "on-off" switch for atmospheric O2 are possible once we understand the mechanisms that generate and preserve the signal in the rock record. Recently, I proposed an initial quantitative framework for predictions of atmospheric MIF-S [1], but concluded that new measurements of MIF-S generation mechanisms were needed to provide robust constraints. Since then, identification of MIF-S arising from SO2 photoexcitation [2], and updated absorption cross-sections for SO2 and SO [3-4] provide critical new ground-truth on all 4 isotopes of sulfur. Furthermore, breakthroughs in coupled photochemical-climate modeling have enabled better predictions of UV transparency within hazy atmospheres [5] such as those that might have dominated in the Archean [6-8]. I will present 1-D photochemical modeling results based on these new fundamental constraints, in comparison with MIF-S data from the Archean, to interpret the steady-state composition of the Archean atmosphere and time-dependent perturbations to it. In particular, Δ36S/Δ33S resulting from perturbations to atmospheric species will be discussed as a key tool for constraining the composition of the reducing atmosphere. [1] Claire et al. (2014) GCA; [2] Whitehill et al., PNAS

  9. Urinary isotopic analysis in the UK Armed Forces: no evidence of depleted uranium absorption in combat and other personnel in Iraq

    PubMed Central

    Bland, D; Rona, R; Coggon, D; Anderson, J; Greenberg, N; Hull, L; Wessely, S

    2007-01-01

    Objectives To assess the distribution and risk factors of depleted uranium uptake in military personnel who had taken part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Methods Sector field inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (SF-ICP-MS) was used to determine the uranium concentration and 238U/235U isotopic ratio in spot urine samples. The authors collected urine samples from four groups identified a priori as having different potential for exposure to depleted uranium. These groups were: combat personnel (n = 199); non-combat personnel (n = 96); medical personnel (n = 22); and “clean-up” personnel (n = 24) who had been involved in the maintenance, repair or clearance of potentially contaminated vehicles in Iraq. A short questionnaire was used to ascertain individual experience of circumstances in which depleted uranium exposure might have occurred. Results There was no statistically significant difference in the 238U/235U ratio between groups. Mean ratios by group varied from 138.0 (95% CI 137.3 to 138.7) for clean-up personnel to 138.2 (95% CI 138.0 to 138.5) for combat personnel, and were close to the ratio of 137.9 for natural uranium. The two highest individual ratios (146.9 and 147.7) were retested using more accurate, multiple collector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) and found to be within measurement of error of that for natural uranium. There were no significant differences in isotope ratio between participants according to self-reported circumstances of potential depleted uranium exposure. Conclusions Based on measurements using a SF-ICP-MS apparatus, this study provides reassurance following concern for potential widespread depleted uranium uptake in the UK military. The rare occurrence of elevated ratios may reflect the limits of accuracy of the SF-ICP-MS apparatus and not a real increase from the natural proportions of the isotopes. Any uptake of depleted uranium among participants in this study sample would be

  10. Design Study for a Low-enriched Uranium Core for the High Flux Isotope Reactor, Annual Report for FY 2007

    SciTech Connect

    Primm, Trent; Ellis, Ronald James; Gehin, Jess C; Ilas, Germina; Miller, James Henry; Sease, John D

    2007-11-01

    This report documents progress made during fiscal year 2007 in studies of converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low enriched uranium fuel (LEU). Conversion from HEU to LEU will require a change in fuel form from uranium oxide to a uranium-molybdenum alloy. A high volume fraction U/Mo-in-Al fuel could attain the same neutron flux performance as with the current, HEU fuel but materials considerations appear to preclude production and irradiation of such a fuel. A diffusion barrier would be required if Al is to be retained as the interstitial medium and the additional volume required for this barrier would degrade performance. Attaining the high volume fraction (55 wt. %) of U/Mo assumed in the computational study while maintaining the current fuel plate acceptance level at the fuel manufacturer is unlikely, i.e. no increase in the percentage of plates rejected for non-compliance with the fuel specification. Substitution of a zirconium alloy for Al would significantly increase the weight of the fuel element, the cost of the fuel element, and introduce an as-yet untried manufacturing process. A monolithic U-10Mo foil is the choice of LEU fuel for HFIR. Preliminary calculations indicate that with a modest increase in reactor power, the flux performance of the reactor can be maintained at the current level. A linearly-graded, radial fuel thickness profile is preferred to the arched profile currently used in HEU fuel because the LEU fuel media is a metal alloy foil rather than a powder. Developments in analysis capability and nuclear data processing techniques are underway with the goal of verifying the preliminary calculations of LEU flux performance. A conceptual study of the operational cost of an LEU fuel fabrication facility yielded the conclusion that the annual fuel cost to the HFIR would increase significantly from the current, HEU fuel cycle. Though manufacturing can be accomplished with existing technology

  11. Concentrations and activity ratios of uranium isotopes in groundwater from Doñana National Park, South of Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolívar, J. P.; Olías, M.; González-García, F.; García-Tenorio, R.

    2008-08-01

    The levels and distribution of natural radionuclides in groundwaters from the unconfined Almonte-Marismas aquifer, upon which Doñana National Park is located, have been analysed. Most sampled points were multiple piezometers trying to study the vertical distribution of the hydrogeochemical characteristics in the aquifer. Temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen and redox potential were determined in the field. A large number of parameters, physico-chemical properties, major and minor ions, trace elements and natural radionuclides (U-isotopes, Th-isotopes, Ra-isotopes and 210Po), were also analysed. In the southern zone, where aeolian sands crop out, water composition is of the sodium chloride type, and the lower U-isotopes concentrations have been obtained. As water circulates through the aquifer, bicarbonate and calcium concentrations increase slightly, and higher radionuclides concentrations were measured. Finally, we have demonstrated that 234U/238U activity ratios can be used as markers of the type of groundwater and bedrock, as it has been the case for old waters with marine origin confined by a marsh in the south-east part of aquifer.

  12. Determination of uranium isotopes in soil core samples collected on the JCO grounds after the criticality accident.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, S; Muramatsu, Y; Tagami, K

    2001-11-01

    To evaluate the impact of the 1999 criticality accident in Tokai-mura on the U isotope composition in soils, U isotopes (235U and 238U) were determined with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for soil core samples collected on the JCO grounds after the accident. The 235U/238U ratios were higher than the natural ratio in most samples. The highest ratio observed was 0.0262. Although vertical profiles of the 235U/238U ratio differed among the soil cores, the ratios tended to be high at the surface and decreased with depth. The U concentration also changed with depth. The percentages of 235U in the excess U, estimated from the positive correlation between U concentration and the 235U/238U ratio in soil samples, were less than 4% by mass (mostly 1-3%) and were much lower than the enrichment of the U used in the uranium conversion building at the time of the criticality accident (18.8%). These findings indicate that enriched U had been released before the criticality accident during the U processing at JCO in connection with the reconversion of light water reactor fuel. Since the range of the U concentrations found was comparable to the range of uncontaminated Japanese surface soils, the amount of U added to the soil was judged negligible from a radiation protection viewpoint.

  13. Diagenetic Effects on Uranium Isotope Fractionation in Carbonate Sediments from the Bahamas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, X.; Romaniello, S. J.; Herrmann, A. D.; Anbar, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    Natural variations of 238U/235U in marine carbonates are being explored as a paleoredox proxy, based on the assumption that U isotopes in CaCO3 can directly record the 238U/235U ratio of seawater [1]. Although 238U/235U measured in primary carbonates precipitates is similar to modern seawater, the 238U/235U of bulk sediments in shallow push cores from Bahamian bank-top sediments was 0.2 - 0.4 ‰ heavier than seawater and primary precipitates [2]. This suggests that early diagenesis can cause U isotope fractionation, affecting the preservation of U isotopic signal in primary calcium carbonate precipitates. Here, we selected samples from three modern carbonate sediment cores: Clino, Unda, and ODP Leg 166 Site 1006 from the Bahamas in order to study the effects of meteoric, mixing-zone, and marine burial diagenesis on U isotope fractionation between U in carbonates and seawater. Our results demonstrate that the U isotopic composition of bulk carbonate sediments is generally heavier than coeval seawater, with an average value of -0.12 ± 0.28 ‰ (2SD, N = 96). Despite well-documented diagenetic alteration of the studied cores, variations in U isotopes appear nearly independent of diagenetic indicators. Instead, the variations appear to be well-described by a normal distribution, with an average isotopic offset of 0.27 ± 0.14 ‰ (1σ). Previous experimental results predicted that the isotope fractionation during U(VI) incorporation into primary calcium carbonate from seawater should be +0.11 ‰, which is smaller than observed for most of the samples in this study [3]. We hypothesize that two additional mechanisms could explain the range of fractionation. First, carbonate dissolution and reprecipitation might locally change pH, ionic strength, alkalinity, Ca and Mg concentrations, which can alter aqueous U(VI) speciation and cause additional U isotope fractionation during incorporation into carbonate minerals (0 - 0.39 ‰) [3]. Second, incorporation of U(IV), which

  14. The Rosetta Stone of isotope science and the uranium/lead system.

    PubMed

    De Laeter, John

    2011-01-01

    The nucleosynthetic characteristics of U and Pb, together with the interconnectivity between these elements by two radioactive decay chains, are the foundation on which the U/Pb system was able to make a unique contribution to isotope science. The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian tablet that enabled previously indecipherable hieroglyphics to be translated. In a similar manner, the isotopic investigation of the U/Pb system, by a variety of mass spectrometric instrumentation, has led to our knowledge of the age of the Earth and contributed to thermochronology. In a similar manner, climate change information has been garnered by utilizing the U-Disequilibrium Series to measure the ages of marine archives. The impact of Pb in the environment has been demonstrated in human health, particularly at the peak of leaded petrol consumption in motor vehicles in the 1970s. Variations in the isotopic composition of lead in samples enable the source of the lead to be "fingerprinted" so as to trace the history of the Pb in ice cores and aerosols. The discovery of nuclear fission of (235)U led to the development of nuclear reactors and the isotopic investigation of the Oklo natural reactors. The mass spectrometer is the modern Rosetta Stone of isotope science, which has enabled the isotopic hieroglyphics of the U/Pb system to be investigated to reveal new horizons in our understanding of nature, and to address a number of societal and environmental problems.

  15. Soil formation rates determined from Uranium-series isotope disequilibria in soil profiles from the southeastern Australian highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suresh, P. O.; Dosseto, A.; Hesse, P. P.; Handley, H. K.

    2013-10-01

    The sustainability of soil resources is determined by the balance between the rates of production and removal of soils. Samples from four weathering profiles at Frogs Hollow in the upper catchment area of the Murrumbidgee River (southeastern Australia) were analyzed for their uranium-series (U-series) isotopic composition to estimate soil production rates. Sequential leaching was conducted on sample aliquots to assess how U-series nuclides are distributed between primary and secondary minerals. Soil is increasingly weathered from bottom to top which is evident from the decrease in (234U/238U) ratios and increase in relative quartz content with decreasing soil depth. One soil profile shows little variation in mineralogy and U-series geochemistry with depth, explained by the occurrence of already extensively weathered saprolite, so that further weathering has minimal effect on mineralogy and geochemistry. Al2O3 is mobilized from these soils, and hence a silicon-based weathering index treating Al2O3 as mobile is introduced, which increases with decreasing soil depth, in all profiles. Leached and unleached aliquots show similar mineralogy with slight variation in relative concentrations, whereas the elemental and isotopic composition of uranium and thorium show notable differences between leached and unleached samples. Unleached samples show systematic variations in uranium-series isotopic compositions with depth compared to leached samples. This is most likely explained by the mobilization of U and Th from the samples during leaching. Soil residence times are calculated by modeling U-series activity ratios for each profile separately. Inferred timescales vary up to 30 kyr for unleached aliquots from profile F1 to up to 12 kyr for both leached and unleached aliquots from profile F2. Muscovite content shows a linear relationship with U-series derived soil residence times. This relationship provides an alternative method to estimate residence timescales for profiles with

  16. Uranium isotope systematics of ferromanganese crusts in the Pacific Ocean: Implications for the marine 238U/235U isotope system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goto, Kosuke T.; Anbar, Ariel D.; Gordon, Gwyneth W.; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Shimoda, Gen; Takaya, Yutaro; Tokumaru, Ayaka; Nozaki, Tatsuo; Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Machida, Shiki; Hanyu, Takeshi; Usui, Akira

    2014-12-01

    Variations of 238U/235U ratio (δ238U) in sedimentary rocks have been proposed as a possible proxy for the paleo-oceanic redox conditions, although the marine δ238U system is not fully understood. Here we investigate the spatial variation of δ238U in modern ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts by analyzing U isotopes in the surface (0-3 mm depth) layer of 19 Fe-Mn crusts collected from 6 seamounts in the Pacific Ocean. δ238U values in the surface layers show little variation and range from -0.59‰ to -0.69‰. The uniformity of δ238U values is consistent with the long residence time of U in modern seawater, although the δ238U values are lighter than that of present-day seawater by ∼0.24‰. The light δ238U values are consistent with the isotope offset observed in previously reported adsorption experiment of U to Mn oxide. These results indicate that removal of U from seawater to Mn oxide is responsible for the second largest U isotope fractionation in the modern marine system, and could contribute to isotopically heavy U to seawater. Depth profiles of U isotopes (δ234U and δ238U) in two Fe-Mn crusts (MR12-03_D06-R01 and MC10_CB07_B), dated by Os isotope stratigraphy, were investigated to reconstruct the evolution of the oceanic redox state during the Cenozoic. The δ238U depth profiles show very limited ranges (-0.57‰ to -0.67‰ for MR12-03_D06-R01 and -0.56‰ to -0.69‰ for MC10_CB07_B), and have values that are similar to those of the surface layers of Fe-Mn crusts. The absence of any resolvable variation in the δ238U depth profiles may suggest that the relative amounts of oxic and reducing U sinks have not varied significantly over the past 45 Myr. However, the δ234U depth profiles of the same samples show evidence for the possible redistribution of 234U after deposition. Therefore, the depth profile of δ238U in Fe-Mn crusts may have been also overprinted by later chemical exchange with pore-water or seawater, and may not reflect the paleo

  17. Assumptions and Criteria for Performing a Feasability Study of the Conversion of the High Flux Isotope Reactor Core to Use Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Primm, R.T., III; Ellis, R.J.; Gehin, J.C.; Moses, D.L.; Binder, J.L.; Xoubi, N.

    2006-02-01

    A computational study will be initiated during fiscal year 2006 to examine the feasibility of converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor from highly enriched uranium fuel to low-enriched uranium. The study will be limited to steady-state, nominal operation, reactor physics and thermal-hydraulic analyses of a uranium-molybdenum alloy that would be substituted for the current fuel powder--U{sub 3}O{sub 8} mixed with aluminum. The purposes of this document are to (1) define the scope of studies to be conducted, (2) define the methodologies to be used to conduct the studies, (3) define the assumptions that serve as input to the methodologies, (4) provide an efficient means for communication with the Department of Energy and American research reactor operators, and (5) expedite review and commentary by those parties.

  18. Very long hillslope transport timescales determined from uranium-series isotopes in river sediments from a large, tectonically stable catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suresh, P. O.; Dosseto, A.; Hesse, P. P.; Handley, H. K.

    2014-10-01

    The uranium-series isotopic compositions of soils and sediments evolve in response to time and weathering conditions. Therefore, these isotopes can be used to constrain the timescales of river sediment transport. Catchment evolution depends on the sediment dynamic timescales, on which erosion imparts a major control. Erosion rates in tectonically stable catchments are expected to be lower than those in tectonically active catchments, implying longer sediment residence times in tectonically stable catchments. Mineralogical, elemental and isotopic data are presented for modern channel sediments, alluvial and colluvial deposits from the Murrumbidgee River, a large catchment in the passive margin highlands of south-eastern Australia and three of its tributaries from the headwaters to the alluvial plain. Low variability in Si-based Weathering Index indicates that there is little chemical weathering occurring in the Murrumbidgee River during sediment transport. However, quartz content increases and plagioclase content decreases downstream, indicating progressive mineralogical sorting and/or physical comminution with increasing transport distance. U-series isotopic ratios in the Murrumbidgee River trunk stream sediments show no systematic downstream variation. The weathering ages of sediments within the catchment were determined using a loss-gain model of U-series isotopes. Modern sediments from a headwater tributary, the Bredbo River at Frogs Hollow, have a weathering age of 76 ± 30 kyr but all other modern channel sediments from the length of the Murrumbidgee River and its main tributaries have weathering ages ∼400 ± 180 kyr. The two headwater colluvial deposits have weathering ages of 57 ± 13 and 47 ± 11 kyr, respectively. All the alluvial deposits have weathering ages similar to those of modern sediments. No downstream trend in weathering age is observed. Together with the soil residence time of up to 30 kyr for ridge-top soils at Frogs Hollow in the upper

  19. Uranium Isotope Fractionation during Oxidation of Dissolved U(iv) and Synthetic Solid UO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Johnson, T. M.; Lundstrom, C. C.

    2013-12-01

    U isotopes (238U/235U) show promise as a tool for environmental monitoring of U contamination as well as a proxy for paleo-redox conditions. However, the isotopic fractionation mechanisms of U are still poorly understood. In groundwater systems, U(VI), a mobile contaminant, can be reduced to immobile U(IV) and thus remediated. Previous work shows that 238U/235U of the remaining U(VI) changes with the extent of reduction. Therefore, U(VI) isotope composition in groundwater can potentially be used to detect and perhaps quantify the extent of reduction. However, knowing if isotopic fractionation occurs during U(IV) oxidation is equally important. First, the reduced U(IV) (either solid or as dissolved organic complexes) potentially can be reoxidized to U(VI). If isotope fractionation occurs during oxidation, it would complicate the use of U isotope composition as a monitoring technique. Further, in natural weathering processes, U(IV) minerals are oxidized to form dissolved U(VI), which is carried to rivers and eventually to the ocean and deposited in marine sediments. The weathering cycle is thus sensitive to redox conditions, meaning the sedimentary U isotope record may serve as a paleoredox indicator, provided U isotope fractionation during oxidation and reduction are well known. We conducted experiments oxidizing 2 different U(IV) species by O2 and measuring isotopic fractionation factors. In one experiment, dissolved U(IV) in 0.1 N HCl (pH 1) was oxidized by entrained air. As oxidation proceeds at pH 1, the remaining dissolved U(IV) becomes progressively enriched in 238U in a linear trend, while the product U(VI) paralleled, but was offset to 1.0‰ lighter in 238U/235U. This linear progression of both remaining reactant and product suggests equilibrium fractionation during oxidation of dissolved U(IV) by O2. A second experiment oxidized synthetic, solid UO2 (in 20 mM NaHCO3, pH 7) with entrained air. The oxidative fractionation is very weak in this case with

  20. Radiocarbon and uranium isotopes in surface waters reveal enhanced hydrologic connection with permafrost thaw

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, S. A.; O'Donnell, J. A.; Koch, J. C.; Paces, J. B.; Aiken, G.; Striegl, R. G.

    2016-12-01

    The residence time of ice in permafrost is an indicator of past climate history, and of the resilience and vulnerability of high-latitude ecosystems to global change. Development of geochemical indicators of ground-ice residence times in permafrost will advance understanding of permafrost formation, preservation, and thaw in response to climate warming and other disturbance. We used uranium activity ratios (234U/238U) and radiocarbon (14C) to evaluate the signal of permafrost thaw at two gaged locations (upstream and downstream) on Beaver Creek, a central Alaskan stream that flows from rocky uplands to terraces and lowlands mantled by thick, ice-rich loess permafrost (yedoma). Uranium activity ratios in surface waters provide a tracer of transit time and source (permafrost thaw water, supra- and sub-permafrost groundwater), but must be interpreted in the context of parent material and hydrology. Previous work has shown that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from yedoma in the age range of 10-100 ky is highly labile, suggesting ongoing production in permafrost and potential carbon (C) loss upon thaw with increasing permafrost age. Uranium activity ratios were inversely correlated with DOC-14C values in streamwater at the upstream gages throughout the year, and at the downstream gage during summer, indicating aged C that co-occurs with increased nitrate-N in winter baseflow at the upstream site, but not at the downstream site. In the context of observations at a number of sites in central Alaska, these patterns suggest enhanced hydrologic connection of the downstream site in summer that may be facilitated by permafrost thaw and may result in capture of young DOC in the floodplain. In regional streams, mineral substrate dictates hydrologic connection with permafrost thaw, with enhanced mixing of source waters from supra- and sub-permafrost groundwater as thaw progresses.

  1. Direct uranium isotope ratio analysis of single micrometer-sized glass particles

    PubMed Central

    Kappel, Stefanie; Boulyga, Sergei F.; Prohaska, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    We present the application of nanosecond laser ablation (LA) coupled to a ‘Nu Plasma HR’ multi collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) for the direct analysis of U isotope ratios in single, 10–20 μm-sized, U-doped glass particles. Method development included studies with respect to (1) external correction of the measured U isotope ratios in glass particles, (2) the applied laser ablation carrier gas (i.e. Ar versus He) and (3) the accurate determination of lower abundant 236U/238U isotope ratios (i.e. 10−5). In addition, a data processing procedure was developed for evaluation of transient signals, which is of potential use for routine application of the developed method. We demonstrate that the developed method is reliable and well suited for determining U isotope ratios of individual particles. Analyses of twenty-eight S1 glass particles, measured under optimized conditions, yielded average biases of less than 0.6% from the certified values for 234U/238U and 235U/238U ratios. Experimental results obtained for 236U/238U isotope ratios deviated by less than −2.5% from the certified values. Expanded relative total combined standard uncertainties Uc (k = 2) of 2.6%, 1.4% and 5.8% were calculated for 234U/238U, 235U/238U and 236U/238U, respectively. PMID:22595724

  2. Direct uranium isotope ratio analysis of single micrometer-sized glass particles.

    PubMed

    Kappel, Stefanie; Boulyga, Sergei F; Prohaska, Thomas

    2012-11-01

    We present the application of nanosecond laser ablation (LA) coupled to a 'Nu Plasma HR' multi collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) for the direct analysis of U isotope ratios in single, 10-20 μm-sized, U-doped glass particles. Method development included studies with respect to (1) external correction of the measured U isotope ratios in glass particles, (2) the applied laser ablation carrier gas (i.e. Ar versus He) and (3) the accurate determination of lower abundant (236)U/(238)U isotope ratios (i.e. 10(-5)). In addition, a data processing procedure was developed for evaluation of transient signals, which is of potential use for routine application of the developed method. We demonstrate that the developed method is reliable and well suited for determining U isotope ratios of individual particles. Analyses of twenty-eight S1 glass particles, measured under optimized conditions, yielded average biases of less than 0.6% from the certified values for (234)U/(238)U and (235)U/(238)U ratios. Experimental results obtained for (236)U/(238)U isotope ratios deviated by less than -2.5% from the certified values. Expanded relative total combined standard uncertainties U(c) (k = 2) of 2.6%, 1.4% and 5.8% were calculated for (234)U/(238)U, (235)U/(238)U and (236)U/(238)U, respectively. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Environmental site description for a Uranium Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (U-AVLIS) production plant at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site

    SciTech Connect

    Marmer, G.J.; Dunn, C.P.; Moeller, K.L.; Pfingston, J.M.; Policastro, A.J.; Yuen, C.R.; Cleland, J.H.

    1991-09-01

    Uranium enrichment in the United States has utilized a diffusion process to preferentially enrich the U-235 isotope in the uranium product. The U-AVLIS process is based on electrostatic extraction of photoionized U-235 atoms from an atomic vapor stream created by electron-beam vaporization of uranium metal alloy. The U-235 atoms are ionized when precisely tuned laser light -- of appropriate power, spectral, and temporal characteristics -- illuminates the uranium vapor and selectively photoionizes the U-235 isotope. A programmatic document for use in screening DOE site to locate a U-AVLIS production plant was developed and implemented in two parts. The first part consisted of a series of screening analyses, based on exclusionary and other criteria, that identified a reasonable number of candidate sites. These sites were subjected to a more rigorous and detailed comparative analysis for the purpose of developing a short list of reasonable alternative sites for later environmental examination. This environmental site description (ESD) provides a detailed description of the PGDP site and vicinity suitable for use in an environmental impact statement (EIS). The report is based on existing literature, data collected at the site, and information collected by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) staff during a site visit. 65 refs., 15 tabs.

  4. On the Use of 233U-236U Double-Spike for TIMS Measurements of Uranium Isotopes: A Simulation Study

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R W

    2004-03-17

    Synthetic ion beams with instantaneous and temporal characteristics appropriate to thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) were mathematically generated and analyzed to determine the effects of using a mixed {sup 233}U-{sup 236}U spike (double-spike) in the analysis of uranium isotopes. The instantaneous beam characteristics are the intensities (e.g., counts per second) modeled with a Poisson distribution plus a component of random noise that simulates the detection processes. Several beam intensity and mass fractionation vs. time functions were modeled to simulate a range of sample sizes and the commonly employed methods of data collection. These beam profiles were also generated with different noise levels, and signal-to-noise vs. analytical precision diagrams are presented. Modeling focused on natural uranium, where {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U = 137.88, and on the ability of a given method to determine precisely and accurately small variations in this ratio. Practical limits on precision were determined to be 20-30 ppm, which is consistent with precision seen for other elements by state-of-the-art TIMS. The TIMS total evaporation method was compared directly with the double-spike method. While similar analytical precisions are obtained with either method, the double-spike method of correcting for analytical bias gives more accurate results. The results of a total evaporation analysis will deviate from true by more than the analytical precision if as little as 0.05% of the signal is not integrated, whereas the accuracy and precision of the double-spiked analyses are always linked.

  5. Variability in the uranium isotopic composition of the oceans over glacial interglacial timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esat, Tezer M.; Yokoyama, Yusuke

    2006-08-01

    Uranium-series mass spectrometric analyses of corals from the uplifted last glacial terraces at Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea, that grew from 50,000 years ago to 30,000 years ago show systematically low values of 234U/ 238U, at the time of coral growth, compared with modern corals. When combined with coral data from other studies a systematic trend emerges indicating shifts in the 234U/ 238U ratio at times of major glacial-interglacial transitions that involve large variations in sea-levels. From last glacial to Holocene, the rate of change in δ 234U is approximately 1‰ per thousand years. The variations in the U budget of the oceans appear to be due to accumulation of excess 234U in near shore areas in anoxic and suboxic sediments, in salt marshes and mangroves, in estuaries, and in continental margins during periods of warm climate and high sea-levels. These near-shore areas are exposed during periods of low sea level resulting in rapid oxidation of U into highly soluble phases. The subsequent release of 234U-enriched uranium into the oceans occurs over a sustained period, in step with rising sea-levels.

  6. Considerations in the development of a process to manufacture low-enriched uranium foil fuel for the high flux isotope reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Sease, J.D.; Primm, R.T. III Miller, J.H.

    2008-07-15

    A reference flow sheet is the one of the first planning steps in the development of a manufacturing capacity for low enriched uranium foil fuels and can be used to develop a work structure, a critical path schedule and identify development needs. The reference flow sheet presented is specific to the High Flux Isotope Reactor and is used to estimate the change in HFIR operating cost due to fuel conversion. (author)

  7. Utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium with breeding of the {sup 233}U isotope in the VVER reactors using thorium and heavy water

    SciTech Connect

    Marshalkin, V. E. Povyshev, V. M.

    2015-12-15

    A method for joint utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium in the thorium–uranium—plutonium oxide fuel of a water-moderated reactor with a varying water composition (D{sub 2}O, H{sub 2}O) is proposed. The method is characterized by efficient breeding of the {sup 233}U isotope and safe reactor operation and is comparatively simple to implement.

  8. Tracing the Sources and History of Subsurface Contamination at the Hanford Site in Washington Using High-Precision Uranium Isotopic Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, J. N.; Dresel, P. E.; Conrad, M. E.; Maher, K.; Depaolo, D. J.

    2003-12-01

    Groundwater contamination at the Hanford Site, Washington, resulted from decades of nuclear fuel production and processing. Understanding the fate and transport of contaminants has been complicated by the presence of multiple potential sources within relatively small areas. The contrasts in isotopic composition between natural and anthropogenic uranium promotes the measurement of uranium isotopic composition as a fingerprint and tracer of uranium contamination in the environment. In this study we focused on a uranium groundwater plume and two vadose zone U plumes associated with the B-BX-BY waste management area, used since the late 1940's for the storage of high-level radioactive waste. Groundwater U contamination was first detected in monitoring wells in the early 1990's. The groundwater plume (>30 ppb U) is currently approximately 250 m wide, at least 900 m long with U concentrations up to 525 ppb. The exact origin and history of this contamination is not well understood, since a number of tanks and incidents are potential sources. Using multiple collector ICPMS (Micromass IsoProbe) high precision uranium isotopic analyses were conducted of samples of vadose zone contamination and of groundwater. The measured isotopic compositions (234U/238U, 235U/238U and 236U/238U) are used to distinguish contaminant sources, and are compared to a history of processed U fuel rod compositions. Based on the isotopic data, the groundwater plume appears to be related to a tank overflow event in 1951 that spilled high-level waste into the vadose zone. A second zone of identified vadose zone contamination does not seem to be an important contributor to the groundwater U plume. The variation in U isotopic composition of the groundwater samples is a result of mixing of contaminant U from the 1951 event and natural background U. The identified vadose zone contamination source is horizontally displaced from the initial locus of groundwater contamination, indicating that lateral

  9. Determination of trace element concentrations and stable lead, uranium and thorium isotope ratios by quadrupole-ICP-MS in NORM and NORM-polluted sample leachates.

    PubMed

    Mas, J L; Villa, M; Hurtado, S; García-Tenorio, R

    2012-02-29

    This work focuses on the monitoring of the potential pollution in scenarios that involve NORM-related industrial activities (environmental or in-door scenarios). The objective was to develop a method to determine extent and origin of the contamination, suitable for monitoring (i.e. simple, fast and economical) and avoiding the use of too many different instruments. It is presented a radiochemical method that allows the determination of trace element concentrations and 206Pb/207Pb/208Pb, 238U/234U and 232Th/230Th isotope ratios using a single sample aliquot and a single instrument (ICP-QMS). Eichrom UTEVA® extraction chromatography minicolumns were used to separate uranium and thorium in sample leachates. Independent ICP-MS determinations of uranium and thorium isotope ratios were carried out afterwards. Previously a small aliquot of the leachate was used for the determination of trace element concentrations and lead isotope ratios. Several radiochemical arrangements were tested to get maximum performances and simplicity of the method. The performances of the method were studied in terms of chemical yields of uranium and thorium and removal of the potentially interfering elements. The established method was applied to samples from a chemical industry and sediments collected in a NORM-polluted scenario. The results obtained from our method allowed us to infer not only the extent, but also the sources of the contamination in the area.

  10. Study of Fission Barrier Heights of Uranium Isotopes by the Macroscopic-Microscopic Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Chun-Lai; Fan, Tie-Shuan

    2014-09-01

    Potential energy surfaces of uranium nuclei in the range of mass numbers 229 through 244 are investigated in the framework of the macroscopic-microscopic model and the heights of static fission barriers are obtained in terms of a double-humped structure. The macroscopic part of the nuclear energy is calculated according to Lublin—Strasbourg-drop (LSD) model. Shell and pairing corrections as the microscopic part are calculated with a folded-Yukawa single-particle potential. The calculation is carried out in a five-dimensional parameter space of the generalized Lawrence shapes. In order to extract saddle points on the potential energy surface, a new algorithm which can effectively find an optimal fission path leading from the ground state to the scission point is developed. The comparison of our results with available experimental data and others' theoretical results confirms the reliability of our calculations.

  11. Uranium series isotopes concentration in sediments at San Marcos and Luis L. Leon reservoirs, Chihuahua, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Méndez-García, C.; Montero-Cabrera, M. E.; Renteria-Villalobos, M.; García-Tenorio, R.

    2008-01-01

    Spatial and temporal distribution of the radioisotopes concentrations were determined in sediments near the surface and core samples extracted from two reservoirs located in an arid region close to Chihuahua City, Mexico. At San Marcos reservoir one core was studied, while from Luis L. Leon reservoir one core from the entrance and another one close to the wall were investigated. ²³²Th-series, ²³⁸U-series, ⁴⁰K and ¹³⁷Cs activity concentrations (AC, Bq kg⁻¹) were determined by gamma spectrometry with a high purity Ge detector. ²³⁸U and ²³⁴U ACs were obtained by liquid scintillation and alpha spectrometry with a surface barrier detector. Dating of core sediments was performed applying CRS method to ²¹⁰Pb activities. Results were verified by ¹³⁷Cs AC. Resulting activity concentrations were compared among corresponding surface and core sediments. High ²³⁸U-series AC values were found in sediments from San Marcos reservoir, because this site is located close to the Victorino uranium deposit. Low AC values found in Luis L. Leon reservoir suggest that the uranium present in the source of the Sacramento – Chuviscar Rivers is not transported up to the Conchos River. Activity ratios (AR) ²³⁴U/²³⁸U and ²³⁸U/²²⁶Ra in sediments have values between 0.9–1.2, showing a behavior close to radioactive equilibrium in the entire basin. ²³²Th/²³⁸U, ²²⁸Ra/²²⁶Ra ARs are witnesses of the different geological origin of sediments from San Marcos and Luis L. Leon reservoirs.

  12. Uranium series isotopes concentration in sediments at San Marcos and Luis L. Leon reservoirs, Chihuahua, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Méndez-García, C.; Renteria-Villalobos, M.; García-Tenorio, R.; Montero-Cabrera, M. E.

    2014-07-01

    Spatial and temporal distribution of the radioisotopes concentrations were determined in sediments near the surface and core samples extracted from two reservoirs located in an arid region close to Chihuahua City, Mexico. At San Marcos reservoir one core was studied, while from Luis L. Leon reservoir one core from the entrance and another one close to the wall were investigated. 232Th-series, 238U-series, 40K and 137Cs activity concentrations (AC, Bq kg-1) were determined by gamma spectrometry with a high purity Ge detector. 238U and 234U ACs were obtained by liquid scintillation and alpha spectrometry with a surface barrier detector. Dating of core sediments was performed applying CRS method to 210Pb activities. Results were verified by 137Cs AC. Resulting activity concentrations were compared among corresponding surface and core sediments. High 238U-series AC values were found in sediments from San Marcos reservoir, because this site is located close to the Victorino uranium deposit. Low AC values found in Luis L. Leon reservoir suggest that the uranium present in the source of the Sacramento - Chuviscar Rivers is not transported up to the Conchos River. Activity ratios (AR) 234U/overflow="scroll">238U and 238U/overflow="scroll">226Ra in sediments have values between 0.9-1.2, showing a behavior close to radioactive equilibrium in the entire basin. 232Th/overflow="scroll">238U, 228Ra/overflow="scroll">226Ra ARs are witnesses of the different geological origin of sediments from San Marcos and Luis L. Leon reservoirs.

  13. Experimentally determined uranium isotope fractionation during reduction of hexavalent U by bacteria and zero valent iron.

    PubMed

    Rademacher, Laura K; Lundstrom, Craig C; Johnson, Thomas M; Sanford, Robert A; Zhao, Juanzho; Zhang, Zhaofeng

    2006-11-15

    Variations in stable isotope ratios of redox sensitive elements are often used to understand redox processes occurring near the Earth's surface. Presented here are measurements of mass-dependent U isotope fractionation induced by U(VI) reduction by zerovalent iron (Fe0) and bacteria under controlled pH and HCO3- conditions. In abiotic experiments, Fe0 reduced U(VI), but the reaction failed to induce an analytically significant isotopic fractionation. Bacterial reduction experiments using Geobacter sulfurreducens and Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans reduced dissolved U(VI) and caused enrichment of 238U relative to 235U in the remaining U(VI). Enrichmentfactors (epsilon) calculated using a Rayleigh distillation model are -0.31% per hundred and -0.34% per hundred for G. sulfurreducens and A. dehalogenans, respectively, under identical experimental conditions. Further studies are required to determine the range of possible values for 238U/235U fractionation factors under a variety of experimental conditions before broad application of these results is possible. However, the measurable variations in delta(5238)U show promise as indicators of reduction for future studies of groundwater contamination, geochronology, U ore deposit formation, and U biogeochemical cycling.

  14. Measurement of uranium and plutonium in solid waste by passive photon or neutron counting and isotopic neutron source interrogation

    SciTech Connect

    Crane, T.W.

    1980-03-01

    A summary of the status and applicability of nondestructive assay (NDA) techniques for the measurement of uranium and plutonium in 55-gal barrels of solid waste is reported. The NDA techniques reviewed include passive gamma-ray and x-ray counting with scintillator, solid state, and proportional gas photon detectors, passive neutron counting, and active neutron interrogation with neutron and gamma-ray counting. The active neutron interrogation methods are limited to those employing isotopic neutron sources. Three generic neutron sources (alpha-n, photoneutron, and /sup 252/Cf) are considered. The neutron detectors reviewed for both prompt and delayed fission neutron detection with the above sources include thermal (/sup 3/He, /sup 10/BF/sub 3/) and recoil (/sup 4/He, CH/sub 4/) proportional gas detectors and liquid and plastic scintillator detectors. The instrument found to be best suited for low-level measurements (< 10 nCi/g) is the /sup 252/Cf Shuffler. The measurement technique consists of passive neutron counting followed by cyclic activation using a /sup 252/Cf source and delayed neutron counting with the source withdrawn. It is recommended that a waste assay station composed of a /sup 252/Cf Shuffler, a gamma-ray scanner, and a screening station be tested and evaluated at a nuclear waste site. 34 figures, 15 tables.

  15. Distribution of uranium and radium isotopes in an aquifer of a semi-arid region (Manouba-Essijoumi, Northern Tunisia).

    PubMed

    Added, A; Ben Mammou, A; Fernex, F; Rezzoug, S; Bernat, M

    2005-01-01

    Groundwaters from the Sebkhet Essijoumi drainage basin, situated in northern Tunisia, West of the city of Tunis, were sampled and analyzed for uranium and radium isotopes. Low (234)U/(238)U activity ratios coupled with relatively high (228)Ra and (238)U concentrations were found in the Manouba plain phreatic aquifer, at the northern part of the basin, where remote sensing has indicated that this plain corresponds to the main humid zone of the area. Low (234)U/(238)U ratios probably reflected short residence time for waters in the Manouba plain, and high ratios longer residence time in the south, where water reaching the phreatic aquifer seems to have previously circulated in rocks constituting the southern hills. Assuming that, in the Manouba plain aquifer, the groundwater flows downstream from the Oued Lill pass area to the South-West of the Sebkha, the difference in the (228)Ra/(226)Ra activity ratio suggests that the residence time of water has been 2.8 years longer near the Sebkha than upstream.

  16. Uranium-Series Isotopic Constraints on Recent Changes in the Eruptive Behaviour of Merapi Volcano, Java, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gertisser, R.; Handley, H. K.; Reagan, M. K.; Berlo, K.; Barclay, J.; Preece, K.; Herd, R.

    2011-12-01

    Merapi volcano (Central Java) is one of the most active and deadly volcanoes in Indonesia. The 2010 eruption was the volcano's largest eruption since 1872 and erupted much more violently than expected. Prior to 2010, volcanic activity at Merapi was characterised by several months of slow dome growth punctuated by gravitational dome failures, generating small-volume pyroclastic density currents (Merapi-type nuées ardentes). The unforeseen, large-magnitude events in 2010 were different in many respects: pyroclastic density currents travelled > 15 km beyond the summit causing widespread devastation in proximal areas on Merapi's south flank and ash emissions from sustained eruption columns resulted in ash fall tens of kilometres away from the volcano. The 2010 events have proved that Merapi's relatively small dome-forming activity can be interrupted at relatively short notice by larger explosive eruptions, which appear more common in the geological record. We present new geochemical and Uranium-series isotope data for the volcanic products of both the 2006 and 2010 eruptions at Merapi to investigate the driving forces behind this unusual explosive behaviour and their timescales. An improved knowledge of these processes and of changes in the pre-eruptive magma system has important implications for the assessment of hazards and risks from future eruptive activity at Merapi.

  17. Neutron-induced fission cross section measurements for uranium isotopes {sup 236}U and {sup 234}U at LANSCE

    SciTech Connect

    Laptev, A. B.; Tovesson, F.; Hill, T. S.

    2013-04-19

    A well established program of neutron-induced fission cross section measurement at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) is supporting the Fuel Cycle Research program (FC R and D). The incident neutron energy range spans from sub-thermal up to 200 MeV by combining two LANSCE facilities, the Lujan Center and the Weapons Neutron Research facility (WNR). The time-of-flight method is implemented to measure the incident neutron energy. A parallel-plate fission ionization chamber was used as a fission fragment detector. The event rate ratio between the investigated foil and a standard {sup 235}U foil is converted into a fission cross section ratio. In addition to previously measured data new measurements include {sup 236}U data which is being analyzed, and {sup 234}U data acquired in the 2011-2012 LANSCE run cycle. The new data complete the full suite of Uranium isotopes which were investigated with this experimental approach. Obtained data are presented in comparison with existing evaluations and previous data.

  18. Flow-injection technique for determination of uranium and thorium isotopes in urine by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Benkhedda, Karima; Epov, Vladimir N; Evans, R Douglas

    2005-04-01

    A sensitive and efficient flow-injection (FI) preconcentration and matrix-separation technique coupled to sector field ICP-mass spectrometry (SF-ICP-MS) has been developed and validated for simultaneous determination of ultra-low levels of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) in human urine. The method is based on selective retention of U and Th from a urine matrix, after microwave digestion, on an extraction chromatographic TRU resin, as an alternative to U/TEVA resin, and their subsequent elution with ammonium oxalate. Using a 10 mL sample, the limits of detection achieved for 238U and 232Th were 0.02 and 0.03 ng L(-1), respectively. The accuracy of the method was checked by spike-recovery measurements. Levels of U and Th in human urine were found to be in the ranges 1.86-5.50 and 0.176-2.35 ng L(-1), respectively, well in agreement with levels considered normal for non-occupationally exposed persons. The precision obtained for five replicate measurements of a urine sample was 2 and 3% for U and Th, respectively. The method also enables on-line measurements of the 235U/238U isotope ratios in urine. Precision of 0.82-1.04% (RSD) was obtained for 235U/238U at low ng L(-1) levels, using the FI transient signal approach.

  19. Determination of elemental impurities and U and O isotopic compositions with a view to identify the geographical and industrial origins of uranium ore concentrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salaun, A.; Hubert, A.; Pointurier, F.; Aupiais, J.; Pili, E.; Richon, P.; Fauré, A.; Diallo, S.

    2012-12-01

    First events of illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials occurred 50 years ago. Nuclear forensics expertise are aiming at determining the use of seized material, its industrial history and provenance (geographical area, place of production or processing), at assisting in the identification and dismantling of illicit trafficking networks. This information is also valuable in the context of inspections of declared facilities to verify the consistency of operator's declaration. Several characteristics can be used to determine the origin of uranium ore concentrates such as trace elemental impurity patterns (Keegan et al., 2008 ; Varga et al., 2010a, 2010b) or uranium, oxygen and lead isotopic compositions (Tamborini et al., 2002a, 2002b ; Wallenius et al., 2006; Varga et al., 2009). We developed analytical procedures for measuring the isotopic compositions of uranium (234U/238U and 235U/238U) and oxygen (18O/16O) and levels of elemental impurities (e.g. REE, Th) from very small amounts of uranium ore concentrates (or yellow cakes). Micrometer particles and few milligrams of material are used for oxygen isotope measurements and REE determination, respectively. Reference materials were analyzed by mass spectrometry (TIMS, SF-ICP-MS and SIMS) to validate testing protocols. Finally, materials of unknown origin were analyzed to highlight significant differences and determine whether these differences allow identifying the origin of these ore concentrates. References: Keegan, E., et al. (2008). Applied Geochemistry 23, 765-777. Tamborini, G., et al. (2002a). Analytical Chemistry 74, 6098-6101. Tamborini, G., et al. (2002b). Microchimica Acta 139, 185-188. Varga, Z., et al. (2009). Analytical Chemistry 81, 8327-8334. Varga, Z., et al. (2010a). Talanta 80, 1744-1749. Varga, Z., et al. (2010b). Radiochimica Acta 98, 771-778 Wallenius, M., et al. (2006). Forensic Science International 156, 55-62.

  20. Seasonal progression of uranium series isotopes in subglacial meltwater: Implications for subglacial storage time

    DOE PAGES

    Arendt, Carli A.; Aciego, Sarah M.; Sims, Kenneth W. W.; ...

    2017-07-31

    The residence time of subglacial meltwater impacts aquifer recharge, nutrient production, and chemical signals that reflect underlying bedrock/substrate, but is inaccessible to direct observation. We report the seasonal evolution of subglacial meltwater chemistry from the 2011 melt season at the terminus of the Athabasca Glacier, Canada. We also measured major and trace analytes and U-series isotopes for twenty-nine bulk meltwater samples collected over the duration of the melt season. This dataset, which is the longest time-series record of (234U/238U) isotopes in a glacial meltwater system, provides insight into the hydrologic evolution of the subglacial system during active melting. Meltwater samples,more » measured from the outflow, were analyzed for (238U), (222Rn) and (234U/238U)activity, conductivity, alkalinity, pH and major cations. Subglacial meltwater varied in [238U] and (222Rn) from 23 to 832 ppt and 9 to 171 pCi/L, respectively. Activity ratios of (234U/238U) ranged from 1.003 to 1.040, with the highest (238U), (222Rn) and (234U/238U)activity values occurring in early May when delayed-flow basal meltwater composed a significant portion of the bulk melt. Furthemore, from the chemical evolution of the meltwater, we posit that the relative subglacial water residence times decrease over the course of the melt season. This decrease in qualitative residence time during active melt is consistent with prior field studies and model-predicted channel switching from a delayed, distributed network to a fast, channelized network flow. As such, our study provides support for linking U-series isotopes to storage lengths of meltwater beneath glacial systems as subglacial hydrologic networks evolve with increased melting and channel network efficiency.« less

  1. Isotope-Geochmical Evidence For Uranium Retardation in Zeolitized Tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    SciTech Connect

    L.A. Neymark; J.B. Paces

    2007-02-14

    Retardation of radionuclides by sorption on minerals in the rocks along downgradient groundwater flow paths is a positive attribute of the natural barrier at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the site of a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository. Alteration of volcanic glass in nonwelded tuffs beneath the proposed repository horizon produced thick, widespread zones of zeolite- and clay-rich rocks with high sorptive capacities. The high sorptive capacity of these rocks is enhanced by the large surface area of tabular to fibrous mineral forms, which is about 10 times larger in zeolitic tuffs than in devitrified tuffs and about 30 times larger than in vitric tuffs. The alteration of glass to zeolites, however, was accompanied by expansion that reduced the matrix porosity and permeability. Because water would then flow mainly through fractures, the overall effectiveness of radionuclide retardation in the zeolitized matrix actually may be decreased relative to unaltered vitric tuff. Isotope ratios in the decay chain of {sup 238}U are sensitive indicators of long-term water-rock interaction. In systems older than about 1 m.y. that remain closed to mass transfer, decay products of {sup 238}U are in secular radioactive equilibrium where {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U activity ratios (AR) are unity. However, water-rock interaction along flow paths may result in radioactive disequilibrium in both the water and the rock, the degree of which depends on water flux, rock dissolution rates, {alpha}-recoil processes, adsorption and desorption, and the precipitation of secondary minerals. The effects of long-term water-rock interaction that may cause radionuclide retardation were measured in samples of Miocene-age subrepository zeolitized tuffs of the Calico Hills Formation (Tac) and the Prow Pass Tuff (Tcp) from borehole USW SD-9 near the northern part of the proposed repository area (sampled depth interval from 451.1 to 633.7 m; Engstrom and Rautman, 1996). Mineral abundances and whole

  2. Melting of the Earth's lithospheric mantle inferred from protactinium-thorium-uranium isotopic data

    PubMed

    Asmerom; Cheng; Thomas; Hirschmann; Edwards

    2000-07-20

    The processes responsible for the generation of partial melt in the Earth's lithospheric mantle and the movement of this melt to the Earth's surface remain enigmatic, owing to the perceived difficulties in generating large-degree partial melts at depth and in transporting small-degree melts through a static lithosphere. Here we present a method of placing constraints on melting in the lithospheric mantle using 231Pa-235U data obtained from continental basalts in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Combined with 230Th-238U data, the 231Pa-235U data allow us to constrain the source mineralogy and thus the depth of melting of these basalts. Our analysis indicates that it is possible to transport small melt fractions--of the order of 0.1%--through the lithosphere, as might result from the coalescence of melt by compaction owing to melting-induced deformation. The large observed 231Pa excesses require that the timescale of melt generation and transport within the lithosphere is small compared to the half-life of 231Pa (approximately 32.7 kyr). The 231Pa-230Th data also constrain the thorium and uranium distribution coefficients for clinopyroxene in the source regions of these basalts to be within 2% of one another, indicating that in this setting 230Th excesses are not expected during melting at depths shallower than 85 km.

  3. Sequential isotopic determination of plutonium, thorium, americium, strontium and uranium in environmental and bioassay samples.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jeng-Jong; Chen, Ing-Jane; Chiu, Jih-Hung

    2004-01-01

    A procedure has been developed to provide sequential analysis of 238Pu, 230Th, 241Am, 238U, and 90Sr in environmental and bioassay samples. Tracers and/or carriers (242Pu, 243Am, 232U, and stable strontium) are added into the sample as chemical yield monitors, and then, plutonium, thorium, strontium, americium, and uranium are sequentially separated and purified by Dowex ion-exchange resin, EiChroM Sr-resin, EiChroM TRU-resin, and Chelate-100 resin, respectively. The radioactivities of 90Sr and the actinides are measured using the liquid scintillation counter and alpha-particle spectrometer, respectively. Acidified water, glass-fiber air filter, soil, synthetic urine and synthetic feces samples of US National Institute of Standard and Technology Radiochemical Intercomparison Program(NRIP) were analyzed to verify this method. All the analytical results of 238Pu, 230Th, 90Sr, 241Am and 238U meet the traceability limit per ANSI N42.22, and when appropriate, evaluation of radiobioassay measurement bias and precision per ANSI N13.30.

  4. Discrimination of source reactor type by multivariate statistical analysis of uranium and plutonium isotopic concentrations in unknown irradiated nuclear fuel material.

    PubMed

    Robel, Martin; Kristo, Michael J

    2008-11-01

    The problem of identifying the provenance of unknown nuclear material in the environment by multivariate statistical analysis of its uranium and/or plutonium isotopic composition is considered. Such material can be introduced into the environment as a result of nuclear accidents, inadvertent processing losses, illegal dumping of waste, or deliberate trafficking in nuclear materials. Various combinations of reactor type and fuel composition were analyzed using Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLSDA) of the concentrations of nine U and Pu isotopes in fuel as a function of burnup. Real-world variation in the concentrations of (234)U and (236)U in the fresh (unirradiated) fuel was incorporated. The U and Pu were also analyzed separately, with results that suggest that, even after reprocessing or environmental fractionation, Pu isotopes can be used to determine both the source reactor type and the initial fuel composition with good discrimination.

  5. Late quaternary history and uranium isotopic compositions of ground water discharge deposits, Crater Flat, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paces, James B.; Taylor, Emily M.; Bush, Charles

    1993-01-01

    Three carbonate-rich spring deposits are present near the southern end of Crater Flat, NV, approximately 18 km southwest of the potential high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain. We have analyzed five samples of carbonate-rich material from two of the deposits for U and Th isotopic compositions. Resulting U-series disequilibrium ages indicate that springs were active at 18 ?? 1, 30 ?? 3, 45 ?? 4 and >70 ka. These ages are consistent with a crude internal stratigraphy at one site. Identical ages for two samples at two separate sites suggest that springs were contemporaneous, at least in part, and were most likely part of the same hydrodynamic system. In addition, initial U isotopic compositions range from 2.8 to 3.8 and strongly suggest that ground water from the regional Tertiary-volcanic aquifer provided the source for these hydrogenic deposits. This interpretation, along with water level data from near-by wells suggest that the water table rose approximately 80 to 115 m above present levels during the late Quaternary and may have fluctuated repeatedly. Current data are insufficient to allow reconstruction of a detailed depositional history, however geochronological data are in good agreement with other paleoclimatic proxy records preserved throughout the region. Since these deposits are down gradient from the potential repository site, the possibility of higher ground water levels in the future dramatically shortens both vertical and lateral ground water pathways and reduces travel times of transported radionuclides to potential discharge sites.

  6. Measurement of Uranium Isotopes in Particles of U3O8 by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry-Single-Stage Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (SIMS-SSAMS).

    PubMed

    Fahey, Albert J; Groopman, Evan E; Grabowski, Kenneth S; Fazel, Kamron C

    2016-07-19

    A commercial secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) was coupled to a ± 300 kV single-stage accelerator mass spectrometer (SSAMS). Positive secondary ions generated with the SIMS were injected into the SSAMS for analysis. This combined instrument was used to measure the uranium isotopic ratios in particles of three certified reference materials (CRM) of uranium, CRM U030a, CRM U500, and CRM U850. The ability to inject positive ions into the SSAMS is unique for AMS systems and allows for simple analysis of nearly the entire periodic table because most elements will readily produce positive ions. Isotopic ratios were measured on samples of a few picograms to nanograms of total U. Destruction of UH(+) ions in the stripper tube of the SSAMS reduced hydride levels by a factor of ∼3 × 10(4) giving the UH(+)/U(+) ratio at the SSAMS detector of ∼1.4 × 10(-8). These hydride ion levels would allow the measurement of (239)Pu at the 10 ppb level in the presence of U and the equivalent of ∼10(-10 236)U concentration in natural uranium. SIMS-SSAMS analysis of solid nuclear materials, such as these, with signals nearly free of molecular interferences, could have a significant future impact on the way some measurements are made for nuclear nonproliferation.

  7. Uranium and Sm isotope studies of the supergiant Olympic Dam Cu-Au-U-Ag deposit, South Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchenbaur, Maria; Maas, Roland; Ehrig, Kathy; Kamenetsky, Vadim S.; Strub, Erik; Ballhaus, Chris; Münker, Carsten

    2016-05-01

    The Olympic Dam Cu-U-Au-Ag deposit in the Archean-Proterozoic Gawler Craton (South Australia) is a type example of the iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) spectrum of deposits and one of the largest Cu-U-Au resources known. Mineralization is hosted in a lithologically and texturally diverse, hematite-rich breccia complex developed within a granite of the 1.59 Ga Gawler Silicic Province. Emerging evidence indicates that both the breccia complex and its metal content developed over ∼1000 Ma, responding to major tectonic events, e.g., at 1300-1100, 825 and 500 Ma. However, metal sources and exact mechanism/s of ore formation remain poorly known. New high-precision 238U/235U data for a set of 40 whole rock samples representing all major lithological facies of the breccia complex show a narrow range (δ238UCRM112a = -0.56‰ to +0.04‰). At the scale of sampling, there is no correlation of δ238U with lithology, degree of alteration or U mineralogy, although ores with U > 5 wt.% have subtly higher δ238U values (-0.20‰ to 0.00) than the majority of samples (<0.7 wt.% U, -0.56‰ to -0.23‰). The new U isotope data are consistent with published data for uraninites from Olympic Dam, and with published results from high-temperature U deposits. They overlap completely with the range of δ238U values in granitoids (including the host granite, -0.18‰ to -0.32‰) and with estimates of the upper continental crust in general. This similarity suggests that Olympic Dam δ238U values reflects the crustal sources of U, which probably include felsic volcanic rocks and granitoids. The isotopic homogeneity suggests depositional mechanisms that involve minimal isotopic fractionation of U; alternatively, primary fractionation signatures may have been erased during the long history of the U mineralization. High-grade U ores may record isotopic neutron-capture effects related to fissionogenic neutrons. High-precision Sm isotope data for five high-U (>5 wt.% U, U/Sm ≫ 500) Olympic Dam

  8. Subglacial Ice-Sheet Weathering: Insights from Uranium and Radium Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linhoff, B.; Charette, M. A.; Wadham, J.; Tedstone, A.; Cowton, T. R.; Nienow, P. W.

    2016-12-01

    Glaciers and ice sheets are extreme drivers of physical weathering, producing highly abraded, fine-grained mineral surfaces. However, subglacial chemical weathering may be important to meltwater elemental and isotopic fluxes as each summer, huge quantities of meltwater drains from the ice sheet surface into an evolving network of subglacial channelized and distributed systems. In a river draining a large outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet, we analyzed (228Ra/226Ra) and δ234U isotope systems as well as major and trace element concentrations of the dissolved and suspended sediment loads. Samples were collected over the course of a melt season during which time, proglacial runoff varied from <1 m3 s-1 to 800 m3 s-1. The (228Ra/226Ra) in the dissolved phase ranged from 17 to 5 while in the sediment load (228Ra/226Ra) was 2. This is in contrast to typical watersheds where the solid phase (228Ra/226Ra) mirrors the dissolved phase. We hypothesize that the high (228Ra/226Ra) in the dissolved phase must be the result of extensive mineral surface weathering that allowed for faster ingrowth of 228Ra (t1/2=5.75 y) relative to 226Ra (t1/2=1600 y). Mineral surface weathering was likely facilitated by diurnal cycling of surface meltwater inputs to the ice sheet base that repeatedly exchanged water between channelized and distributed systems. The δ234U value of the dissolved load varied from 33-106‰ with a discharge-weighted average of 63‰. δ234U values decreased from 63 to 15‰ along a transect moving downstream from the ice sheet terminus, with the lowest value in samples collected furthest downstream in the freshwater zone of a fjord. These low δ234U values relative to seawater (δ234U 144) suggest a surprising amount of subglacial mineral surface weathering, and that glacial meltwater may be a source of low δ234U to the oceans. This finding has important implications for interpretation of the ocean's U isotope balance during glacial-interglacial transitions.

  9. Bioaccumulation of Uranium and Thorium by Lemna minor and Lemna gibba in Pb-Zn-Ag Tailing Water.

    PubMed

    Sasmaz, Merve; Obek, Erdal; Sasmaz, Ahmet

    2016-12-01

    This study focused on the ability of Lemna minor and Lemna gibba to remove U and Th in the tailing water of Keban, Turkey. These plants were placed in tailing water and individually fed to the reactors designed for these plants. Water and plant samples were collected daily from the mining area. The plants were ashed at 300°C for 1 day and analyzed by ICP-MS for U and Th. U was accumulated as a function of time by these plants, and performances between 110 % and 483 % for L. gibba, and between 218 % and 1194 % for L. minor, were shown. The highest Th accumulations in L. minor and L. gibba were observed at 300 % and 600 % performances, respectively, on the second day of the experiment. This study indicated that both L. gibba and L. minor demonstrated a high ability to remove U and Th from tailing water polluted by trace elements.

  10. The geochemistry of uranium and thorium isotopes in the Western Desert of Egypt

    SciTech Connect

    Dabous, A.A.

    1994-11-01

    The concentrations of {sup 238}U, {sup 234}U, {sup 232}Th, and {sup 228}Th have been measured in the groundwaters of the Bahariya and Farafra oases of the Western Desert of Egypt. These waters are characterized by normal amounts of U, but unusually high concentrations of Th. The pattern of variation of the parent isotopes, {sup 238}U and {sup 232}Th, as well as the daughter isotopes, {sup 234}U, {sup 230}Th, and {sup 228}Th, is systematic within and between the two oases. From the unusually consistent distribution of the {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U activity ratios one can conclude that the samples from both oases are representative of a two-component mixing system. One component, characterized by low U content and a high {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U activity ratio, is typical of deep artesian systems and probably represents flowthrough water derived from the Nubian highlands to the south. The second component is characterized by a greater U concentration and a low activity ratio. This signature is hypothesized as being derived by leaching of downward infiltrating water during pluvial times. The source of the U may be the uraniferous phosphate strata that overly the sandstone aquifer in both oasis areas. Higher Th values are associated with the artesian flow component of the mixing system and suggests that Th-bearing minerals may be abundant in the Nubian sandstone aquifer. The distribution of {sup 230}Th and {sup 228}Th in the water samples supports this interpretation.

  11. Uranium isotopes (U-234/U-238) in rivers of the Yukon Basin (Alaska and Canada) as an aid in identifying water sources, with implications for monitoring hydrologic change in arctic regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kraemer, Thomas F.; Brabets, Timothy P.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to detect hydrologic variation in large arctic river systems is of major importance in understanding and predicting effects of climate change in high-latitude environments. Monitoring uranium isotopes (234U and 238U) in river water of the Yukon River Basin of Alaska and northwestern Canada (2001–2005) has enhanced the ability to identify water sources to rivers, as well as detect flow changes that have occurred over the 5-year study. Uranium isotopic data for the Yukon River and major tributaries (the Porcupine and Tanana rivers) identify several sources that contribute to river flow, including: deep groundwater, seasonally frozen river-valley alluvium groundwater, and high-elevation glacial melt water. The main-stem Yukon River exhibits patterns of uranium isotopic variation at several locations that reflect input from ice melt and shallow groundwater in the spring, as well as a multi-year pattern of increased variability in timing and relative amount of water supplied from higher elevations within the basin. Results of this study demonstrate both the utility of uranium isotopes in revealing sources of water in large river systems and of incorporating uranium isotope analysis in long-term monitoring of arctic river systems that attempt to assess the effects of climate change.

  12. Nonmilitary applications of uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Polson, C.E.; Blasch, E.B.

    1981-01-01

    Uranium and its alloys should be considered for any application where weight and/or strength is required, or where weight to volume is important. There is considerable literature on uranium and its alloys. The fear of handling metallic uranium should not be a factor. It is the least hazardous of all long-lived isotopes. Sound industrial hygiene practices will provide adequate protection. In general, safety controls are similar to those required for other heavy metals.

  13. Use of 234U and 238U isotopes to evaluate contamination of near-surface groundwater with uranium-mill effluent: A case study in south-central Colorado, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zielinski, R.A.; Chafin, D.T.; Banta, E.R.; Szabo, B. J.

    1997-01-01

    The 234U/238U alpha activity ratio (AR) was determined in 47 samples of variably uraniferous groundwater from the vicinity of a uranium mill near Canon City, Colorado. The results illustrate that uranium isotopes can be used to determine the distribution of uranium contamination in groundwater and to indicate processes such as mixing and chemical precipitation that affect uranium concentrations. Highly to moderately contaminated groundwater samples collected from the mill site and land immediately downgradient from the mill site contain more than 100 ??g/l of dissolved uranium and typically have AR values in the narrow range of 1.0-1.06. Other samples from the shallow alluvial aquifer farther downgradient from the mill contain 10-100 ??g/1 uranium and plot along a broad trend of increasing AR (1.06-1.46) with decreasing uranium concentration. The results are consistent with mixing of liquid mill waste (AR ??? 1.0) with alluvial groundwater of small, but variable, uranium concentrations and AR of 1.31.5. In the alluvial aquifer, the spatial distribution of wells with AR values less than 1.3 is consistent with previous estimates of the probable distribution of contamination, based on water chemistry and hydrology. Wells more distant from the area of probable contamination have AR values that are consistently greater than 1.3 and are indicative of little or no contamination. The methodology of this study can be extended usefully to similar sites of uranium mining, milling, or processing provided that local geohydrologic settings promote uranium mobility and that introduced uranium contamination is isotopically distinct from that of local groundwater.

  14. Conceptual Process for the Manufacture of Low-Enriched Uranium/Molybdenum Fuel for the High Flux Isotope Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Sease, J.D.; Primm, R.T. III; Miller, J.H.

    2007-09-30

    The U.S. nonproliferation policy 'to minimize, and to the extent possible, eliminate the use of HEU in civil nuclear programs throughout the world' has resulted in the conversion (or scheduled conversion) of many of the U.S. research reactors from high-enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU). A foil fuel appears to offer the best option for using a LEU fuel in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) without degrading the performance of the reactor. The purpose of this document is to outline a proposed conceptual fabrication process flow sheet for a new, foil-type, 19.75%-enriched fuel for HFIR. The preparation of the flow sheet allows a better understanding of the costs of infrastructure modifications, operating costs, and implementation schedule issues associated with the fabrication of LEU fuel for HFIR. Preparation of a reference flow sheet is one of the first planning steps needed in the development of a new manufacturing capacity for low enriched fuels for U.S. research and test reactors. The flow sheet can be used to develop a work breakdown structure (WBS), a critical path schedule, and identify development needs. The reference flow sheet presented in this report is specifically for production of LEU foil fuel for the HFIR. The need for an overall reference flow sheet for production of fuel for all High Performance Research Reactors (HPRR) has been identified by the national program office. This report could provide a starting point for the development of such a reference flow sheet for a foil-based fuel for all HPRRs. The reference flow sheet presented is based on processes currently being developed by the national program for the LEU foil fuel when available, processes used historically in the manufacture of other nuclear fuels and materials, and processes used in other manufacturing industries producing a product configuration similar to the form required in manufacturing a foil fuel. The processes in the reference flow sheet are within the

  15. Preparation, certification and validation of a stable solid spike of uranium and plutonium coated with a cellulose derivative for the measurement of uranium and plutonium content in dissolved nuclear fuel by isotope dilution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Surugaya, Naoki; Hiyama, Toshiaki; Verbruggen, André; Wellum, Roger

    2008-02-01

    A stable solid spike for the measurement of uranium and plutonium content in nitric acid solutions of spent nuclear fuel by isotope dilution mass spectrometry has been prepared at the European Commission Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements in Belgium. The spike contains about 50 mg of uranium with a 19.838% (235)U enrichment and 2 mg of plutonium with a 97.766% (239)Pu abundance in each individual ampoule. The dried materials were covered with a thin film of cellulose acetate butyrate as a protective organic stabilizer to resist shocks encountered during transportation and to eliminate flaking-off during long-term storage. It was found that the cellulose acetate butyrate has good characteristics, maintaining a thin film for a long time, but readily dissolving on heating with nitric acid solution. The solid spike containing cellulose acetate butyrate was certified as a reference material with certified quantities: (235)U and (239)Pu amounts and uranium and plutonium amount ratios, and was validated by analyzing spent fuel dissolver solutions of the Tokai reprocessing plant in Japan. This paper describes the preparation, certification and validation of the solid spike coated with a cellulose derivative.

  16. The Development of Low-Level Measurement Capabilities for Total and Isotopic Uranium in Environmental Samples at Brazilian and Argentine Laboratories by ABACC

    SciTech Connect

    Guidicini, Olga M.; Olsen, Khris B.; Hembree, Doyle M.; Carter, Joel A.; Whitaker, Michael; Hayes, Susan M.

    2005-07-01

    In June 1998, the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), with assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), began a program to assess environmental sampling and analysis capabilities at laboratories in Argentina and Brazil. The program began with staff training conducted in South America and the United States by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Both laboratories are participating members of DOE’s Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL) that support IAEA’s environmental sampling program. During the initial planning meeting, representatives from ABACC and all the participating analytical laboratories supporting ABACC were briefed on how the first exercise would be managed and on key aspects necessary to analyze low-level environmental samples for uranium. Subsequent to this training, a laboratory evaluation exercise (Exercise 1) was conducted using standard swipe samples prepared for this exercise by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The results of Exercise 1 determined that sample contamination was a major factor in the analysis, and a thorough review of laboratory procedures was required to reduce the level of contamination to acceptable levels. Following modification of sample preparation procedures, the laboratories performed Exercise 2, an analysis of a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Standard Reference Material (SRM) 1547, Peach Leaves. The results of Exercise 2 demonstrated that several laboratories were capable of accurately determining the total uranium and uranium isotopic distribution in the peach leaves. To build on these successes, Exercise 3 was performed using a series of standard swipe samples prepared by the IAEA and distributed to laboratories supporting ABACC and to PNNL and ORNL. The results of Exercise 3 demonstrate that ABACC now has support laboratories in both Argentina and Brazil, which are capable

  17. Uranium-isotope variations in groundwaters of the Floridan aquifer and Boulder Zone of south Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cowart, J.B.; Kaufman, M.I.; Osmond, J.K.

    1978-01-01

    Water samples from four wells from the main Floridan aquifer (300-400 m below mean sea level) in southeast Florida exhibit 234U 233U activity ratios that are significantly lower than the secular equilibrium value of 1.00. Such anomalous values have been observed previously only in waters from sedimentary aquifers in the near-surface oxidizing environments. These four wells differ from six others, all producing from the same general horizon, in being located in cavernous highly transmissive zones. We hypothesize that the low activity ratios are indicative of a relic circulation pattern whereby water from the surface aquifer was channelled to lower levels when sea level was much lower. At a deeper cavernous level, known as the Boulder Zone (800-1,000 m below mean sea level), the U isotopes, along with other chemical constituents, show progressive changes with increasing distance from an inferred flow source in the Straits of Florida. This tends to support the hypothesized landward flow (though with a more northerly component) of cold seawater in the extensively transmissive Boulder Zone. ?? 1978.

  18. Sr-Nd and Uranium-series isotopic constraints on weathering and erosion using suspended and overbank river sediments from recent floodwaters in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, S.; Handley, H. K.; Dosseto, A.; Schaefer, B.; Turner, M. B.

    2011-12-01

    Suspended sediments carried by high magnitude floodwaters within major river catchments provide a representative sample of the lithological and chemical variety of the Earth's surface and permit estimation of the average geochemical and isotopic composition of the Earth's upper crust. Uranium-series disequilibria in suspended sediments and their deposits can also be used to constrain the timescales of sediment residence within major catchments. New trace element, Sr-Nd radiogenic isotope and Uranium-series isotope data are presented for suspended particulate river sediments and overbank sediment deposits collected from the Cooper Creek and Darling River during the 2009 and 2010 widespread flooding events in Australia. A mud drape deposited by waning floodwater after a localised and rare (average recurrence interval between 200-500 years) 2007 flood event at Hookina Creek, South Australia was also analysed. PAAS normalised rare earth element (REE) distribution patterns for all samples are generally flat, but show a slight enrichment in the mid- to heavy-REEs relative to light-REEs and a positive Eu anomaly. The Darling River and Hookina Creek samples contain higher overall abundances of trace elements compared to the Cooper Creek samples. The Sr-Nd isotope data form a negative linear array. The Cooper Creek samples display the highest ɛNd values (-2.1 to 3.5) and lowest 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratios (0.707506-0.707907). The Hookina Creek sample displays a significantly lower ɛNd value and higher 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratio (more similar to average upper continental crust). These differences are attributed to variations in the composition and age of source rocks. U concentrations (ppm) range from 0.32-0.95 in the Cooper Creek samples, 1.32-2.31 in the Darling river sediments and 2.73 was measured in the Hookina Creek sample. All sediments show the expected activity ratio pattern (for residual products of weathering) of (234U/238U) < 1 and (230Th/234U) >1, apart from an

  19. Modeling non-steady state radioisotope transport in the vadose zone - A case study using uranium isotopes at Peña Blanca, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ku, T. L.; Luo, S.; Goldstein, S. J.; Murrell, M. T.; Chu, W. L.; Dobson, P. F.

    2009-10-01

    Current models using U- and Th-series disequilibria to study radioisotope transport in groundwater systems mostly consider a steady-state situation. These models have limited applicability to the vadose zone (UZ) where the concentration and migratory behavior of radioisotopes in fluid are often transitory. We present here, as a first attempt of its kind, a model simulating the non-steady state, intermittent fluid transport in vadose layers. It provides quantitative constraints on in-situ migration of dissolved and colloidal radioisotopes in terms of retardation factor and rock-water interaction (or water transit) time. For uranium, the simulation predicts that intermittent flushing in the UZ leads to a linear relationship between reciprocal U concentration and 234U/ 238U ratio in percolating waters, with the intercept and slope bearing information on the rates of dissolution and α-recoil of U isotopes, respectively. The general validity of the model appears to be borne out by the measurement of uranium isotopes in UZ waters collected at various times over a period during 1995-2006 from a site in the Peña Blanca mining district, Mexico, where the Nopal I uranium deposit is located. Enhanced 234U/ 238U ratios in vadose-zone waters resulting from lengthened non-flushing time as prescribed by the model provide an interpretative basis for using 234U/ 238U in cave calcites to reconstruct the regional changes in hydrology and climate. We also provide a theoretical account of the model's potential applications using radium isotopes.

  20. Using Uranium-series Isotopes to Trace Water Sources to Streamflow and Estimate Soil Formation Rates in a Semiarid Montane Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huckle, D. M.; Ma, L.; McIntosh, J. C.; Rasmussen, C.; Chorover, J.

    2012-12-01

    Chemical weathering is an important earth surface process that transfers nutrients from earth materials to the biosphere and provides a drawdown of CO2 over geologic timescales. Understanding controls on chemical weathering and soil formation rates is important to understanding long term landscape evolution and sustainability of the Critical Zone, the dynamic region of earth's surface where bedrock, water, soil, and life chemically and physically interact. The La Jara catchment (LJC), part of the Jemez-Santa Catalina Critical Zone Observatory, drains a portion of the southeast side of the resurgent volcanic dome Redondo Peak in New Mexico's Valles Caldera National Preserve and is well suited to study how aspect and lithology control chemical weathering rates. We will focus on two hillslopes in a zero-order basin within LJC: One east-facing hillslope of predominantly tuff lithology and one west-facing hillslope of rhyolite lithology. Several variables play a role in chemical weathering rates in this system, including water availability, lithology, temperature, vegetation, and atmospheric dust deposition. This study will use uranium-series isotopes, as well as major elemental chemistry, soil mineralogy, and particle size distributions to calculate soil formation rates and identify dominant controls on chemical and physical weathering processes. We hypothesize the east-facing hillslope will receive less solar radiation, leading to cooler temperatures and less sublimation of the snowpack, which will result in a larger volume of water input to soils and thus greater soil formation rates compared to the west-facing hillslope. This study will also use uranium-series isotopes to study modern hydrologic partitioning and trace source water contributions to streamflow during wet and dry seasons along La Jara stream. We hypothesize that the longitudinal evolution of streamwater chemistry and uranium-series isotopes will show increasing influence from deeper flowpaths with

  1. Modeling non-steady state radioisotope transport in the vadose zone--A case study using uranium isotopes at Pena Blanca, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Ku, T. L.; Luo, S.; Goldstein, S. J.; Murrell, M. T.; Chu, W. L.; Dobson, P. F.

    2009-06-01

    Current models using U- and Th-series disequilibria to study radioisotope transport in groundwater systems mostly consider a steady-state situation. These models have limited applicability to the vadose zone (UZ) where the concentration and migratory behavior of radioisotopes in fluid are often transitory. We present here, as a first attempt of its kind, a model simulating the non-steady state, intermittent fluid transport in vadose layers. It provides quantitative constraints on in-situ migration of dissolved and colloidal radioisotopes in terms of retardation factor and rock-water interaction (or water transit) time. For uranium, the simulation predicts that intermittent flushing in the UZ leads to a linear relationship between reciprocal U concentration and {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U ratio in percolating waters, with the intercept and slope bearing information on the rates of dissolution and {alpha}-recoil of U isotopes, respectively. The general validity of the model appears to be borne out by the measurement of uranium isotopes in UZ waters collected at various times over a period during 1995-2006 from a site in the Pena Blanca mining district, Mexico, where the Nopal I uranium deposit is located. Enhanced {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U ratios in vadose-zone waters resulting from lengthened non-flushing time as prescribed by the model provide an interpretative basis for using {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U in cave calcites to reconstruct the regional changes in hydrology and climate. We also provide a theoretical account of the model's potential applications using radium isotopes.

  2. Redistribution of uranium and thorium series isotopes during isovolumetric weathering of granite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Jacqueline

    1984-06-01

    Previous studies of the distribution of U and Th in parent versus weathered granites have shown both depletion and enrichment of these elements during weathering. In this study, the distribution of U and Th decay series isotopes was determined in a weathering profile of a granitic saprolite, which showed textural preservation indicating isovolumetric weathering. Two types of dissolution methods were used: a whole-rock dissolution and a sodium-citrate dithionite leach to preferentially attack noncrystalline phases of weathering products. Using volume-based activities, 45-70 percent of the total 232Th was gradually removed during weathering. Although the whole-rock 228Th /232Th activity ratios were in equilibrium, there were large excesses of 228Th in the leachable fraction of both parent rock ( 228Th /232Th = 2.06 ) and partially weathered saprolite ( 228Th /232Th = 3-6.5 ), due to alpha recoil and release of daughter 228Th to the weathering rind of the mineral grain. For the most weathered sample, 81 percent of the thorium was in the teachable fraction and 228Th /232Th = 1 , indicating that even the more resistant minerals were attacked. The total U activities showed as much variation in the six parent rock samples as in the weathered profile, and 234U /238U were in equilibrium in both the whole-rock and leachable fractions. 230Th was deficient relative to 234U and 226Ra in both fractions, suggesting recent addition of U and Ra to the entire profile. The large variation in U was not from absorption onto the intermediate weathering products, because only 11-23 percent of the U was in the leachable fraction.

  3. Uranium Isotopes as an Indicator of the Dead Sea Response to Holocene Climate Shifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweeney, J.; Kiro, Y.; Goldstein, S. L.

    2016-12-01

    The Dead Sea is a terminal hypersaline lake whose watershed is located within two distinct climate zones: the Mediterranean and the Sahara-Arabian. With no natural outflows, the Dead Sea composition and level are sensitive to changes in climate. A 450 m core collected as part of the ICDP-Dead Sea Deep Drilling Project in 2010-11 provides a record of climate in the Levant over the last 220,000 years. The lithology of the core and the isotopic ratios of the authigenic minerals reflect shifts between a wetter glacial climate and more arid interglacial periods. The Holocene, a relatively dry period in the Levant, is marked by thick intervals of halite, gypsum, and detritus, while the wetter glacial periods are marked by aragonite, detritus, and gypsum. Here, we present 234U/238U data on deglacial and Holocene age aragonite and halite samples, as well as modern water sources from around the Dead Sea. Water sources in the Dead Sea drainage basin have variable 234U/238U activity ratios, ranging from 1.5 for the Jordan River and western sources to 1.1 for floods and eastern sources. Therefore, the 234U/238U activity ratios recorded in the authigenic minerals reflect changes in lake composition that resulted from variations in the relative contributions of different water sources. The 234U/238U activity ratios in the authigenic phases during the Holocene show that, in general, the contribution of water to the Dead Sea was similar to the present-day and mainly through the Jordan River. However, there is substantial variability, indicating intervals of drought, marked by decreased Jordan River runoff and increased importance of floods and eastern sourced runoff. An extreme example occurred near the beginning of the Holocene at 10 ka, marked by a significant thickness of halite and where the 234U/238U activity shifts to very low values <1.2, indicating a severe drought.

  4. Towards A Modern Calibration Of The 238U/235U Paleoredox Proxy: Apparent Uranium Isotope Fractionation Factor During U(VI)-U(IV) Reduction In The Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolison, J. M.; Stirling, C. H.; Middag, R.; Rijkenberg, M. J. A.; De Baar, H. J. W.

    2015-12-01

    The isotopic compositions of redox-sensitive metals, including uranium (U), in marine sediments have recently emerged as powerful diagnostic tracers of the redox state of the ancient ocean-atmosphere system. Interpretation of sedimentary isotopic information requires a thorough understating of the environmental controls on isotopic fractionation in modern anoxic environments before being applied to the paleo-record. In this study, the relationship between ocean anoxia and the isotopic fractionation of U was investigated in the water column and sediments of the Black Sea. The Black Sea is the world's largest anoxic basin and significant removal of U from the water column and high U accumulation rates in modern underlying sediments have been documented. Removal of U from the water column occurs during the redox transition of soluble U(VI) to relatively insoluble U(IV). The primary results of this study are two-fold. First, significant 238U/235U fractionation was observed in the water column of the Black Sea, suggesting the reduction of U induces 238U/235U fractionation with the preferential removal of 238U from the aqueous phase. Second, the 238U/235U of underlying sediments is related to the water column through the isotope fractionation factor of the reduction reaction but is influenced by mass transport processes. These results provide important constraints on the use of 238U/235U as a proxy of the redox state of ancient oceans.

  5. Uranium and noble gas isotopes to decipher naturally-occuring radionuclide release into aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Méjean, Pauline; Pinti, Daniele Luigi; Ghaleb, Bassam; Larocque, Marie

    2017-04-01

    Previously unknown relationships between helium isotopes and 234U/238U activity ratios in granular and fractured aquifers of the St. Lawrence Lowlands, Canada might help to resolve the long-standing debate of internal vs. internal sources of natural radionuclides in aquifers. Indeed, radiogenic 4He found in groundwater more than what could be produced in situ during the residence time of water has often been related to basal fluxes entering the bottom of aquifers. Other views suggest that only small portions of accumulated radiogenic helium in aquifer rocks can be released at steady-state. Most of locally produced helium would be released episodically during thermo-tectonic events. Here we show that 4He is correlated with 234U/238U activity ratios in local aquifers of Ordovician age of the St. Lawrence Lowlands, Québec. Groundwater flow and aquifer geometry was largely modified during the last post-glacial episode as observed for most periglacial aquifers of North America. This relation suggests the occurrence of three water masses: 1) freshwater containing atmospheric helium and 234U/238U activity ratios close to the secular equilibrium, indicating local and very shallow recharge; 2) freshwater penetrating the ground, dissolving rocks, and releasing 234U/238U activity ratios slightly higher than the secular equilibrium and large amount of radiogenic helium, indicating that rocks still preserve a reservoir of helium; 3) post-glacial groundwater containing large amount of helium and 234U/238U out of the secular equilibrium, indicating a fossil water having modified its U and He content during water-rock interactions. The U-He relationship is not straightforward. We suggest that post-glacial rebound and increased fracturing has favored the opening of new cracks and increased the specific surface of aquifer rocks. Along these newly created surfaces, He is released by diffusion and 234U by alpha-recoil, increasing the content of these two radionuclides in the water

  6. Predicting 232U Content in Uranium

    SciTech Connect

    AJ Peurrung

    1999-01-07

    The minor isotope 232U may ultimately be used for detection or confirmation of uranium in a variety of applications. The primary advantage of 232 U as an indicator of the presence of enriched uranium is the plentiful and penetrating nature of the radiation emitted by its daughter radionuclide 208Tl. A possible drawback to measuring uranium via 232U is the relatively high uncertainty in 232U abundance both within and between material populations. An important step in assessing this problem is to ascertain what determines the 232U concentration within any particular sample of uranium. To this end, we here analyze the production and eventual enrichment of 232 U during fuel-cycle operations. The goal of this analysis is to allow approximate prediction of 232 U quantities, or at least some interpretation of the results of 232U measurements. We have found that 232U is produced via a number of pathways during reactor irradiation of uranium and is subsequently concentrated during the later enrichment of the uranium' s 235U Content. While exact calculations are nearly impossible for both the reactor-production and cascade-enrichment parts of the prediction problem, estimates and physical bounds can be provided as listed below and detailed within the body of the report. Even if precise calculations for the irradiation and enrichment were possible, the ultimate 212U concentration would still depend upon the detailed fuel-cycle history. Assuming that a thennal-diffusion cascade is used to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU), dilution of reactor-processed fuel at the cascade input and the long-term holdup of 232U within the cascade both affect the 232U concentration in the product. Similar issues could be expected to apply for the other isotope-separation technologies that are used in other countries. Results of this analysis are listed below: 0 The 232U concentration depends strongly on the uranium enrichment, with depleted uranium (DU) containing between 1600 and 8000 times

  7. Uranium-lead isotopic ages from the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, James H.; Moore, James G.

    1982-06-01

    all in the range 99±3 m.y., indicating a relatively short period of emplacement and cooling for this nested group of plutons. U-Pb ages of a mafic inclusion and its host granodiorite indicate that both were derived from a common source or that the mafic inclusion was totally equilibrated with the granodioritic magma. Comparison of isotopic ages determined by different methods such as zircon U-Pb, sphene U-Pb, hornblende K-Ar, and biotite K-Ar suggests that zircon U-Pb ages generally approximate the emplacement age of a pluton. However, some plutons probably contain inherited or entrained old zircons, and the zircons of some samples are disturbed by younger thermal and metamorphic events. The ages reported here are consistent with U-Pb age determinations previously made on granitic rocks to the north [Stern et al., 1981], The age distribution of granitic belts determined here is in general agreement with those established by K-Ar dating [Evernden and Kistler, 1970] but does not differentiate the five epochs of plutonism determined in their study.

  8. Uranium-lead isotopic ages from the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, J.

    1982-01-01

    all in the range 99±3 m.y., indicating a relatively short period of emplacement and cooling for this nested group of plutons. U-Pb ages of a mafic inclusion and its host granodiorite indicate that both were derived from a common source or that the mafic inclusion was totally equilibrated with the granodioritic magma. Comparison of isotopic ages determined by different methods such as zircon U-Pb, sphene U-Pb, hornblende K-Ar, and biotite K-Ar suggests that zircon U-Pb ages generally approximate the emplacement age of a pluton. However, some plutons probably contain inherited or entrained old zircons, and the zircons of some samples are disturbed by younger thermal and metamorphic events. The ages reported here are consistent with U-Pb age determinations previously made on granitic rocks to the north [Stern et al., 1981], The age distribution of granitic belts determined here is in general agreement with those established by K-Ar dating [Evernden and Kistler, 1970] but does not differentiate the five epochs of plutonism determined in their study.

  9. Preliminary Assessment of the Impact on Reactor Vessel dpa Rates Due to Installation of a Proposed Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Core in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR)

    SciTech Connect

    Daily, Charles R.

    2015-10-01

    An assessment of the impact on the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) reactor vessel (RV) displacements-per-atom (dpa) rates due to operations with the proposed low enriched uranium (LEU) core described by Ilas and Primm has been performed and is presented herein. The analyses documented herein support the conclusion that conversion of HFIR to low-enriched uranium (LEU) core operations using the LEU core design of Ilas and Primm will have no negative impact on HFIR RV dpa rates. Since its inception, HFIR has been operated with highly enriched uranium (HEU) cores. As part of an effort sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), conversion to LEU cores is being considered for future HFIR operations. The HFIR LEU configurations analyzed are consistent with the LEU core models used by Ilas and Primm and the HEU balance-of-plant models used by Risner and Blakeman in the latest analyses performed to support the HFIR materials surveillance program. The Risner and Blakeman analyses, as well as the studies documented herein, are the first to apply the hybrid transport methods available in the Automated Variance reduction Generator (ADVANTG) code to HFIR RV dpa rate calculations. These calculations have been performed on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Institutional Cluster (OIC) with version 1.60 of the Monte Carlo N-Particle 5 (MCNP5) computer code.

  10. Polonium (²¹⁰Po), uranium (²³⁴U, ²³⁸U) isotopes and trace metals in mosses from Sobieszewo Island, northern Poland.

    PubMed

    Boryło, Alicja; Nowicki, Waldemar; Olszewski, Grzegorz; Skwarzec, Bogdan

    2012-01-01

    The activity of polonium (210)Po and uranium (234)U, (238)U radionuclides, as well as trace metals in mosses, collected from Sobieszewo Island area (northern Poland), were determined using the alpha spectrometry, AAS (atomic absorption spectrometry) and OES-ICP (atomic emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma). The concentrations of mercury (directly from the solid sample) were determined by the cold vapor technique of CV AAS. The obtained results revealed that the concentrations of (210)Po, (234)U, and (238)U in the two analyzed kinds of mosses: schrebers big red stem moss (Pleurozium schreberi) and broom moss (Dicranum scoparium) were similar. The higher polonium concentrations were found in broom moss (Dicranum scoparium), but uranium concentrations were relatively low for both species of analyzed mosses. Among the analyzed trace metals the highest concentration in mosses was recorded for iron, while the lowest for nickel, cadmium and mercury. The obtained studies showed that the sources of polonium and uranium isotopes, as well as trace metals in analyzed mosses are air city contaminations transported from Gdańsk and from existing in the vicinity the phosphogypsum waste heap in Wiślinka (near Gdańsk).

  11. Accurate fast method with high chemical yield for determination of uranium isotopes (234U, 235U, 238U) in granitic samples using alpha spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guirguis, Laila A.; Farag, Nagdy M.; Salim, Adham K.

    2015-03-01

    The present study aims to use the α-spectroscopy at Nuclear Materials Authority (NMA) of Egypt. A radiochemical technique for analysis uranium isotopes was carried out for ten mineralized granitic samples together with the International standards RGU-1 (IAEA) and St4 (NMA). Several steps of sample preparation, radiochemical separation and source preparation were performed before analysis. Uranium was separated from sample matrix with 0.2 M TOPO in cyclohexane as an extracting agent with a chemical yield 98.95% then uranium was purified from lanthanides and actinides present with 0.2 M TOA in xylene as an extracting agent. The pure fraction was electrodeposited on a mirror-polished copper disc from buffer solution (NaHSO4+H2SO4+NH4OH). Rectangle pt-electrode with an anode-cathode distance of 2 cm was used. Current was 900 mA and the electrodeposition time reach up to 120 min. The achieved results show that the chemical yield ranged between 87.9±6.8 and 98±8.6.

  12. METHOD FOR PURIFYING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Kennedy, J.W.; Segre, E.G.

    1958-08-26

    A method is presented for obtaining a compound of uranium in an extremely pure state and in such a condition that it can be used in determinations of the isotopic composition of uranium. Uranium deposited in calutron receivers is removed therefrom by washing with cold nitric acid and the resulting solution, coataining uranium and trace amounts of various impurities, such as Fe, Ag, Zn, Pb, and Ni, is then subjected to various analytical manipulations to obtain an impurity-free uranium containing solution. This solution is then evaporated on a platinum disk and the residue is ignited converting it to U2/sub 3//sub 8/. The platinum disk having such a thin film of pure U/sub 2/O/sub 8/ is suitable for use with isotopic determination techaiques.

  13. Combining U speciation and U isotope fractionation to evaluate the importance of naturally reduced sediments in controlling the mobility of uranium in the upper Colorado River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noel, V.; Lefebvre, P.; Boye, K.; Bargar, J.; Maher, K.; Lezama-Pacheco, J.; Cardarelli, E.; Bone, S.; Dam, W. L.; Johnson, R. H.

    2015-12-01

    Long-term persistence of uranium (U) in groundwater at legacy ore-processing sites in the upper Colorado River Basin (CRB) is a major concern for DOE, stakeholders, and local property owners. In the past year, we have investigated U distributions in contaminated floodplains at Grand Junction, Naturita, and Rifle (CO), Riverton (WY), and Shiprock (NM). We find that U is retained at all locations in fine-grained, organic-rich sulfidic sediments, referred to as naturally reduced zones (NRZs). The retention mechanisms (e.g., complexation, precipitation or adsorption) and the processes responsible for U accumulation in NRZs will directly determine the capacity of the sediments to prevent U mobilization. However, these processes remain poorly understood at local and regional scales yet they are critical to management and remediation of these sites. We have used U LIII/II-edge XANES to systematically characterize U oxidation states, and EXAFS and bicarbonate extractions to characterize U local structure and reactivity in order to distinguish the forms of U. We are measuring U isotopic signatures (δ238/235U) to better understand uranium sources and processes of accumulation in NRZs. We have found that high U concentrations correspond to reduced and relatively insoluble U forms, mainly non-crystalline U(IV), and co-occur with ferrous iron and sulfides. This suggests that reduction processes, fueled by the high organic matter content and constrained to the diffusion-limited environment in the fine-grained NRZs, are important for the retention of U in these sediments. We also observe a strong correlation between the U concentrations in the NRZs and the extent of isotopic fractionation, with up to +1.8 ‰ difference between uranium-enriched and low concentration zones. In some locations the δ238/235U values are within the range of values typical of the mine tailings, whereas at other sites the more positive δ238/235U values suggest that redox cycling and/or partial

  14. Environmental site description for a Uranium Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (U-AVLIS) production plant at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site

    SciTech Connect

    Marmer, G.J.; Dunn, C.P.; Filley, T.H.; Moeller, K.L.; Pfingston, J.M.; Policastro, A.J.; Cleland, J.H.

    1991-09-01

    Uranium enrichment in the United States has utilized a diffusion process to preferentially enrich the U-235 isotope in the uranium product. In the 1970s, the US Department of Energy (DOE) began investigating more efficient and cost-effective enrichment technologies. In January 1990, the Secretary of Energy approved a plan for the demonstration and deployment of the Uranium Atomic Vapor Laser isotope Separation (U-AVLIS) technology with the near-term goal to provide the necessary information to make a deployment decision by November 1992. Initial facility operation is anticipated for 1999. A programmatic document for use in screening DOE sites to locate a U-AVLIS production plant was developed and implemented in two parts. The first part consisted of a series of screening analyses, based on exclusionary and other criteria, that identified a reasonable number of candidate sites. The final evaluation, which included sensitivity studies, identified the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (ORGDP) site, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) site, and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS) site as having significant advantages over the other sites considered. This environmental site description (ESD) provides a detailed description of the PORTS site and vicinity suitable for use in an environmental impact statement (EIS). This report is based on existing literature, data collected at the site, and information collected by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) staff during site visits. The organization of the ESD is as follows. Topics addressed in Sec. 2 include a general site description and the disciplines of geology, water resources, biotic resources, air resources, noise, cultural resources, land use. Socioeconomics, and waste management. Identification of any additional data that would be required for an EIS is presented in Sec. 3.

  15. Improving Precision and Accuracy of Isotope Ratios from Short Transient Laser Ablation-Multicollector-Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry Signals: Application to Micrometer-Size Uranium Particles.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Fanny; Hubert, Amélie; Berail, Sylvain; Donard, Ariane; Pointurier, Fabien; Pécheyran, Christophe

    2016-04-19

    The isotope drift encountered on short transient signals measured by multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) is related to differences in detector time responses. Faraday to Faraday and Faraday to ion counter time lags were determined and corrected using VBA data processing based on the synchronization of the isotope signals. The coefficient of determination of the linear fit between the two isotopes was selected as the best criterion to obtain accurate detector time lag. The procedure was applied to the analysis by laser ablation-MC-ICPMS of micrometer sized uranium particles (1-3.5 μm). Linear regression slope (LRS) (one isotope plotted over the other), point-by-point, and integration methods were tested to calculate the (235)U/(238)U and (234)U/(238)U ratios. Relative internal precisions of 0.86 to 1.7% and 1.2 to 2.4% were obtained for (235)U/(238)U and (234)U/(238)U, respectively, using LRS calculation, time lag, and mass bias corrections. A relative external precision of 2.1% was obtained for (235)U/(238)U ratios with good accuracy (relative difference with respect to the reference value below 1%).

  16. Uranium isotopes as a potential global-ocean redox proxy: a test from the Upper Pennsylvanian Hushpuckney Shale (Kansas, U.S.A.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrmann, A. D.; Algeo, T. J.; Gordon, G. W.; Anbar, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Uranium (U) isotope variation in marine sediments has been proposed as a proxy for changes in average global-ocean redox conditions. Here, we investigate U isotope variation in the black shale (BS) member of the Hushpuckney Shale (Swope Formation) at two sites ~400 km apart within the Late Paleozoic Midcontinent Sea (LPMS) of North America, with the goal of testing whether sediment δ238U records a global-ocean redox signal or local environmental influences. Our results document a spatial gradient of at least 0.25‰ in δ238U within the LPMS, demonstrating that local (probably redox) controls have overprinted any global U-isotope signal. Furthermore, the pattern of stratigraphic variation in δ238U in both study cores, with low values (‒0.4 to ‒0.2‰) at the base and top and peak values (+0.4 to +0.65‰) in the middle of the BS, is inconsistent with dominance of a global-ocean redox signal because (1) the middle of the BS was deposited at maximum eustatic highstand when euxinic conditions existed most widely within the LPMS and coeval epicontinental seas, and (2) more extensive euxinia should have shifted global-ocean seawater δ238U to lower values based on mass-balance principles. On the other hand, the observed δ238U pattern is consistent with a dominant local redox control, with larger U-isotope fractionations associated with more reducing bottom waters. We therefore conclude that U was not removed quantitatively to euxinic facies of the LPMS, and that sediment U-isotope compositions were controlled mainly by local redox and hydrographic factors. Our results imply that U-isotope signals from epicontinental-sea sections must be vetted carefully through analysis of high-resolution datasets at multiple sites in order to validate their potential use as a global-seawater redox proxy.

  17. The importance of colloids for the behavior of uranium isotopes in the low-salinity zone of a stable estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, Per S.; Porcelli, D.; Gustafsson, Ö.; Ingri, J.; Wasserburg, G. J.

    2001-01-01

    Particle-mediated removal processes of U isotopes were investigated during spring flood discharge in the low-salinity zone (LSZ, up to 3 practical salinity units [psu]) of a stable estuary. A shipboard ultrafiltration cross-flow filtration (CFF) technique was used to separate particles (>0.2 μm) and colloids (between 3000 daltons (3 kD) and 0.2 μm) from ultrafiltered water (<3 kD) containing "dissolved" species. Sediment traps were used to collect sinking material. Concentration of Fe and organic C, which are indicators of the major U carrier phases, were used to interpret the behavior of 234U- 238U during estuarine mixing. Colloids dominated the river water transport of U, carrying ≈90% of the U. On entering the estuary, colloids accounted for the dominant fraction of U to about a salinity of 1 psu, but only a minor fraction (<5%) at 3 psu. A substantial fraction of the total U is removed at <1 psu by Fe-organic rich colloids that aggregate and sink during initial estuarine mixing in the Kalix River estuary. In contrast, at salinities >1 psu, there is a general correlation between U and salinity in all filtered fractions. The 234U/ 238U ratios in different filtered fractions and sinking particles were generally indistinguishable at each station and showed enrichment in 234U, compared with secular equilibrium (δ 234U = 266-567). This clearly shows that all size fractions are dominated by nondetrital U. Consideration of U isotope systematics across the estuary reveals that substantial U exchange must occur involving larger particles at least to 1 psu and involving colloids at least to ≈1.5 psu. Further exchange at higher salinities may also occur, as the proportion of U on colloids decreases with increasing salinity. This may be due to decreasing colloid concentration and increasing stabilization of uranyl carbonate complexes during mixing in the estuary. The results show that although U is a soluble element that shows generally conservative mixing in

  18. Isotope ratio characteristics and sensitivity for uranium determinations using a liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge ion source coupled to an Orbitrap mass analyzer

    SciTech Connect

    Hoegg, Edward D.; Barinaga, Charles J.; Hager, George J.; Hart, Garret L.; Koppenaal, David W.; Marcus, R. Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The continued development of the liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge (LS-APGD) microplasma as an ion source for diverse, elemental/isotopic analysis applications continues. To this end, characterization of the capabilities in performing precise and accurate isotope ratio (IR) determinations is essential. Based on past experience with the Thermo Exactive Orbitrap mass analyzer, the LS-APGD was interfaced with this instrument for these tests. While the Orbitrap platform has demonstrated excellent mass resolution and accuracy in “organic” mass spectrometry (MS) applications, work using an Orbitrap for IR analysis is very sparse. These efforts build off previous work in this coupling, where the importance of a few of the LS-APGD discharge parameters and Orbitrap data acquisition methods on IR precision and accuracy were probed. Presented here are the results of a study that evaluated the analytical precision for natural uranium sample (assumed 235U/238U = 0.0072) determinations. The instrumental parameters evaluated include the number of microscans and scans making up a data acquisition set, uranium concentration/signal level, sample make-up, and Fourier transform digitization window. Ultimately, a precision of 0.41% relative standard deviation (RSD) can be achieved for a single determination, with a reproducibility of 1.63 %RSD over 10 separate analytical measurements. A preliminary study of matrix effects on IR measurements of U is presented, highlighting the importance of pre-mass selection before injection into the Orbitrap. The analytical system sensitivity is suggested with the ability to produce a calibration function having an R2 value of >0.99 over a range of 4 orders of magnitude of concentration (~1 – 1000 ng mL-1). These efforts demonstrate the very promising pairing of the LS-APGD ionization source and the Orbitrap, pointing as well to definitive paths forward to better utilize both components in high quality isotope ratio

  19. 238U series isotopes and 232Th in carbonates and black shales from the Lesser Himalaya: implications to dissolved uranium abundances in Ganga-Indus source waters.

    PubMed

    Singh, S K; Dalai, Tarun K; Krishnaswami, S

    2003-01-01

    238U and (232)Th concentrations and the extent of (238)U-(234)U-(230)Th radioactive equilibrium have been measured in a suite of Precambrian carbonates and black shales from the Lesser Himalaya. These measurements were made to determine their abundances in these deposits, their contributions to dissolved uranium budget of the headwaters of the Ganga and the Indus in the Himalaya and to assess the impact of weathering on (238)U-(234)U-(230)Th radioactive equilibrium in them. (238)U concentrations in Precambrian carbonates range from 0.06 to 2.07 microg g(-1). The 'mean' U/Ca in these carbonates is 2.9 ng U mg(-1) Ca. This ratio, coupled with the assumption that all Ca in the Ganga-Indus headwaters is of carbonate origin and that U and Ca behave conservatively in rivers after their release from carbonates, provides an upper limit on the U contribution from these carbonates, to be a few percent of dissolved uranium in rivers. There are, however, a few streams with low uranium concentrations, for which the carbonate contribution could be much higher. These results suggest that Precambrian carbonates make only minor contributions to the uranium budget of the Ganga-Indus headwaters in the Himalaya on a basin wide scale, however, they could be important for particular streams. Similar estimates of silicate contribution to uranium budget of these rivers using U/Na in silicates and Na* (Na corrected for cyclic and halite contributions) in river waters show that silicates can contribute significantly (approximately 40% on average) to their U balance. If, however, much of the uranium in these silicates is associated with weathering resistant minerals, then the estimated silicate uranium component would be upper limits. Uranium concentration in black shales averages about 37 microg g(-1). Based on this concentration, supply of U from at least approximately 50 mg of black shales per liter of river water is needed to balance the average river water U concentration, 1.7 microg L

  20. High-precision measurements of uranium and thorium isotopic ratios by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lisheng; Ma, Zhibang; Duan, Wuhui

    2015-04-01

    Isotopic compositions of U-Th and 230Th dating have been widely used in earth sciences, such as chronology, geochemistry, oceanography and hydrology. In this study, five ages of different carbonate samples were measured using 230Th dating technique with U-Th high-precision isotopic measurements by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, in Uranium-series Chronology Laboratory, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.In this study, the precision and accuracy of uranium isotopic composition were estimated by measuring the uranium ratios of NBS-CRM 112A, NBS-CRM U500 and HU-1. The mean measured ratios, 234U/238U = 52.86 (±0.04) × 10-6 and δ234U = -38.36 (±0.77) × 10-3 for NBS-CRM 112A, 234U/238U = 10.4184 (±0.0001) × 10-3, 236U/238U = 15.43 (±0.01) × 10-4 and 238U/235U = 1.00021 (±0.00002) for NBS-CRM U500, 234U/238U = 54.911 (±0.007) and δ234U = -1.04 (±0.13) × 10-3 for HU-1 (95% confidence levels). The U isotope data for standard reference materials are in excellent agreement with previous studies, further highlighting the reliability and analytical capabilities of our technique. We measured the thorium isotopic ratios of three different thorium standards by MC-ICPMS. The three standards (Th-1, Th-2 and Th-3) were mixed by HU-1 and NBS 232Th standard, with the 230Th/232Th ratios from 10-4 to 10-6. The mean measured atomic ratios, 230Th/232Th = 2.1227 (±0.0024) × 10-6, 2.7246 (±0.0026) × 10-5, and 2.8358 (±0.0007) × 10-4 for Th-1, Th-2 and Th-3 (95% confidence levels), respectively. Using this technique, the following standard samples were dated by MC-ICPMS. Sample RKM-4, collected from Babardos Kendal Hill terrace, was used during the first stage of the Uranium-Series Intercomparison Project (USIP-I). Samples 76001, RKM-5 and RKM-6 were studied during the second stage of the USIP program (USIP-II). Sample 76001 is a laminated flowstone, collected from Sumidero Terejapa, Chiapas, Mexico, and samples

  1. U-Pb isotope systematics and apparent ages of uranium ores, Ambrosia Lake and Smith Lake districts, Grants mineral belt, New Mexico.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludwig, K. R.; Simmons, K.R.; Webster, J.D.

    1984-01-01

    Two types of uranium orebodies occur in continental sandstones of the Upper Jurassic Morrison formation: 1) 'primary' tabular peneconcordant bodies rich in interstitial organic material (containing most of the U) and older than the overlying Cretaceous Dakota sandstone and 2) younger discordant ore-bodies associated with Tertiary faults, containing little organic material (coffinite is the U-carrier) and considered to be redistributed primary ore. U/Pb isotope ages of four of the younger ore-bodies from the Ambrosia Lake district are concordant at 3.3-12.5 m.y. U/Pb isotope ages of primary ores from the same district show pronounced normal discordance, explained by continuous loss of Pb and 238U daughters and, locally, by U-gain during Tertiary redistribution. The primary ores, without Tertiary U-gain, plot on the concordia diagram close to a calculated continuous diffusion curve for coupled loss of Pb and 238U daughters. The concordia intercept of this curve corresponds with an age of approx 130 m.y. Ore-bodies in the Smith Lake district have characteristics both of primary (co-extensive with organic material) and redistributed (discordant) types. They show less coherent U/Pb isotope systematics but give only pre-Tertiary apparent ages.-G.J.N.

  2. Use of environmental tracers and isotopes to evaluate sources of water, nitrate, and uranium in an irrigated alluvial valley, Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verstraeten, Ingrid M.; Böhlke, John Karl; Kraemer, Thomas F.; Cannia, James C.

    2002-01-01

    The effects of irrigation canals and the North Platte River on ground-water movement and quality in an irrigated alluvial valley, western Nebraska, were evaluated using environmental tracers. The results indicated that most of the ground water in the alluvium was derived from the North Platte River and generally was less than 30 years old. Ground-water-recharge rates varied substantially from about 0.6 to 9 feet per year with the larger recharge rates reflecting localized canal seepage. Younger water had higher nitrate concentrations than older water. Increases in nitrate concentrations in recharging ground water over time may be associated with an increase in nitrogen fertilizer use over time. Denitrification was limited in the ground water in the alluvium. Uranium concentrations in ground water resulted from dissolution of volcanic ash or other sediments in the underlying bedrock or incorporated in the alluvium. High uranium concentrations in the North Platte River during the winter months were a result of the addition of uranium-rich water from local tributaries and seepage of uranium-rich ground water.

  3. Use of Environmental Tracers and Isotopes to Evaluate Sources of Water, Nitrate, and Uranium in an Irrigated Alluvial Valley, Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verstraeten, Ingrid M.; Bohlke, John K.; Kraemer, Thomas F.; Cannia, James C.

    2002-01-01

    The effects of irrigation canals and the North Platte River on ground-water movement and quality in an irrigated alluvial valley, western Nebraska, were evaluated using environmental tracers. The results indicated that most of the ground water in the alluvium was derived from the North Platte River and generally was less than 30 years old. Ground-water-recharge rates varied substantially from about 0.6 to 9 feet per year with the larger recharge rates reflecting localized canal seepage. Younger water had higher nitrate concentrations than older water. Increases in nitrate concentrations in recharging ground water over time may be associated with an increase in nitrogen fertilizer use over time. Denitrification was limited in the ground water in the alluvium. Uranium concentrations in ground water resulted from dissolution of volcanic ash or other sediments in the underlying bedrock or incorporated in the alluvium. High uranium concentrations in the North Platte River during the winter months were a result of the addition of uranium-rich water from local tributaries and seepage of uranium-rich ground water.

  4. Evolution of minor trace gases and isotopic ratios in Titan's stratosphere using CIRS/Cassini spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bampasidis, G.; Coustenis, A.; Achterberg, R. K.; Jennings, D. E.; Nixon, C. A.; Vinatier, S.; Lavvas, P.; Carlson, R.; Teanby, N.; Flasar, F. M.; Guandique, E.; Stamogiorgos, S.

    2012-04-01

    The Cassini/Huygens mission has extensively studied Titan's environment and for the first time provided temporal and spatial variability information since 2004. Here, we focus on the stratosphere with its complex organic chemistry by using the wealth of the infrared spectra retrieved by the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) consisting of two interferometers, aboard Cassini (1). These data cover a large part of Titan's globe in high, medium and low resolution (0.5cm-1, 2.5cm-1 and 15.5cm-1 respectively). CIRS has mapped the stratosphere in more than 70 flybys so far either in downward or horizontal viewing in the range 10-1400cm-1. First, we import large FP4 averages (1100-1400cm-1), using the nu4 methane band as a thermometer, into an inverse algorithm (2, 3) to retrieve the corresponding vertical temperature profile and apply it to our line-by-line radiative tranfer code (RTC) (4, 5). Then, through an iterative best-fit process, we construct a model spectrum fitting the relative FP3 average (600-1100cm-1). Eventually, we infer the abundances of each spectroscopic query trace gases and we can study temporal and spatial evolutions (6). We have upgraded our recipe by adopting recent laboratory spectroscopic results (7, 8) and the aerosol influence (9). The upgraded RTC with the breadth of CIRS recordings help us study the infrared signature of Titan's stratospheric weak trace gases (C6H6, C2HD, HC3N). Moreover, we look for new isotopologues (12C13CH6, H13CCCN, H12CC13CN, H12CC13CN, DC14N, H13CN, 13C16O2, C18O16O, C17O16O, 13C17O16O, 13C18O2, 13C18O16O, C18O16O) and calculate 13C/12C, D/H, 15N/14N, 17O/16O and 18O/16O isotopic ratios throughout Titan's atmosphere. We compare our results to other publications (10-14) and give upper limits for the weakest species. Since the stratospheric composition varies over a Saturnian year (6), the trace gases abundances and their isotopologues help us understand Titan's atmospheric dynamics and photochemical evolution giving

  5. Minor-element and Sr-isotope geochemistry of tertiary stocks, Colorado mineral belt

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simmons, E.C.; Hedge, C.E.

    1978-01-01

    Rocks of the northeast portion of the Colorado mineral belt form two petrographically, chemically and geographically distinct rock suites: (1) a silica oversaturated granodiorite suite; and (2) a silica saturated, high alkali monzonite suite. Rocks of the granodiorite suite generally have Sr contents less than 1000 ppm, subparallel REE patterns and initial 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios greater than 0.707. Rocks of the monzonite suite are restricted to the northeast part of the mineral belt, where few rocks of the granodiorite suite occur, and generally have Sr contents greater than 1000 ppm, highly variable REE patterns and 87Sr/86Sr initial ratios less than 0.706. Despite forming simple, smooth trends on major element variation diagrams, trace element data for rocks of the granodiorite suite indicate that they were not derived from a single magma. These rocks were derived from magmas having similar REE patterns, but variable Rb and Sr contents, and Rb/Sr ratios. The preferred explanation for these rocks is that they were derived by partial melting of a mixed source, which yielded pyroxene granulite or pyroxenite residues. The monzonite suite is chemically and petrographically more complex than the granodiorite suite. It is subdivided here into alkalic and mafic monzonites, and quartz syenites, based on the textural relations of their ferromagnesian phases and quartz. The geochemistry of these three rock types require derivation from separate and chemically distinct magma types. The preferred explanation for the alkalic monzonites is derivation from a heterogeneous mafic source, leaving a residue dominated by garnet and clinopyroxene. Early crystallization of sphene from these magmas was responsible for the severe depletion of the REE observed in the residual magmas. The lower Sr content and higher Rb/Sr ratios of the mafic monzonites requires a plagioclase-bearing source. The Sr-isotope systematics of the majority of these rocks are interpreted to be largely primary, and not

  6. Uranium isotope fractionation induced by aqueous speciation: Implications for U isotopes in marine CaCO3 as a paleoredox proxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xinming; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Anbar, Ariel D.

    2017-10-01

    Natural variations of 238U/235U in marine CaCO3 rocks are being explored as a novel paleoredox proxy to investigate oceanic anoxia events. Although it is generally assumed that U isotopes in CaCO3 directly record 238U/235U of seawater, recently published laboratory experiments demonstrate slight U isotope fractionation during U(VI) incorporation into abiotic calcium carbonates. This fractionation is hypothesized to depend on aqueous U(VI) speciation, which is controlled by pH, ionic strength, pCO2 and Mg2+ and Ca2+ concentrations. Secular variation in seawater chemistry could lead to changes in aqueous U(VI) speciation, and thus, may affect the extent of U isotope fractionation during U(VI) incorporation into CaCO3. In this study, we combine estimates of seawater composition over the Phanerozoic with a model of aqueous U speciation and isotope fractionation to explore variations in the expected offset between the U isotope composition of seawater and primary marine CaCO3 through time. We find that U isotope fractionation between U in primary marine CaCO3 and seawater could have varied between 0.11 and 0.23‰ over the Phanerozoic due to secular variations in seawater chemistry. Such variations would significantly impact estimates of the extent of marine anoxia derived from the U isotope record. For example, at the Permo-Triassic boundary, this effect might imply that the estimated extent of anoxia is ∼32% more extreme than previously inferred. One significant limitation of our model is that the existing experimental database covers only abiotic carbonate precipitation, and does not include a possible range of biological effects which might enhance or suppress the range of isotopic fractionation calculated here. As biotic carbonates dominate the marine carbonate record, more work is need to assess controls on U isotopic fractionation into biotic marine carbonates.

  7. Natural uranium and strontium isotope tracers of water sources and surface water-groundwater interactions in arid wetlands: Pahranagat Valley, Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paces, James B.; Wurster, Frederic C.

    2014-01-01

    Near-surface physical and chemical process can strongly affect dissolved-ion concentrations and stable isotope compositions of water in wetland settings, especially under arid climate conditions. In contrast, heavy radiogenic isotopes of strontium (87Sr/86Sr) and uranium (234U/238U) remain largely unaffected and can be used to help identify unique signatures from different sources and quantify end-member mixing that would otherwise be difficult to determine. The utility of combined Sr and U isotopes are demonstrated in this study of wetland habitats on the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, which depend on supply from large-volume springs north of the Refuge, and from small-volume springs and seeps within the Refuge. Water budgets from these sources have not been quantified previously. Evaporation, transpiration, seasonally variable surface flow, and water management practices complicate the use of conventional methods for determining source contributions and mixing relations. In contrast, 87Sr/86Sr and 234U/238U remain unfractionated under these conditions, and compositions at a given site remain constant. Differences in Sr- and U-isotopic signatures between individual sites can be related by simple two- or three-component mixing models. Results indicate that surface flow constituting the Refuge’s irrigation source consists of a 65:25:10 mixture of water from two distinct regionally sourced carbonate aquifer springs, and groundwater from locally sourced volcanic aquifers. Within the Refuge, contributions from the irrigation source and local groundwater are readily determined and depend on proximity to those sources as well as water management practices.

  8. Natural uranium and strontium isotope tracers of water sources and surface water-groundwater interactions in arid wetlands - Pahranagat Valley, Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paces, James B.; Wurster, Frederic C.

    2014-09-01

    Near-surface physical and chemical process can strongly affect dissolved-ion concentrations and stable-isotope compositions of water in wetland settings, especially under arid climate conditions. In contrast, heavy radiogenic isotopes of strontium (87Sr/86Sr) and uranium (234U/238U) remain largely unaffected and can be used to help identify unique signatures from different sources and quantify end-member mixing that would otherwise be difficult to determine. The utility of combined Sr and U isotopes are demonstrated in this study of wetland habitats on the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, which depend on supply from large-volume springs north of the Refuge, and from small-volume springs and seeps within the Refuge. Water budgets from these sources have not been quantified previously. Evaporation, transpiration, seasonally variable surface flow, and water management practices complicate the use of conventional methods for determining source contributions and mixing relations. In contrast, 87Sr/86Sr and 234U/238U remain unfractionated under these conditions, and compositions at a given site remain constant. Differences in Sr- and U-isotopic signatures between individual sites can be related by simple two- or three-component mixing models. Results indicate that surface flow constituting the Refuge's irrigation source consists of a 65:25:10 mixture of water from two distinct regionally sourced carbonate-aquifer springs, and groundwater from locally sourced volcanic aquifers. Within the Refuge, contributions from the irrigation source and local groundwater are readily determined and depend on proximity to those sources as well as water management practices.

  9. RECOVERY OF URANIUM FROM PITCHBLENDE

    DOEpatents

    Ruehle, A.E.

    1958-06-24

    The decontamination of uranium from molybdenum is described. When acid solutions containing uranyl nitrate are contacted with ether for the purpose of extracting the uranium values, complex molybdenum compounds are coextracted with the uranium and also again back-extracted from the ether with the uranium. This invention provides a process for extracting uranium in which coextraction of molybdenum is avoided. It has been found that polyhydric alcohols form complexes with molybdenum which are preferentially water-soluble are taken up by the ether extractant to only a very minor degree. The preferred embodiment of the process uses mannitol, sorbitol or a mixture of the two as the complexing agent.

  10. Nuclear forensic analysis of uranium oxide powders interdicted in Victoria, Australia

    DOE PAGES

    Kristo, Michael Joseph; Keegan, Elizabeth; Colella, Michael; ...

    2015-04-13

    Nuclear forensic analysis was conducted on two uranium samples confiscated during a police investigation in Victoria, Australia. The first sample, designated NSR-F-270409-1, was a depleted uranium powder of moderate purity (~1000 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was a compound similar to K2(UO2)3O4·4H2O. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-1 for analysis, the body and head of a Tineid moth was discovered in the sample. The second sample, designated NSR-F-270409-2, was also a depleted uranium powder. It was of reasonably high purity (~380 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was primarily UO3·2H2O, with minor phases ofmore » U3O8 and UO2. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-2 for analysis, a metal staple of unknown origin was discovered in the sample. The presence of 236U and 232U in both samples indicates that the uranium feed stocks for these samples experienced a neutron flux at some point in their history. The reactor burn-up calculated from the isotopic composition of the uranium is consistent with that of spent fuel from natural uranium (NU) fueled Pu production. These nuclear forensic conclusions allow us to categorically exclude Australia as the origin of the material and greatly reduce the number of candidate sources.« less

  11. Iron, zinc, magnesium and uranium isotopic fractionation during continental crust differentiation: The tale from migmatites, granitoids, and pegmatites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Telus, Myriam; Dauphas, Nicolas; Moynier, Frédéric; Tissot, François L. H.; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Nabelek, Peter I.; Craddock, Paul R.; Groat, Lee A.

    2012-11-01

    The causes of some stable isotopic variations in felsic rocks are not well understood. In particular, the origin of the heavy Fe isotopic compositions (i.e., high δ56Fe values, deviation in ‰ of the 56Fe/54Fe ratio relative to IRMM-014) of granites with SiO2 > 70 wt.% compared with less silicic rocks is still debated. It has been interpreted to reflect isotopic fractionation during late stage aqueous fluid exsolution, magma differentiation, partial melting, or Soret (thermal) diffusion. The present study addresses this issue by comparing the Fe isotopic compositions of a large range of differentiated crustal rocks (whole rocks of migmatites, granitoids, and pegmatites; mineral separates) with the isotopic compositions of Zn, Mg and U. The samples include granites, migmatites and pegmatites from the Black Hills, South Dakota (USA), as well as I-, S-, and A-type granitoids from Lachlan Fold Belt (Australia). The nature of the protolith (i.e., I- or S-type) does not influence the Fe isotopic composition of granitoids. Leucosomes (partial melts in migmatites) tend to have higher δ56Fe values than melanosomes (melt residues) indicating that partial melting of continental crust material can possibly fractionate Fe isotopes. No clear positive correlation is found between the isotopic compositions of Mg, U and Fe, which rules out the process of Soret diffusion in the systems studied here. Zinc isotopes were measured to trace fluid exsolution because Zn can easily be mobilized by aqueous fluids as chloride complexes. Pegmatites and some granitic rocks with high δ56Fe values also have high δ66Zn values. In addition, high-SiO2 granites show a large dispersion in the Zn/Fe ratio that cannot easily be explained by magma differentiation alone. These results suggest that fluid exsolution is responsible for some of the Fe isotopic fractionation documented in felsic rocks and in particular in pegmatites. However, some granites with high δ56Fe values have unfractionated δ66

  12. A World without Sample Preparation: Developing Rapid Uranium Isotope Measurement Capabilities by Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS)

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, K B; Hutcheon, I D; Isselhardt, B H; Savina, M R; Prussin, S G

    2009-06-08

    We are developing highly sensitive, highly discriminating laser-based techniques for rapid determination of isotopic compositions. Rapid command of such information is critical to assessment of the origin and history of nuclear materials, particularly in post-detonation scenarios.

  13. Quantitation and Ratio Determination of Uranium Isotopes in Water and Soil Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-01

    depends on count time 10UNCLASSIFIEDD Kurk, 2012 EMDQ, La Jolla CA α Spectroscopy  Measures 235 and 238 isotope ions 235 from the Actinium Decay Series...x10-3  Measures 235 and 238 isotope ions 235 from the Actinium Decay Series U235→ Th231 → Pa231 → Ac227 → …..  Sample preparation Count ions Conc

  14. Quantitation and Ratio Determination of Uranium Isotopes in Water and Soil Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-01

    time 10UNCLASSIFIEDD Kurk, 2012 EMDQ, La Jolla CA α Spectroscopy  Measures 235 and 238 isotope ions 235 from the Actinium Decay Series U235→ Th231...Measures 235 and 238 isotope ions 235 from the Actinium Decay Series U235→ Th231 → Pa231 → Ac227 → …..  Sample preparation Count ions Conc. and Ratio: two

  15. Uranium: A Dentist's perspective

    PubMed Central

    Toor, R. S. S.; Brar, G. S.

    2012-01-01

    Uranium is a naturally occurring radionuclide found in granite and other mineral deposits. In its natural state, it consists of three isotopes (U-234, U-235 and U-238). On an average, 1% – 2% of ingested uranium is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract in adults. The absorbed uranium rapidly enters the bloodstream and forms a diffusible ionic uranyl hydrogen carbonate complex (UO2HCO3+) which is in equilibrium with a nondiffusible uranyl albumin complex. In the skeleton, the uranyl ion replaces calcium in the hydroxyapatite complex of the bone crystal. Although in North India, there is a risk of radiological toxicity from orally ingested natural uranium, the principal health effects are chemical toxicity. The skeleton and kidney are the primary sites of uranium accumulation. Acute high dose of uranyl nitrate delays tooth eruption, and mandibular growth and development, probably due to its effect on target cells. Based on all previous research and recommendations, the role of a dentist is to educate the masses about the adverse effects of uranium on the overall as well as the dental health. The authors recommended that apart from the discontinuation of the addition of uranium to porcelain, the Public community water supplies must also comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards of uranium levels being not more than 30 ppb (parts per billion). PMID:24478959

  16. The chemical and isotopic record of rock-water interaction in the Sherman Granite, Wyoming and Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zielinski, R.A.; Peterman, Z.E.; Stuckless, J.S.; Rosholt, J.N.; Nkomo, I.T.

    1982-01-01

    Chemical, isotopic, radiographic, and rock-leaching data are combined to describe the effects of rock-water interactions in core samples of petrographically fresh, 1.43 b.y.-old Sherman Granite. The data serve to identify sensitive indicators of incipient alteration and to estimate the degree, pathways, and timing of element mobilization. Unfractured core samples of Sherman Granite are remarkably fresh by most chemical or isotopic criteria, but incipient alteration is indicated by the abundance and distribution of uranium and the degree of radioactive equilibration of uranium with its decay products. Uranium abundances which are out of equilibrium with lead decay products indicate remobilization of a portion (3 to 60 percent) of original uranium in late Phanerozoic time. Association of uranium with minor but pervasive secondary alteration products also indicates some remobilization. The amount of apparent uranium mobility in unfractured Sherman Granite (3 to 60 percent) is small compared to the results of similar studies of Archean granites from nearby localities. Chemical and isotopic data evaluated as a function of core-sample depth suggest a uranium migrational pathway involving near-surface leaching and reconcentration at depth. Movement of solutions through the upper 200 ft (60 m) of Sherman Granite is fracture controlled, and brecciated granite shows more obvious petrographic, chemical, and isotopic evidence of alteration and multi-element redistribution. Laboratory experiments using freshly crushed Sherman Granite confirm that uranium is leached in preference to elements such as Si, Mg, Ca, and K, and that leachable uranium is situated close to the solid-liquid interface; perhaps as uranium along grain boundaries, in crystal defects, or on cleavage traces of minerals that exclude uranium from their structure. ?? 1981 Springer-Verlag.

  17. Environmental site description for a Uranium Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (U-AVLIS) production plant at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-09-01

    In January 1990, the Secretary of Energy approved a plan for the demonstration and deployment of the Uranium Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (U-AVLIS) technology, with the near-term goal to provide the necessary information to make a deployment decision by November 1992. The U-AVLIS process is based on electrostatic extraction of photoionized U-235 atoms from an atomic vapor stream created by electron-beam vaporization of uranium metal alloy. A programmatic document for use in screening DOE sites to locate the U-AVLIS production plant was developed and implemented in two parts (Wolsko et al. 1991). The first part consisted of a series of screening analyses, based on exclusionary and other criteria, that identified a reasonable number of candidate sites. These sites were then subjected to a more rigorous and detailed comparative analysis for the purpose of developing a short list of reasonable alternative sites for later environmental examination. This environmental site description (ESD) provides a detailed description of the ORGDP site and vicinity suitable for use in an environmental impact statement (EIS). The report is based on existing literature, data collected at the site, and information collected by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) staff during a site visit. The organization of the ESD is as follows. Topics addressed in Sec. 2 include a general site description and the disciplines of geology, water resources, biotic resources, air resources, noise, cultural resources, land use, socioeconomics, and waste management. Identification of any additional data that would be required for an EIS is presented in Sec. 3. Following the site description and additional data requirements, Sec. 4 provides a short, qualitative assessment of potential environmental issues. 37 refs., 20 figs., 18 tabs.

  18. Uranium-lead dating method at the Pará-Iso isotope geology laboratory, UFPA, Belém - Brazil.

    PubMed

    Krymsky, Robert S; Macambira, Moacir J B; Lafon, Jean-Michel; Estumano, Gérson S

    2007-03-01

    Analytical procedures for U-Pb isotope dilution analyses at the Pará-Iso isotope geology laboratory of the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) are described in detail. The procedures are applied to zircon, titanite, rutile, apatite, columbite-tantalite and whole rock. Reagent preparation and chemical processing are done in clean-room conditions. Samples are dissolved using Teflon microcapsules in steel jacket Teflon Parr Instrument bomb or Teflon screw cap containers. U and Pb are separated using anion exchange AG 1 x 8 resin columns. Typical blanks for mineral sample amounts of 0.01 to 1.0 mg are less than 1 pg U and 20-30 pg Pb. Isotope analysis of the U and Pb from the same filament are carried out using a Finnigan MAT 262 mass-spectrometer in static and dynamic modes. The current analytical level is demonstrated on analyses of international standard zircon 91500 with three different 235U-205Pb and 235U-208Pb isotope tracers and whole rock standards. Results of analyses of two zircon samples are also presented.

  19. Investigation of the Uranium Solubility and Absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anicin, I.; Banjanac, R.; Dragic, A.; Jokovic, D.; Udovicic, V.

    2005-01-01

    Particles of uranium oxides were produced by combustion of depleted uranium (isotopic contents: 99.8% 238U, 0.2% 235U). Solubility of uranium oxides as well as solubility of metallic uranium in water of various pH values was investigated by x-ray spectroscopy. Also, eventual absorption of dissolved uranium oxides by plants from uranium contaminated ground was investigated. A thin uranium-oxide layer was spread on the soil planted with various vegetables. After a two-month vegetation period the uranium originated radioactivity in the vegetable samples were measured by x-ray spectroscopy and compared with the measurements of samples treated likewise, but in soil without addition of uranium. Due to low radioactivity of the vegetable samples, the spectra were analyzed using Bayesian inference, too.

  20. High resolution analysis of uranium and thorium concentration as well as U-series isotope distributions in a Neanderthal tooth from Payre (Ardèche, France) using laser ablation ICP-MS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grün, Rainer; Aubert, Maxime; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud; Moncel, Marie-Hélène

    2008-11-01

    We have mapped U ( 238U) and Th ( 232Th) elemental concentrations as well as U-series isotope distributions in a Neanderthal tooth from the Middle Palaeolithic site of Payre using laser ablation ICP-MS. The U-concentrations in an enamel section varied between 1 and 1500 ppb. The U-concentration maps show that U-migration through the external enamel surface is minute, the bulk of the uranium having migrated internally via the dentine into the enamel. The uranium migration and uptake is critically dependent on the mineralogical structure of the enamel. Increased U-concentrations are observed along lineaments, some of which are associated with cracks, and others may be related to intra-prismatic zones or structural weaknesses reaching from the dentine into the enamel. The uranium concentrations in the dentine vary between about 25,000 and 45,000 ppb. Our systematic mapping of U-concentration and U-series isotopes provides insight into the time domain of U-accumulation. Most of the uranium was accumulated in an early stage of burial, with some much later overprints. None of the uranium concentration and U-series profiles across the root of the tooth complied with a single stage diffusion-adsorption (D-A) model that is used for quality control in U-series dating of bones and teeth. Nevertheless, in the domains that yielded the oldest apparent U-series age estimates, U-leaching could be excluded. This means that the oldest apparent U-series ages of around 200 ka represent a minimum age for this Neanderthal specimen. This is in good agreement with independent age assessments (200-230 ka) for the archaeological layer, in which it was found. The Th elemental concentrations in the dental tissues were generally low (between about 1 and 20 ppb), and show little relationship with the nature of the tissue.

  1. Distribution and partitioning of depleted uranium (DU) in soils at weapons test ranges - investigations combining the BCR extraction scheme and isotopic analysis.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Ian W; Graham, Margaret C; Mackenzie, Angus B; Ellam, Robert M; Farmer, John G

    2008-06-01

    Depleted uranium (DU) has become a soil contaminant of considerable concern in many combat zones and weapons-testing sites around the world, including locations in Europe, the Middle East and the USA, arising from its dispersion via the application of DU-bearing munitions. Once DU is released into the environment its mobility and bioavailability will, like that of other contaminants, largely depend on the type of associations it forms in soil and on the nature of the soil components to which it binds. In this study we used the BCR sequential extraction scheme to determine the partitioning of DU amongst soil fractions of texturally varying soils from locations affected by weapons-testing activities. Isotopic analyses (MC-ICP-MS and alpha-spectrometry) were performed to verify the presence of DU in whole soils and soil fractions and to determine any preferential partitioning of the contaminant. Results identified soil organic matter as being consistently the most important component in terms of DU retention, accounting for 30-100% of DU observed in the soils examined. However, at greater distances from known contamination points, DU was also found to be largely associated with the exchangeable fraction, suggesting that DU can be mobilised and transported by surface and near-surface water and does remain in an exchangeable (and thus potentially bioavailable) form in soils.

  2. Uranium and molybdenum isotope evidence for an episode of widespread ocean oxygenation during the late Ediacaran Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendall, Brian; Komiya, Tsuyoshi; Lyons, Timothy W.; Bates, Steve M.; Gordon, Gwyneth W.; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Jiang, Ganqing; Creaser, Robert A.; Xiao, Shuhai; McFadden, Kathleen; Sawaki, Yusuke; Tahata, Miyuki; Shu, Degan; Han, Jian; Li, Yong; Chu, Xuelei; Anbar, Ariel D.

    2015-05-01

    To improve estimates of the extent of ocean oxygenation during the late Ediacaran Period, we measured the U and Mo isotope compositions of euxinic (anoxic and sulfidic) organic-rich mudrocks (ORM) of Member IV, upper Doushantuo Formation, South China. The average δ238U of most samples is 0.24 ± 0.16‰ (2SD; relative to standard CRM145), which is slightly higher than the average δ238U of 0.02 ± 0.12‰ for restricted Black Sea (deep-water Unit I) euxinic sediments and is similar to a modeled δ238U value of 0.2‰ for open ocean euxinic sediments in the modern well-oxygenated oceans. Because 238U is preferentially removed to euxinic sediments compared to 235U, expanded ocean anoxia will deplete seawater of 238U relative to 235U, ultimately leading to deposition of ORM with low δ238U. Hence, the high δ238U of Member IV ORM points to a common occurrence of extensive ocean oxygenation ca. 560 to 551 Myr ago. The Mo isotope composition of sediments deposited from strongly euxinic bottom waters ([H2S]aq >11 μM) either directly records the global seawater Mo isotope composition (if Mo removal from deep waters is quantitative) or represents a minimum value for seawater (if Mo removal is not quantitative). Near the top of Member IV, δ98Mo approaches the modern seawater value of 2.34 ± 0.10‰. High δ98Mo points to widespread ocean oxygenation because the preferential removal of isotopically light Mo to sediments occurs to a greater extent in O2-rich compared to O2-deficient marine environments. However, the δ98Mo value for most Member IV ORM is near 0‰ (relative to standard NIST SRM 3134 = 0.25‰), suggesting extensive anoxia. The low δ98Mo is at odds with the high Mo concentrations of Member IV ORM, which suggest a large seawater Mo inventory in well-oxygenated oceans, and the high δ238U. Hence, we propose that the low δ98Mo of most Member IV ORM was fractionated from contemporaneous seawater. Possible mechanisms driving this isotope fractionation include

  3. Quantifying regolith production rates with Uranium-series isotopes at Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory: implications for chemical weathering and landscape evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Lin; Chabaux, Francois; Pelt, Eric; Blaes, Estelle; Jin, Lixin; Brantley, Susan

    2010-05-01

    Quantifying regolith production rates is essential in understanding many important Earth's surface processes such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, erosion, and acid rain mitigation. Over the long term, the rates of weathering and erosion also combine to control the evolution of surface landscapes. Uranium-series isotopes offer a powerful tool to investigate regolith production rates and weathering timescales within a weathering system because of their well-documented fractionation behavior during chemical weathering and transport by water. To quantify regolith formation rates on shale lithology, we measured U-series isotopes (238U, 234U, and 230Th) in three weathering soil profiles along a planar north-facing hillslope at the Susquehanna Shale Hills Observatory (SSHO) in central Pennsylvania. All regolith samples show significant U-series disequilibrium: (234U/238U) and (230Th/238U) activity ratios range from 0.934 to 1.072 and from 0.903 to 1.096, respectively. These values display depth trends that are consistent with fractionation of U-series isotopes during chemical weathering, i.e., the relative mobility decreases in the order 234U > 238U >> 230Th. The activity ratios observed in the soils are explained by i) loss of U-series isotopes during water-rock interactions and ii) re-precipitation of 234U and 238U downslope. Regolith production rates calculated with U-series isotopes for these soil profiles decrease systematically with increasing distance from the ridge: from ~45 m/Myr at the ridge top, the highest point along the hillslope, to ~26 m/Myr at the middle slope site, and to ~15 m/Myr at the valley floor. Soil weathering timescales within these profiles range from 7 kyr to 45 kyr, increasing from the ridge to the valley floor. Given that the SSHO experienced peri-glacial climate ~15 ky ago, we conclude that the hillslope retains regolith formed before that glacial period and that the hillslope is not at geomorphological steady state. The regolith

  4. From evaporated seawater to uranium-mineralizing brines: Isotopic and trace element study of quartz-dolomite veins in the Athabasca system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richard, Antonin; Boulvais, Philippe; Mercadier, Julien; Boiron, Marie-Christine; Cathelineau, Michel; Cuney, Michel; France-Lanord, Christian

    2013-07-01

    Stable isotope (O, H, C), radiogenic isotope (Sr, Nd) and trace element analyses have been applied to quartz-dolomite veins and their uranium(U)-bearing fluid inclusions associated with Proterozoic unconformity-related UO2 (uraninite) ores in the Athabasca Basin (Canada) in order to trace the evolution of pristine evaporated seawater towards U-mineralizing brines during their migration through sediments and basement rocks. Fluid inclusion data show that quartz and dolomite have precipitated from brines of comparable chemistry (excepted for relatively small amounts of CO2 found in dolomite-hosted fluid inclusions). However, δ18O values of quartz veins (δ18O = 11‰ to 18‰) and dolomite veins (δ18O = 13‰ to 24‰) clearly indicate isotopic disequilibrium between quartz and dolomite. Hence, it is inferred that this isotopic disequilibrium primarily reflects a decrease in temperature between the quartz stage (˜180 °C) and the dolomite stage (˜120 °C). The δ13C values of CO2 dissolved in dolomite-hosted fluid inclusions (δ13C = -30‰ to -4‰) and the δ13C values of dolomite (δ13C = -23.5‰ to -3.5‰) indicate that the CO2 dissolved in the mineralizing brines originated from brine-graphite interactions in the basement. The resulting slight increase in the fluid partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) may have triggered dolomite precipitation instead of quartz. δ18O values of quartz veins and previously published δ18O values of the main alteration minerals around the U-ores (illite, chlorite and tourmaline) show that quartz and alteration minerals were isotopically equilibrated with the same fluid at ˜180 °C. The REE concentrations in dolomite produce PAAS-normalized patterns that show some similarities with that of UO2 and are clearly distinct from that of the other main REE-bearing minerals in these environments (monazite, zircon and aluminum phosphate-sulfate (APS) minerals). The radiogenic isotope compositions of dolomite (87Sr/86Sri = 0.7053 to 0

  5. Uranium and Strontium Isotopic Study of the Hydrology of the Alluvial Aquifer at the Rifle Former U Mine Tailings Site, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, J. N.; Shiel, A. E.; Conrad, M. E.; Williams, K. H.; Dong, W.; Tokunaga, T. K.; Wan, J.; Long, P. E.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2014-12-01

    The Rifle Site consists of a floodplain along the Colorado River that was remediated through the removal of surface material underlying former uranium-vanadium mill tailings. The semi-arid (precip. = ~30 cm/year) catchment for the site has an area of ~1km2. The Rifle Site provides an excellent field laboratory for the study of the fluxes of water and carbon from the vadose zone to groundwater (LBNL SFA2.0, http://esd.lbl.gov/research/projects/sssfa2/). A network of monitoring wells, particularly a set instrumented in the vadose zone, provide the opportunity to closely sample groundwater and vadose zone porewater both in space and time. In order to better understand the spatial and temporal variation of vadose zone interaction with groundwater within the Rifle floodplain and provide constraints for a Rifle hydrological model, we have analyzed the Sr isotopic compositions, 234U/238U activity ratios, and d238U of groundwater, vadose zone porewater (sampled through depth-distributed lysimeters) and surface water including the Colorado River. Significant contrasts in 87Sr/86Sr and 234U/238U allow the identification of different sources contributing to Rifle groundwater, while d238U provides an additional tracer and insights into redox processes. Vadose zone porewater is characterized by high 87Sr/86Sr and Sr concentrations and falls at one end of a mixing line with Rifle groundwater, while upgradient groundwater with lower 87Sr/86Sr and Sr concentrations falls at the other end. A mixing model using vadose zone porewater and upgradient groundwater as endmembers suggests that the contribution of vertical recharge through the floodplain increases to ~20% systematically across the floodplain towards the Colorado River. An exception to this pattern is a well located 150m from the river with recent high U concentrations (>300 ppb) and U and Sr isotopic compositions consistent with a 38% vadose zone contribution. U and Sr isotopes show that an irrigation-return ditch that cuts

  6. Uranium-lead Isotope Evidence in the Shelyabinsk LL5 Chondrite Meteorite for Ancient and Recent Thermal Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapen, T. J.; Kring, D. A.; Zolensky, M. E.; Andreasen, R.; Righter, M.; Swindle, T. D.; Beard, S. P.; Swindle, T. D.

    2014-01-01

    The impact histories on chondrite parent bodies can be deduced from thermochronologic analyses of materials and isotope systems with distinct apparent closure temperatures. It is especially critical to better understand the geological histories and physical properties of potenally hazardous near-Earth asteroids. Chelyabinsk is an LL5 chondrite meteorite that was dispersed over a wide area tens of kilometers south of the town of Chelyabinsk, Russia by an explosion at an altitude of 27 km at 3:22 UT on 15 Feb 2013 [1,2]. The explosion resulted in significant damage to surrounding areas and over 1500 injuries along with meteorite fragments being spread over a wide area [1].

  7. Coupling of Uranium and Thorium Series Isotope Systematics for Age Determination of Late Pleistocene Zircons using LA-ICP-MS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakata, S.; Hirakawa, S.; Iwano, H.; Danhara, T.; Hirata, T.

    2014-12-01

    Zircon U-Th-Pb dating method is one of the most important tools for estimating the duration of magmatism by means of coupling of uranium, actinium and thorium decay series. Using U-Pb dating method, its reliability is principally guaranteed by the concordance between 238U-206Pb and 235U-207Pb ages. In case of dating Quaternary zircons, however, the initial disequilibrium effect on 230Th and 231Pa should be considered. On the other hands, 232Th-208Pb dating method can be a simple but powerful approach for investigating the age of crystallization because of negligible influence from initial disequilibrium effect. We have developed a new correction model for accurate U-Pb dating of the young zircon samples by taking into consideration of initial disequilibrium and a U-Pb vs Th-Pb concordia diagram for reliable age calibration was successfully established. Hence, the U-Th-Pb dating method can be applied to various zircons ranging from Hadean (4,600 Ma) to Quaternary (~50 ka) ages, and this suggests that further detailed information concerning the thermal history of the geological sequences can be made by the coupling of U-Th-Pb, fission track and Ar-Ar ages. In this presentation, we will show an example of U-Th-Pb dating for zircon samples from Sambe Volcano (3 to 100 ka), southwest Japan and the present dating technique using LA-ICP-MS.

  8. Evaluating the effectiveness of dilution of the recovered uranium with depleted uranium and low-enriched uranium to obtain fuel for VVER reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, A. Yu; Sulaberidze, G. A.; Dudnikov, A. A.; Nevinitsa, V. A.

    2016-09-01

    The possibility of the recovered uranium enrichment in a cascade of gas centrifuges with three feed flows (depleted uranium, low-enriched uranium, recovered uranium) with simultaneous dilution of U-232,234,236 isotopes was shown. A series of numerical experiments were performed for different content of U-235 in low-enriched uranium. It has been demonstrated that the selected combination of diluents can simultaneously reduce the cost of separative work and the consumption of natural uranium, not only with respect to the previously used multi-flow cascade schemes, but also in comparison to the standard cascade for uranium enrichment.

  9. Uranium-Lead Zircon Ages and Sr, Nd, and Pb Isotope Geochemistry of Selected Plutonic Rocks from Western Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Unruh, Daniel M.; Lund, Karen; Kuntz, Mel A.; Snee, Lawrence W.

    2008-01-01

    Across the Salmon River suture in western Idaho, where allochthonous Permian to Cretaceous oceanic rocks are juxtaposed against Proterozoic North American rocks, a wide variety of plutonic rocks are exposed. Available data indicate much variation in composition, source, and structural state of these plutons. The plutonic rocks were long described as the western border zone of the Cretaceous Idaho batholith but limited pre-existing age data indicate more complicated origins. Because the affinity and age of the plutonic rocks cannot be reliably determined from field relations, TIMS U-Pb dating in conjunction with Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic studies of selected plutons across the suture in western Idaho were undertaken. The data indicate three general groups of plutons including (1) those that intruded the island arc terranes during the Triassic and Jurassic, those that intruded near the western edge of oceanic rocks along the suture in the Early Cretaceous, and the plutons of the Idaho batholith that intruded Proterozoic North American rocks in the Late Cretaceous. Plutons that intruded Proterozoic North American rocks commonly include xenocrystic zircons and in several cases, ages could not be determined. The least radiogenic Sr and most radiogenic Nd are found among the Blue Mountains superterrane island arc samples. Suture-zone plutons have isotopic characteristics that span the range between Idaho batholith and island arc samples but mostly follow island arc signatures. Plutons of the Idaho batholith have the most radiogenic initial Pb and Sr ratios and the least radiogenic Nd of the samples analyzed.

  10. Uranium isotope evidence for the abrupt onset of oceanic anoxia during the end-Guadalupian mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, H.; Algeo, T. J.; Romaniello, S. J.; Tong, J.; Du, Y.; Wei, H.; Shen, S.; Anbar, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    The end-Guadalupian (Middle/Late Permian) mass extinction was one of the major crises of the Phanerozoic, resulting in the disappearance of numerous shallow-marine taxa. Several hypotheses have been proposed for this catastrophe but are still under debate. Here, we undertook a high-resolution carbonate U isotopic (δ238/235U) study of the Guadalupian-Lopingian boundary (GLB) at the Penglaitan section (Guadalupian/ Lopingian GSSP) to explore the causal relationship between ocean redox changes and the mass extinction event. The Penglaitan δ238U profile shows two abrupt negative excursions, one in the uppermost Guadalupian (Beds 6j-6k) and the other in the lowermost Lopingian (lower Bed 7). The first excursion (from ‒0.30 ‰ to ‒0.50 ‰) coincided with the main extinction event, suggesting that rapid expansion of oceanic anoxia may have been a contributor to the biotic crisis. The second, larger excursion (from ‒0.25 ‰ to ‒0.65 ‰) demonstrates that the crisis interval was marked by multiple phases of expanded oceanic anoxia. A U-isotope mass balance model shows that, during these excursions, the anoxic/euxinic sink flux increased to 40 % of the total sink flux of seawater U, which is three times of the modern ocean value of 13 %. This study thus provides circumstantial evidence for a causal relationship between expansion of oceanic anoxia and the end-Guadalupian biotic crisis.

  11. Research and Development of Multiphysics Models in Support of the Conversion of the High Flux Isotope Reactor to Low Enriched Uranium Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Bodey, Isaac T.; Curtis, Franklin G.; Arimilli, Rao V.; Ekici, Kivanc; Freels, James D.

    2015-11-01

    The findings presented in this report are results of a five year effort led by the RRD Division of the ORNL, which is focused on research and development toward the conversion of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) fuel from high-enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU). This report focuses on the tasks accomplished by the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) team from the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) that provided expert support in multiphysics modeling of complex problems associated with the LEU conversion of the HFIR reactor. The COMSOL software was used as the main computational modeling tool, whereas Solidworks was also used in support of computer-aided-design (CAD) modeling of the proposed LEU fuel design. The UTK research has been governed by a statement of work (SOW), which was updated annually to clearly define the specific tasks reported herein. Ph.D. student Isaac T. Bodey has focused on heat transfer and fluid flow modeling issues and has been aided by his major professor Dr. Rao V. Arimilli. Ph.D. student Franklin G. Curtis has been focusing on modeling the fluid-structure interaction (FSI) phenomena caused by the mechanical forces acting on the fuel plates, which in turn affect the fluid flow in between the fuel plates, and ultimately the heat transfer, is also affected by the FSI changes. Franklin Curtis has been aided by his major professor Dr. Kivanc Ekici. M.Sc. student Adam R. Travis has focused two major areas of research: (1) on accurate CAD modeling of the proposed LEU plate design, and (2) reduction of the model complexity and dimensionality through interdimensional coupling of the fluid flow and heat transfer for the HFIR plate geometry. Adam Travis is also aided by his major professor, Dr. Kivanc Ekici. We must note that the UTK team, and particularly the graduate students, have been in very close collaboration with Dr. James D. Freels (ORNL technical monitor and mentor) and have

  12. URANIUM RECOVERY

    DOEpatents

    Fitch, F.T.; Cruikshank, A.J.

    1958-10-28

    A process for recovering uranium from a solution of a diethyl dithiocarbaruate of uranium in an orgakic solvent substantially immiscible with water is presented. The process comprises brlnging the organic solutlon into intimate contact wlth an aqueous solution of ammonium carbonate, whereby the uranium passes to the aqueous carbonate solution as a soluble uranyl carbonate.

  13. Uranium isotope compositions of the basaltic angrite meteorites and the chronological implications for the early Solar System

    PubMed Central

    Brennecka, Gregory A.; Wadhwa, Meenakshi

    2012-01-01

    Events occurring within the first 10 million years of the Solar System’s approximately 4.5 billion-year history, such as formation of the first solids, accretion, and differentiation of protoplanetary bodies, have determined the evolutionary course of our Solar System and the planetary bodies within it. The application of high-resolution chronometers based on short-lived radionuclides is critical to our understanding of the temporal sequence of these critical events. However, to map the relative ages from such chronometers onto the absolute time scale, they must be “anchored” to absolute ages of appropriate meteoritic materials using the high-precision lead–lead (Pb–Pb) chronometer. Previously reported Pb–Pb dates of the basaltic angrite meteorites, some of which have been used extensively as time anchors, assumed a constant 238U/235U ratio (= 137.88). In this work, we report measurements of 238U/235U ratios in several angrites that are distinct from the previously assumed value, resulting in corrections to the Pb–Pb ages of ≥1 million years. There is no resolvable variation in the 238U/235U ratio among the angrite bulk samples or mineral separates, suggesting homogeneity in the U isotopic composition of the angrite parent body. Based on these measurements, we recalculated the Pb–Pb age for the commonly used anchor, the D’Orbigny angrite, to be 4563.37 ± 0.25 Ma. An adjustment to the Pb–Pb age of a time anchor (such as D’Orbigny) requires a corresponding correction to the “model ages” of all materials dated using that anchor and a short-lived chronometer. This, in turn, has consequences for accurately defining the absolute timeline of early Solar System events. PMID:22647606

  14. Microbial communities biostimulated by ethanol during uranium (VI) bioremediation in contaminated sediment as shown by stable isotope probing

    SciTech Connect

    Leigh, Mary Beth; Wu, Wei -Min; Cardenas, Erick; Uhlik, Ondrej; Carroll, Sue L.; Gentry, Terry J.; Marsh, Terence L.; Zhou, Jizhong; Jardine, Philip M.; Criddle, Craig S.; Tiedje, James M.

    2014-06-24

    Stable isotope probing (SIP) was used to identify microbes stimulated by ethanol addition in microcosms containing two sediments collected from the bioremediation test zone at the US Department of Energy Oak Ridge site, TN, USA. One sample was highly bioreduced with ethanol while another was less reduced. Microcosms with the respective sediments were amended with 13C labeled ethanol and incubated for 7 days for SIP. Ethanol was rapidly converted to acetate within 24 h accompanied with the reduction of nitrate and sulfate. The accumulation of acetate persisted beyond the 7 d period. Aqueous U did not decline in the microcosm with the reduced sediment due to desorption of U but continuously declined in the less reduced sample. Microbial growth and concomitant 13C-DNA production was detected when ethanol was exhausted and abundant acetate had accumulated in both microcosms. This coincided with U(VI) reduction in the less reduced sample. 13C originating from ethanol was ultimately utilized for growth, either directly or indirectly, by the dominant microbial community members within 7 days of incubation. The microbial community was comprised predominantly of known denitrifiers, sulfate-reducing bacteria and iron (III) reducing bacteria including Desulfovibrio, Sphingomonas, Ferribacterium, Rhodanobacter, Geothrix, Thiobacillus and others, including the known U(VI)-reducing bacteria Acidovorax, Anaeromyxobacter, Desulfovibrio, Geobacter and Desulfosporosinus. As a result, the findings suggest that ethanol biostimulates the U(VI)-reducing microbial community by first serving as an electron donor for nitrate, sulfate, iron (III) and U(VI) reduction, and acetate which then functions as electron donor for U(VI) reduction and carbon source for microbial growth.

  15. Uranium isotope compositions of the basaltic angrite meteorites and the chronological implications for the early Solar System.

    PubMed

    Brennecka, Gregory A; Wadhwa, Meenakshi

    2012-06-12

    Events occurring within the first 10 million years of the Solar System's approximately 4.5 billion-year history, such as formation of the first solids, accretion, and differentiation of protoplanetary bodies, have determined the evolutionary course of our Solar System and the planetary bodies within it. The application of high-resolution chronometers based on short-lived radionuclides is critical to our understanding of the temporal sequence of these critical events. However, to map the relative ages from such chronometers onto the absolute time scale, they must be "anchored" to absolute ages of appropriate meteoritic materials using the high-precision lead-lead (Pb-Pb) chronometer. Previously reported Pb-Pb dates of the basaltic angrite meteorites, some of which have been used extensively as time anchors, assumed a constant (238)U/(235)U ratio (= 137.88). In this work, we report measurements of (238)U/(235)U ratios in several angrites that are distinct from the previously assumed value, resulting in corrections to the Pb-Pb ages of ≥ 1 million years. There is no resolvable variation in the (238)U/(235)U ratio among the angrite bulk samples or mineral separates, suggesting homogeneity in the U isotopic composition of the angrite parent body. Based on these measurements, we recalculated the Pb-Pb age for the commonly used anchor, the D'Orbigny angrite, to be 4563.37 ± 0.25 Ma. An adjustment to the Pb-Pb age of a time anchor (such as D'Orbigny) requires a corresponding correction to the "model ages" of all materials dated using that anchor and a short-lived chronometer. This, in turn, has consequences for accurately defining the absolute timeline of early Solar System events.

  16. Tracing Magmatic Degassing Timescales at Soufrière Hills Volcano using Short-Lived Uranium Series Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, S.; McGee, L. E.; Handley, H. K.; Reagan, M. K.; Turner, M. B.; Berlo, K.; Barclay, J.; Sparks, R. S. J.

    2016-12-01

    Soufrière Hills Volcano, on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, is one of the most intensively studied and constantly monitored volcanic systems in the world. Since 1995, the island has seen five phases of eruption, interspersed with periods of quiescence of varying length. The last eruptive phase ended in 2010, and the current period of quiescence is the longest since 1995. Mafic recharge is thought to contribute volatiles which may lead to system overpressure and trigger a volcanic eruption. At Soufrière Hills Volcano, enclaves of mafic material are a notable feature within the andesitic dome collapse material from all five eruptive phases and have been the focus of several recent petrogenetic studies, meaning that they are extremely well-characterised. We present a 210Pb-226Ra isotope data of enclave-andesite pairs from all five recent eruption phases of Soufrière Hills to investigate the timescale on which volatile transfer occurs prior to eruptions. 210Pb-226Ra disequilibria is a powerful tool in tracing gas movement within recently erupted (<100 years) volcanic material, as one of the intermediary daughters involved in the chain (222Rn) is released in the gas phase of magmas. Subsequent deficits or excesses of 210Pb over 226Ra provide information on whether gas transfer occurred over a short time-frame or if gas fluxing from a mafic magma was maintained for some time previous to each eruption. This vital information may elucidate whether the system is recharging and preparing for a new eruptive phase or draining its current magma supply thus diminishing the possibility of further, explosive eruptions. Preliminary results suggest that gas fluxing from mafic magma was particularly effective in the first two eruptive phases, supporting the mafic-trigger hypothesis. However, we observe a possible change in this behaviour from phase 3 onwards. We complement these time-sensitive geochemical data with comparison to high resolution monitoring data with the hope

  17. Using Uranium-series isotopes to understand processes of rapid soil formation in tropical volcanic settings: an example from Basse-Terre, French Guadeloupe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Lin

    2015-04-01

    Lin Ma1, Yvette Pereyra1, Peter B Sak2, Jerome Gaillardet3, Heather L Buss4 and Susan L Brantley5, (1) University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, United States, (2) Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, United States, (3) Institute de Physique d Globe Paris, Paris, France, (4) University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, (5) Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States Uranium-series isotopes fractionate during chemical weathering and their activity ratios can be used to determine timescales and rates of soil formation. Such soil formation rates provide important information to understand processes related to rapid soil formation in tropical volcanic settings, especially with respect to their fertility and erosion. Recent studies also highlighted the use of U-series isotopes to trace and quantify atmospheric inputs to surface soils. Such a process is particularly important in providing mineral nutrients to ecosystems in highly depleted soil systems such as the tropical soils. Here, we report U-series isotope compositions in thick soil profiles (>10 m) developed on andesitic pyroclastic flows in Basse-Terre Island of French Guadeloupe. Field observations have shown heterogeneity in color and texture in these thick profiles. However, major element chemistry and mineralogy show some general depth trends. The main minerals present throughout the soil profile are halloysite and gibbsite. Chemically immobile elements such as Al, Fe, and Ti show a depletion profile relative to Th while elements such as K, Mn, and Si show a partial depletion profile at depth. Mobile elements such as Ca, Mg, and Sr have undergone intensive weathering at depths, and an addition profile near the surface, most likely related to atmospheric inputs. (238U/232Th) activity ratios in one soil profile from the Brad David watershed in this study ranged from 0.374 to 1.696, while the (230Th/232Th) ratios ranged from 0.367 to 1.701. A decrease of (238U/232Th) in the

  18. Assessing the biomineralization processes in the shell microstructure of modern brachiopods: variations in the oxygen isotope composition and minor element ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milner Garcia, Sara Ana; Rollion-Bard, Claire; Burckel, Pierre; Tomašových, Adam; Angiolini, Lucia; Henkel, Daniela

    2017-04-01

    contrast, while B/Ca values in the secondary layer are constant, the primary layer is eventually enriched in some profiles. Na/Ca ratio in M. venosa is higher in the primary layer while the other species are not. In shells comprising a columnar tertiary shell layer (Liothyrella neozelanica and Gryphus vitreus) there is a depletion of all the trace elements measured, indicating that different biomineralization mechanisms influence the fractionation of the elemental ratios in the different shell microstructures. Moreover, while the columnar layer seems a good target for O isotope measurements, the very low content of trace elements in this columnar calcite makes difficult its use for paleoenvironmental proxies (ratios and isotopic composition of minor elements). We will explore further the mechanisms responsible for such differences of elemental and isotopic ratios between the different shell layers.

  19. Nuclear forensic analysis of uranium oxide powders interdicted in Victoria, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Kristo, Michael Joseph; Keegan, Elizabeth; Colella, Michael; Williams, Ross; Lindvall, Rachel; Eppich, Gary; Roberts, Sarah; Borg, Lars; Gaffney, Amy; Plaue, Jonathan; Knight, Kim; Loi, Elaine; Hotchkis, Michael; Moody, Kenton; Singleton, Michael; Robel, Martin; Hutcheon, Ian

    2015-04-13

    Nuclear forensic analysis was conducted on two uranium samples confiscated during a police investigation in Victoria, Australia. The first sample, designated NSR-F-270409-1, was a depleted uranium powder of moderate purity (~1000 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was a compound similar to K2(UO2)3O4·4H2O. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-1 for analysis, the body and head of a Tineid moth was discovered in the sample. The second sample, designated NSR-F-270409-2, was also a depleted uranium powder. It was of reasonably high purity (~380 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was primarily UO3·2H2O, with minor phases of U3O8 and UO2. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-2 for analysis, a metal staple of unknown origin was discovered in the sample. The presence of 236U and 232U in both samples indicates that the uranium feed stocks for these samples experienced a neutron flux at some point in their history. The reactor burn-up calculated from the isotopic composition of the uranium is consistent with that of spent fuel from natural uranium (NU) fueled Pu production. These nuclear forensic conclusions allow us to categorically exclude Australia as the origin of the material and greatly reduce the number of candidate sources.

  20. Trace and minor element variations and sulfur isotopes in crystalline and colloform ZnS: Incorporation mechanisms and implications for their genesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pfaff, Katharina; Koenig, Alan; Wenzel, Thomas; Ridley, Ian; Hildebrandt, Ludwig H.; Leach, David L.; Markl, Gregor

    2011-01-01

    Various models have been proposed to explain the formation mechanism of colloform sphalerite, but the origin is still under debate. In order to decipher influences on trace element incorporation and sulfur isotope composition, crystalline and colloform sphalerite from the carbonate-hosted Mississippi-Valley Type (MVT) deposit near Wiesloch, SW Germany, were investigated and compared to sphalerite samples from 52 hydrothermal vein-type deposits in the Schwarzwald ore district, SW Germany to study the influence of different host rocks, formation mechanisms and fluid origin on trace element incorporation. Trace and minor element incorporation in sphalerite shows some correlation to their host rock and/or origin of fluid, gangue, paragenetic minerals and precipitation mechanisms (e.g., diagenetic processes, fluid cooling or fluid mixing). Furthermore, crystalline sphalerite is generally enriched in elements like Cd, Cu, Sb and Ag compared to colloform sphalerite that mainly incorporates elements like As, Pb and Tl. In addition, sulfur isotopes are characterized by positive values for crystalline and strongly negative values for colloform sphalerite. The combination of trace element contents, typical minerals associated with colloform sphalerite from Wiesloch, sulfur isotopes and thermodynamic considerations helped to evaluate the involvement of sulfate-reducing bacteria in water-filled karst cavities. Sulfate-reducing bacteria cause a sulfide-rich environment that leads in case of a metal-rich fluid supply to a sudden oversaturation of the fluid with respect to galena, sphalerite and pyrite. This, however, exactly coincides with the observed crystallization sequence of samples involving colloform sphalerite from the Wiesloch MVT deposit.

  1. An investigation into heterogeneity in a single vein-type uranium ore deposit: Implications for nuclear forensics.

    PubMed

    Keatley, A C; Scott, T B; Davis, S; Jones, C P; Turner, P

    2015-12-01

    Minor element composition and rare earth element (REE) concentrations in nuclear materials are important as they are used within the field of nuclear forensics as an indicator of sample origin. However recent studies into uranium ores and uranium ore concentrates (UOCs) have shown significant elemental and isotopic heterogeneity from a single mine site such that some sites have shown higher variation within the mine site than that seen between multiple sites. The elemental composition of both uranium and gangue minerals within ore samples taken along a single mineral vein in South West England have been measured and reported here. The analysis of the samples was undertaken to determine the extent of the localised variation in key elements. Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was used to analyse the gangue mineralogy and measure major element composition. Minor element composition and rare earth element (REE) concentrations were measured by Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA). The results confirm that a number of key elements, REE concentrations and patterns used for origin location do show significant variation within mine. Furthermore significant variation is also visible on a meter scale. In addition three separate uranium phases were identified within the vein which indicates multiple uranium mineralisation events. In light of these localised elemental variations it is recommended that representative sampling for an area is undertaken prior to establishing the REE pattern that may be used to identify the originating mine for an unknown ore sample and prior to investigating impact of ore processing on any arising REE patterns.

  2. C, O, Sr and Nd isotope systematics of carbonates of Papaghni sub-basin, Andhra Pradesh, India: Implications for genesis of carbonate-hosted stratiform uranium mineralisation and geodynamic evolution of the Cuddapah basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Absar, Nurul; Nizamudheen, B. M.; Augustine, Sminto; Managave, Shreyas; Balakrishnan, S.

    2016-10-01

    The Cuddapah basin (CB) is one of a series of Proterozoic basins that overlie the Archaean cratons of India, and contains a unique stratiform carbonate-hosted uranium mineralisation. In the present work, we discuss stable (C, O) and radiogenic (Nd, Sr) isotope systematics of carbonates of the Papaghni sub-basin in order to understand uranium ore forming processes and geodynamic evolution of the CB. Uranium mineralised dolomites (UMDs) of the basal Vempalle Formation show a significantly lighter (~ 1.5‰) C-isotope signature compared to that of open-marine stromatolitic sub-tidal facies, suggesting input of isotopically lighter carbon through in situ remineralisation of organic matter (OM). This implies deposition in a hydrologically-restricted, redox-stratified lagoonal basin wherein exchange with open oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) was limited. Persistent bottom water anoxia was created and maintained through consumption of dissolved oxygen (DO) by decaying OM produced in oxidised surface water zone. Significantly more radiogenic εNd(t) of UMD (- 6.31 ± 0.54) compared to that of Dharwar upper crust (- 8.64 ± 3.11) indicates that dissolved constituents did not originate from the Dharwar craton, rather were derived from more juvenile exotic sources - possibly from a continental arc. Dissolved uranyl ions (U+ 6) were introduced to the basin through fluvial run-off and were reduced to immobile uranous ions (U+ 4) at the redox interface resulting in precipitation of pitchblende and coffinite. Carbonate horizons of upper Vempalle Formation and Tadpatri Formation show progressively more radiogenic Nd isotope compositions signifying increased juvenile arc contribution to the Papaghni sub-basin through time, which is also corroborated by the presence of younger zircons (1923 ± 22 Ma) in Pulivendla quartzites. We propose that the Papaghni sub-basin opened as a back-arc extensional basin at ~ 2 Ga as a result of westerly-directed subduction of oceanic crust

  3. TERNARY ALLOYS OF URANIUM, COLUMBIUM, AND ZIRCONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Foote, F.G.

    1960-08-01

    Ternary alloys of uranium are described which are useful as neutron- reflecting materials in a fast neutron reactor. They are especially resistant to corrosion caused by oxidative processes of gascous or aqueous origin and comprise uranium as the predominant metal with zirconiunn and niobium wherein the total content of the minor alloying elements is between 2 and 8% by weight.

  4. Strontium Isotopes and Major and Minor Elements in Groundwater from the Shallow Aquifers of Southeastern North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woods, T. L.; Hedges, E. L.; McCorkle, D. C.; Gramling, C. M.; Mulligan, A. E.; Fullagar, P. D.

    2001-05-01

    Following sampling in July, 2000, analyses of water samples from aquifers, tidal creeks, rivers, and springs in southeastern NC were added to a growing database as part of an effort to develop geochemical methods to: 1) characterize water from various groundwater and surface water reservoirs, 2) quantify groundwater discharge into estuaries and the coastal ocean, and 3) investigate saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers. Communities in the rapidly developing region already rely heavily on groundwater from shallow limestone and calcareous sandstone aquifers like the Tertiary Castle Hayne (CH) and Cretaceous Peedee (PD). Groundwater in both aquifers is Ca- and HCO3-rich. Although major element chemistries of groundwater from different aquifers vary, strontium isotopic signatures, which change systematically with the age of aquifer materials, may prove particularly distinctive.87Sr/86Sr values for water from the CH and PD in the study area range from 0.70874-0.70909 and 0.70806 - 0.70944, respectively. 87Sr/86Sr values in the Surficial aquifer (0.70844-0.71049) show the greatest variation. Ratios of spring waters (0.70878-0.70887) suggest flow through limestones. Water from the Northeast Cape Fear River is generally characterized by decreasing 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70916-0.70984) and increasing strontium concentrations (0.0360-2.632) downstream. Downgradient changes in Sr-isotopes in groundwater in the study area are not yet well-constrained. However, north of the study area previous data indicate that 87Sr/86Sr for CH groundwater decreases downdip; deviations from this pattern seem to indicate intermixing of surface water or groundwater from other aquifers. Chemical characterization of water from various sources, combined with geochemical modeling and statistical analysis should permit estimation of volumes of water moving in and out of important aquifers.

  5. Isotopes and Minor Volatiles in the Coma of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Observed by the Rosetta/ROSINA Instrument: Planetary Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marty, B.; Altwegg, K.; Balsiger, H. R.; Calmonte, U.; Hässig, M.; Le Roy, L.; Rubin, M.; Bieler, A. M.; Fuselier, S. A.; De Keyser, J. M.; Mousis, O.

    2015-12-01

    The Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) instrument suite is part of the payload of the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft. Part of this suite, the Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer (DFMS) has been analyzing major (e.g., H2O,) as well as minor (CO, CO2, N2, NHx, noble gases) species and elements and some of their isotopes thanks to its high mass resolution of 3,000 at 1% peak height and its high sensitivity. In parallel to the presentation by Rubin et al. (this meeting) who discuss temporal variation of the coma composition as a function of heliospheric distance, we present here the on-going measurements done on the above species and isotopes. Besides temporal variability, one of the goals of ROSINA is to document the composition of cometary volatiles in the context of the formation of planets and of the origin of atmospheres. The first detection of a noble gas, Ar, in a cometary coma (Balsiger et al, in press), together with the measured D/H isotope ratio and carbon species, constrains the origin of the inner planet atmospheres and the terrestrial oceans. Assuming that 67P is representative of the cometary reservoir, major volatiles (H, C, N) of the inner planets are unlikely to have originated from comets, but a cometary origin for atmospheric noble gases is a viable hypothesis. However, these cometary measurements were done during a short interval of time (in autumn 2014) when the comet was at 3.5 AU from the Sun, which raises the question of how well they represent the bulk cometary composition. Further measurements of the bulk composition are planned close to the perihelion. Also of interest is the isotope composition of nitrogen in N-bearing compounds. Spectroscopic measurements of cometary HCN and NH2+ done so far indicate a two-fold enrichment in 15N, that needs to be confirmed by in-situ mass spectrometry. Measurements of other noble gases, in particular Xe (a very difficult measurement), may set stringent constraints

  6. URANIUM COMPOSITIONS

    DOEpatents

    Allen, N.P.; Grogan, J.D.

    1959-05-12

    This patent relates to high purity uranium alloys characterized by improved stability to thermal cycling and low thermal neutron absorption. The high purity uranium alloy contains less than 0.1 per cent by weight in total amount of any ore or more of the elements such as aluminum, silicon, phosphorous, tin, lead, bismuth, niobium, and zinc.

  7. 75 FR 7525 - Application for a License To Export High-Enriched Uranium

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-19

    ... fuel France; Belgium. Security Complex, February 2, Uranium (93.35%). uranium (87.3 elements in 2010... Belgium. The BR- 2 reactor is used for research and the production of medical isotopes. Dated this 4th day...

  8. A LINEAR PROGRAMMING MODEL OF THE GASEOUSDIFFUSION ISOTOPE-SEPARATION PROCESS,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    ISOTOPE SEPARATION, LINEAR PROGRAMMING ), (*GASEOUS DIFFUSION SEPARATION, LINEAR PROGRAMMING ), (* LINEAR PROGRAMMING , GASEOUS DIFFUSION SEPARATION), NUCLEAR REACTORS, REACTOR FUELS, URANIUM, PURIFICATION

  9. Uranium Isotope Compositions of Mid-Proterozoic Organic-rich Mudrocks: Evidence for an Episode of Increased Ocean Oxygenation at ca. 1.36 Ga and Evaluation of the Effect of Post-Depositional Hydrothermal Fluid Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendall, B.; Yang, S.; Lu, X.; Zhang, F.; Zheng, W.

    2016-12-01

    The U isotope system represents a relatively new paleoredox proxy that can help trace the evolution of global ocean redox chemistry, but has rarely been applied to the Mid-Proterozoic. We report U isotope data for marine black shales of the early Mesoproterozoic Velkerri Formation (Roper Group) and late Paleoproterozoic Wollogorang Formation (Tawallah Group) from the McArthur Basin, Northern Australia. An average authigenic δ238U of 0.13 ± 0.04‰ (1SD; relative to standard CRM145) was obtained for six euxinic shales from a 1 m interval that previously yielded a precise Re-Os depositional age of 1361 ± 21 Ma. After correcting for a U isotope fractionation of 0.60-0.85‰ between seawater and open-ocean euxinic sediments, we infer that coeval global seawater had a δ238U of -0.47‰ to -0.72‰, which is 0.1-0.3‰ lighter than modern seawater (-0.40 ± 0.03‰). A U isotope mass-balance model suggests that anoxic marine environments accounted for 25-50% of the global oceanic U sink at 1.36 Ga, which is 3-7 times greater than today. The model suggests that a significant proportion, potentially even a majority, of the seafloor was not covered by anoxic waters. Hence, we infer that a significant extent of the ocean floor was covered by O2-bearing waters at 1.36 Ga. The O2 concentrations of those waters were not necessarily high, and a large expanse of weakly to mildly oxygenated deep waters is consistent with the U isotope data. Uranium isotope data from a 1 m interval in the lower Velkerri Formation, deposited at 1417 ± 29 Ma based on Re-Os geochronology, yield a greater estimate for the extent of ocean anoxia. Hence, the upper Velkerri Formation may capture a transient episode of increased ocean oxygenation. Previous Re-Os isotope data from black shales of the ca. 1.73 Ga Paleoproterozoic Wollogorang Formation yielded an erroneously young date of 1359 ± 150 Ma because hydrothermal fluids percolated through the Tawallah Group rocks at ca. 1640 Ma. Higher δ238U

  10. Minor Actinides Recycling in PWRs

    SciTech Connect

    Delpech, M.; Golfier, H.; Vasile, A.; Varaine, F.; Boucher, L.; Greneche, D.

    2006-07-01

    Recycling of minor actinides in current and near future PWR is considered as one of the options of the general waste management strategy. This paper presents the analysis of this option both from the core physics and fuel cycle point of view. A first indicator of the efficiency of different neutron spectra for transmutation purposes is the capture to fission cross sections ratio which is less favourable by a factor between 5 to 10 in PWRs compared to fast reactors. Another indicator presented is the production of high ranking isotopes like Curium, Berkelium or Californium in the thermal or epithermal spectrum conditions of PWR cores by successive neutron captures. The impact of the accumulation of this elements on the fabrication process of such PWR fuels strongly penalizes this option. The main constraint on minor actinides loadings in PWR (or fast reactors) fuels are related to their direct impact (or the impact of their transmutation products) on the reactivity coefficients, the reactivity control means and the core kinetics parameters. The main fuel cycle physical parameters like the neutron source, the alpha decay power, the gamma and neutrons dose rate and the criticality aspects are also affected. Recent neutronic calculations based on a reference core of the Evolutionary Pressurized Reactor (EPR), indicates typical maximum values of 1 % loadings. Different fuel design options for minor actinides transmutation purposes in PWRs are presented: UOX and MOX, homogeneous and heterogeneous assemblies. In this later case, Americium loading is concentrated in specific pins of a standard UOX assembly. Recycling of Neptunium in UOX and MOX fuels was also studied to improve the proliferation resistance of the fuel. The impact on the core physics and penalties on Uranium enrichment were underlined in this case. (authors)

  11. The origin of breccia-hosted uranium deposits in carbonaceous metasediments of the Iberian Peninsula: U-Pb geochronology and stable isotope studies of the Fe deposit, Salamanca Province, Spain

    SciTech Connect

    Both, R.A. . Dept. of Geology and Geophysics); Arribas, A. . Dept. de Ingenieria Geologica); Saint-Andre, B. de . Lab. de Geochimie Isotopique)

    1994-05-01

    The Upper Proterozoic-Lower Cambrian schist-graywacke complex of the Iberian peninsula hosts several important uranium deposits, which are characterized by their occurrence in fracture and breccia zones and by the mineral association pitchblende + coffinite + carbonates + adularia + Fe sulfides. The Fe mine, in Salamanca province, is not only the largest known deposit of this type but also the most important uranium deposit in Spain, with current reserves in excess of 16,000 metric tons of U[sub 3]O[sub 8]. Primary mineralization occurs as narrow veins occupying fractures and in cavities as finely laminated sediments showing a variety of geopetal textures. Three stages of primary mineralization, separated by episodes of fracturing and brecciation, are recognized. Chlorite compositions and fluid inclusion data show that wall-rock alteration and ore deposition took place over a temperature range of approximately 280[degree] to less than 60 C, probably to subsurficial temperatures in the final stage of mineralization. The combined geologic evidence suggests deposition of the ore from a hydrothermal system that formed in response to the effects of Alpine tectonics on the Variscan basement. Meteoric water descended via steeply dipping faults, and as well as undergoing extensive isotope exchange with, also leached uranium and other components from, the metasediments of the schist-graywacke complex, particularly carbonaceous slates. The fluid was probably expelled toward the surface through the fracture and breccia system by seismic pumping. The episodic nature of the mineralization may have been controlled by fault movements that initiated brecciation and release of fluid pressure, leading to ore deposition in fractures and cavities.

  12. JACKETING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Saller, H.A.; Keeler, J.R.

    1959-07-14

    The bonding to uranium of sheathing of iron or cobalt, or nickel, or alloys thereof is described. The bonding is accomplished by electro-depositing both surfaces to be joined with a coating of silver and amalgamating or alloying the silver layer with mercury or indium. Then the silver alloy is homogenized by exerting pressure on an assembly of the uranium core and the metal jacket, reducing the area of assembly and heating the assembly to homogenize by diffusion.

  13. Short-term changes in carbon-isotope discrimination in the C3-CAM intermediate Clusia minor L. growing in Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Borland, A M; Griffiths, H; Broadmeadow, M S J; Fordham, M C; Maxwell, C

    1993-09-01

    On-line instantaneous carbon isotope discrimination was measured in conjunction with net uptake of CO2 in leaves of exposed and shaded plants of the C3-CAM intermediate Clusia minor growing under natural conditions in Trinidad. At the end of the rainy season (late January-early February, 1992) C3 photosynthesis predominated although exposed leaves recaptured a small proportion of respiratory CO2 at night for the synthesis of malic acid. Citric acid was the major organic acid accumulated by exposed leaves at this time with a citric: malic acid ratio of 11:1. Values of instantaneous discrimination (Δ) in exposed leaves during the wet season rose from 17.1‰ shortly after dawn to 22.7‰ around mid-day just before stomata closed, suggesting that most CO2 was fixed by Rubisco at this time. During the late afternoon, instantaneous Δ declined from 22.2‰ to 17‰, probably reflecting the limited contribution from PEPc activity and an increase in diffusional resistance to CO2 in exposed leaves. Shaded leaves showed no CAM activity and CO2 uptake proceeded throughout the day in the wet season. The decrease in instantaneous Δ from 27‰ in the morning to 19.2‰ in the late afternoon was therefore entirely due to diffusional limitation. Leaves sampled in the dry season (mid-March, 1992) had by now induced full CAM activity with both malic and citric acids accumulated overnight and stomata closed for 4-5 h over the middle of the day. Values of instantaneous Δ measured over the first 3 h after dawn (6.4-9.1‰) indicated that C4 carboxylation dominated CO2 uptake for most of the morning when rates of photosynthesis were maximal, implying that under natural conditions, the down regulation of PEPc in phase II occurs much more slowly than laboratory-based studies have suggested. The contribution from C3 carboxylation to CO2 uptake during phase II was most marked in leaves which accumulated lower quantities of organic acids overnight. In exposed leaves, measurements of

  14. RECOVERY OF URANIUM FROM TUNGSTEN

    DOEpatents

    Newnam, K.

    1959-02-01

    A method is presented for the rccovery of uranium which has adhered to tungsten parts in electromagnetic isotope separation apparatus. Such a tungsten article is dissolved electrolytically in 20% NaOH by using the tungsten article as the anode. The resulting solution, containing soluble sodium lungstate and an insoluble slime, is then filtered. The slime residue is ignited successively with sodium nitrate and sodium pyrosulfate and leashed, and the resulting filtrates are combined with the original filtrate. Uranium is then recovered from the combined flltrates by diuranate precipitation.

  15. Beneficial Uses of Depleted Uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, C.; Croff, A.G.; Haire, M. J.

    1997-08-01

    Naturally occurring uranium contains 0.71 wt% {sup 235}U. In order for the uranium to be useful in most fission reactors, it must be enriched the concentration of the fissile isotope {sup 235}U must be increased. Depleted uranium (DU) is a co-product of the processing of natural uranium to produce enriched uranium, and DU has a {sup 235}U concentration of less than 0.71 wt%. In the United States, essentially all of the DU inventory is in the chemical form of uranium hexafluoride (UF{sub 6}) and is stored in large cylinders above ground. If this co-product material were to be declared surplus, converted to a stable oxide form, and disposed, the costs are estimated to be several billion dollars. Only small amounts of DU have at this time been beneficially reused. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has begun the Beneficial Uses of DU Project to identify large-scale uses of DU and encourage its reuse for the primary purpose of potentially reducing the cost and expediting the disposition of the DU inventory. This paper discusses the inventory of DU and its rate of increase; DU disposition options; beneficial use options; a preliminary cost analysis; and major technical, institutional, and regulatory issues to be resolved.

  16. Generation of Radixenon Isotopes

    SciTech Connect

    McIntyre, Justin I.; Bowyer, Ted W.; Hayes, James C.; Heimbigner, Tom R.; Morris, Scott J.; Panisko, Mark E.; Pitts, W. K.; Pratt, Sharon L.; Reeder, Paul L.; Thomas, Charles W.

    2003-06-30

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed an automated system for separating Xe from air and can detect the following radioxenon isotopes, 131mXe, 133mXe, 133Xe, and 135Xe. This report details the techniques used to generate the various radioxenon isotopes that are used for the calibration of the detector as well as other isotopes that have the potential to interfere with the fission produced radioxenon isotopes. Fission production is covered first using highly enriched uranium followed by a description and results from an experiment to produce radioxenon isotopes from neutron activation of ambient xenon.

  17. Uranium fluoride and metallic uranium as target materials for heavy-element experiments at SHIP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kindler, Birgit; Ackermann, Dieter; Hartmann, Willi; Heßberger, Fritz Peter; Hofmann, Sigurd; Hübner, Annett; Lommel, Bettina; Mann, Rido; Steiner, Jutta

    2008-06-01

    In this contribution we describe the production and application of uranium targets for synthesis of heavy elements. The targets are prepared from uranium fluoride (UF 4) and from metallic uranium with thin carbon foils as backing. Targets of UF 4 were produced by thermal evaporation in a similar way as the frequently applied targets out of Bi, Bi 2O 3, Pb, PbS, SmF 3, and NdF 3, prepared mostly from isotopically enriched material [Birgit Kindler, et al., Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A 561 (2006) 107; Bettina Lommel, et al., Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A 561 (2006) 100]. In order to use more intensive beams and to avoid scattering of the reaction products in the target, metallic uranium is favorable. However, evaporation of metallic uranium is not feasible at a sustainable yield. Therefore, we established magnetron sputtering of metallic uranium. We describe production and properties of these targets. First irradiation tests show promising results.

  18. Depleted Uranium in Repositories

    SciTech Connect

    Haire, M.J.; Croff, A.G.

    1997-12-31

    For uranium to be useful in most fission nuclear reactors, it must be enriched (i.e. the concentration of the fissile isotope 235U must be increased). Therefore, depleted uranium (DU)-uranium which has less than naturally occurring concentrations of 235U-is a co-product of the enrichment process. Four to six tons of DU exist for every ton of fresh light water reactor fuel. There were 407,006 MgU 407,000 metric tons (t) of DU stored on U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites as of July 1993. If this DU were to be declared surplus, converted to a stable oxide form, and emplaced in a near surface disposal facility, the costs are estimated to be several billion dollars. However, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated that near surface disposal of large quantities of DU tails is not appropriate. Thus, there is the possibility that disposition via disposal will be in a deep geological repository. One alternative that may significantly reduce the cost of DU disposition is to use it beneficially. In fact, DOE has begun the Beneficial Uses of DU Project to identify large scale uses of DU and to encourage its reuse. Several beneficial uses, many of which involve applications in the repository per se or in managing the wastes to go into the repository, are discussed in this report.

  19. Biogenic non-crystalline U(IV) revealed as major component in uranium ore deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Amrita; Campbell, Kate M.; Kelly, Shelly D.; Roebbert, Yvonne; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan; Borch, Thomas

    2017-06-01

    Historically, it is believed that crystalline uraninite, produced via the abiotic reduction of hexavalent uranium (U(VI)) is the dominant reduced U species formed in low-temperature uranium roll-front ore deposits. Here we show that non-crystalline U(IV) generated through biologically mediated U(VI) reduction is the predominant U(IV) species in an undisturbed U roll-front ore deposit in Wyoming, USA. Characterization of U species revealed that the majority (~58-89%) of U is bound as U(IV) to C-containing organic functional groups or inorganic carbonate, while uraninite and U(VI) represent only minor components. The uranium deposit exhibited mostly 238U-enriched isotope signatures, consistent with largely biotic reduction of U(VI) to U(IV). This finding implies that biogenic processes are more important to uranium ore genesis than previously understood. The predominance of a relatively labile form of U(IV) also provides an opportunity for a more economical and environmentally benign mining process, as well as the design of more effective post-mining restoration strategies and human health-risk assessment.

  20. Biogenic non-crystalline U(IV) revealed as major component in uranium ore deposits

    DOE PAGES

    Bhattacharyya, Amrita; Campbell, Kate M.; Kelly, Shelly D.; ...

    2017-06-01

    Historically, it is believed that crystalline uraninite, produced via the abiotic reduction of hexavalent uranium (U(VI)) is the dominant reduced U species formed in low-temperature uranium roll-front ore deposits. Here we show that non-crystalline U(IV) generated through biologically mediated U(VI) reduction is the predominant U(IV) species in an undisturbed U roll-front ore deposit in Wyoming, USA. Characterization of U species revealed that the majority (~58-89%) of U is bound as U(IV) to C-containing organic functional groups or inorganic carbonate, while uraninite and U(VI) represent only minor components. The uranium deposit exhibited mostly 238U-enriched isotope signatures, consistent with largely biotic reductionmore » of U(VI) to U(IV). This finding implies that biogenic processes are more important to uranium ore genesis than previously understood. The predominance of a relatively labile form of U(IV) also provides an opportunity for a more economical and environmentally benign mining process, as well as the design of more effective post-mining restoration strategies and human health-risk assessment.« less

  1. Biogenic non-crystalline U(IV) revealed as major component in uranium ore deposits

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Amrita; Campbell, Kate M.; Kelly, Shelly D.; Roebbert, Yvonne; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan; Borch, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Historically, it is believed that crystalline uraninite, produced via the abiotic reduction of hexavalent uranium (U(VI)) is the dominant reduced U species formed in low-temperature uranium roll-front ore deposits. Here we show that non-crystalline U(IV) generated through biologically mediated U(VI) reduction is the predominant U(IV) species in an undisturbed U roll-front ore deposit in Wyoming, USA. Characterization of U species revealed that the majority (∼58-89%) of U is bound as U(IV) to C-containing organic functional groups or inorganic carbonate, while uraninite and U(VI) represent only minor components. The uranium deposit exhibited mostly 238U-enriched isotope signatures, consistent with largely biotic reduction of U(VI) to U(IV). This finding implies that biogenic processes are more important to uranium ore genesis than previously understood. The predominance of a relatively labile form of U(IV) also provides an opportunity for a more economical and environmentally benign mining process, as well as the design of more effective post-mining restoration strategies and human health-risk assessment. PMID:28569759

  2. Biogenic non-crystalline U(IV) revealed as major component in uranium ore deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bhattacharyya, Amrita; Campbell, Kate M.; Kelly, Shelly; Roebbert, Yvonne; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan; Borch, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Historically, it is believed that crystalline uraninite, produced via the abiotic reduction of hexavalent uranium (U(VI)) is the dominant reduced U species formed in low-temperature uranium roll-front ore deposits. Here we show that non-crystalline U(IV) generated through biologically mediated U(VI) reduction is the predominant U(IV) species in an undisturbed U roll-front ore deposit in Wyoming, USA. Characterization of U species revealed that the majority (∼58-89%) of U is bound as U(IV)to C-containing organic functional groups or inorganic carbonate, while uraninite and U(VI) represent only minor components. The uranium deposit exhibited mostly 238U-enriched isotope signatures, consistent with largely biotic reduction of U(VI) to U(IV). This finding implies that biogenic processes are more important to uranium ore genesis than previously understood. The predominance of a relatively labile form of U(IV) also provides an opportunity for a more economical and environmentally benign mining process, as well as the design of more effective post-mining restoration strategies and human health-risk assessment.

  3. Analysis of solid uranium samples using a small mass spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahr, Michael S.; Abney, Kent D.; Olivares, José A.

    2001-07-01

    A mass spectrometer for isotopic analysis of solid uranium samples has been constructed and evaluated. This system employs the fluorinating agent chlorine trifluoride (ClF 3) to convert solid uranium samples into their volatile uranium hexafluorides (UF 6). The majority of unwanted gaseous byproducts and remaining ClF 3 are removed from the sample vessel by condensing the UF 6 and then pumping away the unwanted gases. The UF 6 gas is then introduced into a quadrupole mass spectrometer and ionized by electron impact ionization. The doubly charged bare metal uranium ion (U 2+) is used to determine the U 235/U 238 isotopic ratio. Precision and accuracy for several isotopic standards were found to be better than 12%, without further calibration of the system. The analysis can be completed in 25 min from sample loading, to UF 6 reaction, to mass spectral analysis. The method is amenable to uranium solid matrices, and other actinides.

  4. Characterization of low concentration uranium glass working materials

    SciTech Connect

    Eppich, G. R.; Wimpenny, J. B.; Leever, M. E.; Knight, K. B.; Hutcheon, I. D.; Ryerson, F. J.

    2016-03-22

    A series of uranium-doped silicate glasses were created at (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) LLNL, to be used as working reference material analogs for low uranium concentration research. Specifically, the aim of this effort was the generation of well-characterized glasses spanning a range of concentrations and compositions, and of sufficient homogeneity in uranium concentration and isotopic composition, for instrumentation research and development purposes. While the glasses produced here are not intended to replace or become standard materials for uranium concentration or uranium isotopic composition, it is hoped that they will help fill a current gap, providing low-level uranium glasses sufficient for methods development and method comparisons within the limitations of the produced glass suite. Glasses are available for research use by request.

  5. In-line assay monitor for uranium hexafluoride

    DOEpatents

    Wallace, S.A.

    1980-03-21

    An in-line assay monitor for determining the content of uranium-235 in a uranium hexafluoride gas isotopic separation system is provided which removes the necessity of complete access to the operating parameters of the system for determining the uranium-235 content. The method and monitor for carrying out the method involve cooling of a radiation pervious chamber connected in fluid communication with the selected point in the system to withdraw a specimen and solidify the specimen in the chamber. The specimen is irradiated by means of an ionizing radiation source of energy different from that of the 185 keV gamma emissions from uranium-235. The uranium-235 content of the specimen is determined from comparison of the accumulated 185 keV energy counts and reference energy counts. The latter is used to measure the total uranium isotopic content of the specimen.

  6. Uranium bombs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeGroot, Gerard

    2009-11-01

    Enrico Fermi was a brilliant physicist, but he did occasionally get things wrong. In 1934 he famously bombarded a sample of uranium with neutrons. The result was astounding: the experiment had, Fermi concluded, produced element 93, later called neptunium. The German physicist Ida Noddack, however, came to an even more spectacular conclusion, namely that Fermi had split the uranium nucleus to produce lighter elements. Noddack's friend Otto Hahn judged that idea preposterous and advised her to keep quiet, since ridicule could ruin a female physicist. She ignored that advice, and was, indeed, scorned.

  7. On the sequential separation and quantification of (237)Np, (241)Am, thorium, plutonium, and uranium isotopes in environmental and urine samples.

    PubMed

    Vasile, M; Jacobs, K; Bruggeman, M; Van Hoecke, K; Dobney, A; Verrezen, F

    2017-07-13

    The implementation of the one-pass-through separation technique using two stacked chromatography columns of TEVA - TRU resins for the separation of (237)Np, (241)Am, thorium, plutonium and uranium from environmental and urine samples was investigated. The sequential separation technique proved to be successful and gave similar results to those obtained when using individual separations. The analysis time was considerably improved. The amount of chemical waste was also reduced by 50% and the use of HClO4 was avoided. The technique of ICP-MS was also investigated as a complementary technique to alpha-spectrometry. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 78 FR 17942 - Request To Amend a License To Export High-Enriched Uranium

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-25

    ... medical isotope March 11, 2013 uranium) the list of production at the XSNM3622/02 research reactor... fuel or targets for medical isotope production Dated this 14th day of March 2013 at Rockville, Maryland...

  9. Machining of uranium and uranium alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, T.O.

    1981-12-14

    Uranium and uranium alloys can be readily machined by conventional methods in the standard machine shop when proper safety and operating techniques are used. Material properties that affect machining processes and recommended machining parameters are discussed. Safety procedures and precautions necessary in machining uranium and uranium alloys are also covered. 30 figures.

  10. URANIUM-SERIES CONSTRAINTS ON RADIONUCLIDE TRANSPORT AND GROUNDWATER FLOW AT NOPAL I URANIUM DEPOSIT, SIERRA PENA BLANCA, MEXICO

    SciTech Connect

    S. J. Goldstein, S. Luo, T. L. Ku, and M. T. Murrell

    2006-04-01

    Uranium-series data for groundwater samples from the vicinity of the Nopal I uranium ore deposit are used to place constraints on radionuclide transport and hydrologic processes at this site, and also, by analogy, at Yucca Mountain. Decreasing uranium concentrations for wells drilled in 2003 suggest that groundwater flow rates are low (< 10 m/yr). Field tests, well productivity, and uranium isotopic constraints also suggest that groundwater flow and mixing is limited at this site. The uranium isotopic systematics for water collected in the mine adit are consistent with longer rock-water interaction times and higher uranium dissolution rates at the front of the adit where the deposit is located. Short-lived nuclide data for groundwater wells are used to calculate retardation factors that are on the order of 1,000 for radium and 10,000 to 10,000,000 for lead and polonium. Radium has enhanced mobility in adit water and fractures near the deposit.

  11. Detection of depleted uranium in urine of veterans from the 1991 Gulf War.

    PubMed

    Gwiazda, R H; Squibb, K; McDiarmid, M; Smith, D

    2004-01-01

    American soldiers involved in "friendly fire" accidents during the 1991 Gulf War were injured with depleted-uranium-containing fragments or possibly exposed to depleted uranium via other routes such as inhalation, ingestion, and/or wound contamination. To evaluate the presence of depleted uranium in these soldiers eight years later, the uranium concentration and depleted uranium content of urine samples were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in (a) depleted uranium exposed soldiers with embedded shrapnel, (b) depleted uranium exposed soldiers with no shrapnel, and (c) a reference group of deployed soldiers not involved in the friendly fire incidents. Uranium isotopic ratios measured in many urine samples injected directly into the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer and analyzed at a mass resolution m/delta m of 300 appeared enriched in 235U with respect to natural abundance (0.72%) due to the presence of an interference of a polyatomic molecule of mass 234.81 amu that was resolved at a mass resolution m/delta m of 4,000. The 235U abundance measured on uranium separated from these urines by anion exchange chromatography was clearly natural or depleted. Urine uranium concentrations of soldiers with shrapnel were higher than those of the two other groups, and 16 out of 17 soldiers with shrapnel had detectable depleted uranium in their urine. In depleted uranium exposed soldiers with no shrapnel, depleted uranium was detected in urine samples of 10 out of 28 soldiers. The median uranium concentration of urines with depleted uranium from soldiers without shrapnel was significantly higher than in urines with no depleted uranium, though substantial overlap in urine uranium concentrations existed between the two groups. Accordingly, assessment of depleted uranium exposure using urine must rely on uranium isotopic analyses, since urine uranium concentration is not an unequivocal indicator of depleted uranium presence in soldiers with no

  12. Uranium, natural

    Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

    Uranium , natural ; CASRN 7440 - 61 - 1 Human health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in the IRIS database only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data , as outlined in the IRIS assessment development process . Sections I ( Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogeni

  13. URANIUM ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Seybolt, A.U.

    1958-04-15

    Uranium alloys containing from 0.1 to 10% by weight, but preferably at least 5%, of either zirconium, niobium, or molybdenum exhibit highly desirable nuclear and structural properties which may be improved by heating the alloy to about 900 d C for an extended period of time and then rapidly quenching it.

  14. Analysis of Uranium and Plutonium by MC-ICPMS

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R W

    2005-02-23

    This procedure is written as general guidance for the measurement of elemental isotopic composition by plasma-source inorganic mass spectrometry. Analytical methods for uranium and plutonium are given as examples.

  15. Large-Scale Physical Separation of Depleted Uranium from Soil

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    235 is used for fission in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons, natural uranium is enriched in U-235 by separating the isotopes by mass. The...increased tendency to burn after prolonged exposure to moist air. A few metals, such as thorium , uranium, and plutonium, emit ionizing radiation that

  16. Uranium industry annual 1996

    SciTech Connect

    1997-04-01

    The Uranium Industry Annual 1996 (UIA 1996) provides current statistical data on the US uranium industry`s activities relating to uranium raw materials and uranium marketing. The UIA 1996 is prepared for use by the Congress, Federal and State agencies, the uranium and nuclear electric utility industries, and the public. Data on uranium raw materials activities for 1987 through 1996 including exploration activities and expenditures, EIA-estimated reserves, mine production of uranium, production of uranium concentrate, and industry employment are presented in Chapter 1. Data on uranium marketing activities for 1994 through 2006, including purchases of uranium and enrichment services, enrichment feed deliveries, uranium fuel assemblies, filled and unfilled market requirements, uranium imports and exports, and uranium inventories are shown in Chapter 2. A feature article, The Role of Thorium in Nuclear Energy, is included. 24 figs., 56 tabs.

  17. Evidence from molybdenum and iron isotopes and molybdenum-uranium covariation for sulphidic bottom waters during Eastern Mediterranean sapropel S1 formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azrieli-Tal, I.; Matthews, A.; Bar-Matthews, M.; Almogi-Labin, A.; Vance, D.; Archer, C.; Teutsch, N.

    2014-05-01

    Redox exerts a critical control on organic carbon-rich sedimentation. This is particularly true for Eastern Mediterranean sapropels where seawater stratification is regarded as a major driving force for oxygen depletion, but in which sulphidic (euxinic) bottom waters occur only sporadically. Here we apply a powerful array of geochemical proxies (Fe and Mo stable isotopes together with Mo/U ratios and redox sensitive trace elements (RSTE)) to the determination of water redox evolution during the deposition of Holocene S1 sapropel and its underlying and overlying sediments (ODP core 967D; 2550 m depth). RSTE are asymmetrically distributed within the sapropel, with peak enrichments occurring in its lower (early) part. Negative correlations are found between δFe57 and both Fe/Al and S wt% in the lower sapropel, and are consistent with the benthic Fe shuttle model Fe enrichment in euxinic basins. MoEF/UEF enrichment factor variations show well defined trends identical to those proposed for open marine settings, in which sub-oxic conditions in the background sediments give way to sulphidic waters at the RSTE peak in the lower sapropel. The most notable features of the Mo isotope profile are ‘atypically’ light values (δMo98/95<-0.7‰) in the lower sapropel. Such light Mo isotope values (relative to sea water δMo98/95=2.3‰) have been related to oxic remobilisation. However, negative correlations between δMo98/95 and Fe/Al, Ba/Al, Mo/Al and S imply that the lowest Mo isotopic compositions are associated with peak reducing conditions. Taken in conjunction with the evidence from the other proxies for a sulphidic water column, the light Mo isotope values in the lower sapropel are best explained by a large isotopic fractionation between sea water molybdate and thiomolybdate species in mildly euxinic bottom waters ([H2S]aq <10 μM). The data from this study thus show that hitherto unrecognised euxinic conditions occur during the early stages of deposition of the

  18. Impacts of Dust on Tropical Volcanic Soil Formation: Insights from Strontium and Uranium-Series Isotopes in Soils from Basse-Terre Island, French Guadeloupe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereyra, Y.; Ma, L.; Sak, P. B.; Gaillardet, J.; Buss, H. L.; Brantley, S. L.

    2015-12-01

    Dust inputs play an important role in soil formation, especially for thick soils developed on tropical volcanic islands. In these regions, soils are highly depleted due to intensive chemical weathering, and mineral nutrients from dusts have been known to be important in sustaining soil fertility and productivity. Tropical volcanic soils are an ideal system to study the impacts of dust inputs on the ecosystem. Sr and U-series isotopes are excellent tracers to identify sources of materials in an open system if the end-members have distinctive isotope signatures. These two isotope systems are particularly useful to trace the origin of atmospheric inputs into soils and to determine rates and timescales of soil formation. This study analyzes major elemental concentrations, Sr and U-series isotope ratios in highly depleted soils in the tropical volcanic island of Basse-Terre in French Guadeloupe to determine atmospheric input sources and identify key soil formation processes. We focus on three soil profiles (8 to 12 m thick) from the Bras-David, Moustique Petit-Bourg, and Deshaies watersheds; and on the adjacent rivers to these sites. Results have shown a significant depletion of U, Sr, and major elements in the deep profile (12 to 4 m) attributed to rapid chemical weathering. The top soil profiles (4 m to the surface) all show addition of elements such as Ca, Mg, U, and Sr due to atmospheric dust. More importantly, the topsoil profiles have distinct Sr and U-series isotope compositions from the deep soils. Sr and U-series isotope ratios of the top soils and sequential extraction fractions confirm that the sources of the dust are from the Saharan dessert, through long distance transport from Africa to the Caribbean region across the Atlantic Ocean. During the transport, some dust isotope signatures may also have been modified by local volcanic ashes and marine aerosols. Our study highlights that dusts and marine aerosols play important roles in element cycles and

  19. 31 CFR 540.317 - Uranium feed; natural uranium feed.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Uranium feed; natural uranium feed...) AGREEMENT ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS General Definitions § 540.317 Uranium feed; natural uranium feed. The term uranium feed or natural uranium feed means natural uranium in the form of UF6 suitable for uranium...

  20. 31 CFR 540.317 - Uranium feed; natural uranium feed.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance:Treasury 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Uranium feed; natural uranium feed...) AGREEMENT ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS General Definitions § 540.317 Uranium feed; natural uranium feed. The term uranium feed or natural uranium feed means natural uranium in the form of UF6 suitable for uranium...

  1. Measurement of Radon, Thoron, Isotopic Uranium and Thorium to Determine Occupational and Environmental Exposure and Risk at Fernald Feed Material Production Center

    SciTech Connect

    Naomi H. Harley, Ph.D.

    2004-07-01

    To develop a new and novel area and personal radon/thoron detector for both radon isotopes to better measure the exposure to low airborne concentrations of these gases at Fernald. These measurements are to be used to determine atmospheric dispersion and exposure to radon and thoron prior to and during retrieval and removal of the 4000 Ci of radium in the two silos at Fernald.

  2. Uranium 238U/235U isotope ratios as indicators of reduction: results from an in situ biostimulation experiment at Rifle, Colorado, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Bopp, Charles John; Lundstrom, Craig C; Johnson, Thomas M; Sanford, Robert A; Long, Philip E; Williams, Kenneth H

    2010-08-01

    The attenuation of groundwater contamination via chemical reaction is traditionally evaluated by monitoring contaminant concentration through time. However, this method can be confounded by common transport processes (e.g., dilution, sorption). Isotopic techniques bypass the limits of concentration methods, and so may provide improved accuracy in determining the extent of reaction. We apply measurements of 238U/235U to a U bioremediation field experiment at the Rifle Integrated Field Research Challenge Site in Rifle, Colorado. An array of monitoring and injection wells was installed on a 100 m2 plot where U(VI) contamination was present in the groundwater. Acetate-amended groundwater was injected along an up-gradient gallery to encourage the growth of dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria (e.g., Geobacter species). During amendment, U concentration dropped by an order of magnitude in the experiment plot. We measured 238U/235U in samples from one monitoring well by MC-ICP-MS using a double isotope tracer method. A significant approximately 1.00 per thousand decrease in 238U/235U occurred in the groundwater as U(VI) concentration decreased. The relationship between 238U/235U and concentration corresponds approximately to a Rayleigh distillation curve with an effective fractionation factor (alpha) of 1.00046. We attribute the observed U isotope fractionation to a nuclear field shift effect during enzymatic reduction of U(VI)(aq) to U(IV)(s).

  3. Derived enriched uranium market

    SciTech Connect

    Rutkowski, E.

    1996-12-01

    The potential impact on the uranium market of highly enriched uranium from nuclear weapons dismantling in the Russian Federation and the USA is analyzed. Uranium supply, conversion, and enrichment factors are outlined for each country; inventories are also listed. The enrichment component and conversion components are expected to cause little disruption to uranium markets. The uranium component of Russian derived enriched uranium hexafluoride is unresolved; US legislation places constraints on its introduction into the US market.

  4. Reconnaissance for uranium-bearing carbonaceous rocks in New Mexico, 1952

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bachman, G.O.; Baltz, E.H.; O'Sullivan, R.B.

    1953-01-01

    Reconnaissance for uranium in coal and black shale in New Mexico during 1952 was largely an extension of work initiated during the 1951 field season. No uranium deposits of economic interest were found, although minor amounts of uranium were noted at several localities.

  5. Assessing natural attenuation potential at a uranium (U) in situ recovery site (Rosita, TX, USA) using multiple redox-sensitive isotope systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, A.; Brown, S. T.; Christensen, J. N.; DePaolo, D. J.; Reimus, P. W.; Heikoop, J. M.; Simmons, A. M.; House, B.; Schilling, K.; Johnson, T. M.; Pelizza, M.

    2013-12-01

    The In Situ Recovery (ISR) U mining operation at Rosita, TX, USA, involved oxidative dissolution of U from roll front U deposits. This process mobilized U along with other characteristic elements (e.g., Se) from the roll fronts in their soluble and toxic oxidized forms (e.g., U(VI), Se(VI)). The dissolved U(VI) in groundwater poses significant ecological risk due to its chemical toxicity and must be restored below the existing regulatory limit to minimize the environmental impact of ISR mining. However, the undisturbed sediments downgradient to the roll front deposits are expected to remain reduced. Naturally occurring Fe-minerals (e.g., FeS, siderite, magnetite) and microorganisms in the sediments downgradient to ISR activity can reduce dissolved U(VI) to less toxic and insoluble U(IV) and promote natural attenuation. The reduction of oxyanions of U or Se induces measurable isotopic fractionation that can be used to monitor the natural attenuation by downgradient sediments. Here, we used multiple redox-sensitive isotope systems (U, Se, and S) to detect reducing conditions and natural attenuation of U(VI) at the ISR site. We collected groundwater samples from 26 wells located in the ore body, upgradient and downgradient to the ore body. The δ238U values measured in groundwater samples from 23 wells range from 0.48‰ to -1.66‰ (×0.12‰). A preliminary investigation of 6 groundwater samples shows a variation of δ82Se values from -1.44‰ to 5.24‰ (×0.15‰). The δ34SO4 measurements in groundwater vary from 11.8‰ to -19.9‰. The reduction of Se(VI) and SO42- fractionates the lighter isotopes (i.e., 32S and 76Se) in the reduced product phase rendering the remaining reactants in the groundwater enriched in heavier isotopes. Therefore, the high δ82Se and δ34SO4 values may suggest reduction of Se(VI) and SO42-, respectively. The highest δ238U values are observed in the wells located in the ore body or upgradient to the ore body whereas the downgradient

  6. Uranium 238U/235U isotope ratios as indicators of reduction: Results from an in situ biostimulation experiment at Rifle, Colorado, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Bopp IV, C.J.; Lundstrom, C.C.; Johnson, T.M.; Sanford, R.A.; Long, P.E.; Williams, K.H.

    2010-02-01

    The attenuation of groundwater contamination via chemical reaction is traditionally evaluated by monitoring contaminant concentration through time. However, this method can be confounded by common transport processes (e.g. dilution, sorption). Isotopic techniques bypass the limits of concentration methods, and so may provide improved accuracy in determining the extent of reaction. We apply measurements of {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U to a U bioremediation field experiment at the Rifle Integrated Field Research Challenge Site in Rifle, Colorado (USA). An array of monitoring and injection wells was installed on a 100 m{sup 2} plot where U(VI) contamination was present in the groundwater. Acetate-amended groundwater was injected along an up-gradient gallery to encourage the growth of dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria (e.g. Geobacter species). During amendment, U concentration dropped by an order of magnitude in the experiment plot. We measured {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U in samples from one monitoring well by MC-ICP-MS using a double isotope tracer method. A significant {approx}1.00{per_thousand} decrease in {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U occurred in the groundwater as U(VI) concentration decreased. The relationship between {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U and concentration corresponds approximately to a Rayleigh distillation curve with an effective fractionation factor ({alpha}) of 1.00046. We attribute the observed U isotope fractionation to a nuclear field shift effect during enzymatic reduction of U(VI){sub (aq)} to U(IV){sub (s)}.

  7. Dry phase reactor for generating medical isotopes

    DOEpatents

    Mackie, Thomas Rockwell; Heltemes, Thad Alexander

    2016-05-03

    An apparatus for generating medical isotopes provides for the irradiation of dry-phase, granular uranium compounds which are then dissolved in a solvent for separation of the medical isotope from the irradiated compound. Once the medical isotope is removed, the dissolved compound may be reconstituted in dry granular form for repeated irradiation.

  8. Uranium Industry Annual, 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-10-28

    The Uranium Industry Annual provides current statistical data on the US uranium industry for the Congress, Federal and State agencies, the uranium and electric utility industries, and the public. The feature article, ``Decommissioning of US Conventional Uranium Production Centers,`` is included. Data on uranium raw materials activities including exploration activities and expenditures, resources and reserves, mine production of uranium, production of uranium concentrate, and industry employment are presented in Chapter 1. Data on uranium marketing activities including domestic uranium purchases, commitments by utilities, procurement arrangements, uranium imports under purchase contracts and exports, deliveries to enrichment suppliers, inventories, secondary market activities, utility market requirements, and uranium for sale by domestic suppliers are presented in Chapter 2.

  9. Should We Restrict Vitamin A Intake, a Minor Contributor to Plasma Retinol Turnover, When Using Retinol Isotope Dilution Equations to Estimate an Individual's Vitamin A Status, or Should Vitamin A Balance Be Maintained?

    PubMed

    Ford, Jennifer Lynn; Green, Joanne Balmer; Green, Michael H

    2017-08-01

    We discuss whether dietary vitamin A intake should be restricted or maintained at balance when retinol isotope dilution equations are applied to estimate an individual's vitamin A total body stores (TBS) after oral administration of a labeled dose of vitamin A. Although, at first glance, restriction makes sense as a way to prevent dilution of tracer in plasma, further investigation of the assumptions underlying the widely used isotope dilution equation presented by Olson's laboratory in 1989, as well as the compartmental modeling results presented in this article, indicate that, in fact, restriction leads to an incorrect prediction of TBS if steady state retinol isotope dilution equations are applied at the traditional time (21 d). Our results show that newly ingested vitamin A is a minor contributor to total plasma retinol turnover and that restriction of vitamin A intake leads to a higher plasma retinol specific activity than the value obtained when vitamin A input equals output (balance). When that higher specific activity is used in the traditional retinol isotope dilution equation, it results in a small but notable underestimation of vitamin A TBS. We conclude that, especially if blood is sampled at the traditional time, the most accurate results will be obtained when vitamin A balance is maintained. If sampling is done soon after dosing (e.g., 4 d), dietary intake has less effect on plasma retinol specific activity and thus on predictions of vitamin A status. Vitamin A status can also be estimated if intake is completely restricted and a different (non-steady state) equation is applied at an appropriate time after isotopic equilibrium has been reached. © 2017 American Society for Nutrition.

  10. Isotopic signature and nano-texture of cesium-rich micro-particles: Release of uranium and fission products from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

    PubMed

    Imoto, Junpei; Ochiai, Asumi; Furuki, Genki; Suetake, Mizuki; Ikehara, Ryohei; Horie, Kenji; Takehara, Mami; Yamasaki, Shinya; Nanba, Kenji; Ohnuki, Toshihiko; Law, Gareth T W; Grambow, Bernd; Ewing, Rodney C; Utsunomiya, Satoshi

    2017-07-14

    Highly radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) provide nano-scale chemical fingerprints of the 2011 tragedy. U, Cs, Ba, Rb, K, and Ca isotopic ratios were determined on three CsMPs (3.79-780 Bq) collected within ~10 km from the FDNPP to determine the CsMPs' origin and mechanism of formation. Apart from crystalline Fe-pollucite, CsFeSi2O6 · nH2O, CsMPs are comprised mainly of Zn-Fe-oxide nanoparticles in a SiO2 glass matrix (up to ~30 wt% of Cs and ~1 wt% of U mainly associated with Zn-Fe-oxide). The (235)U/(238)U values in two CsMPs: 0.030 (±0.005) and 0.029 (±0.003), are consistent with that of enriched nuclear fuel. The values are higher than the average burnup estimated by the ORIGEN code and lower than non-irradiated fuel, suggesting non-uniform volatilization of U from melted fuels with different levels of burnup, followed by sorption onto Zn-Fe-oxides. The nano-scale texture and isotopic analyses provide a partial record of the chemical reactions that occurred in the fuel during meltdown. Also, the CsMPs were an important medium of transport for the released radionuclides in a respirable form.

  11. Carbon-Isotope Composition of Biochemical Fractions and the Regulation of Carbon Balance in Leaves of the C3-Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Intermediate Clusia minor L. Growing in Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Borland, A. M.; Griffiths, H.; Broadmeadow, MSJ.; Fordham, M. C.; Maxwell, C.

    1994-10-01

    Carbon-isotope ratios ([delta]13Cs) were measured for various bio-chemical fractions quantitatively extracted from naturally exposed and shaded leaves of the C3-Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) intermediate Clusia minor, sampled at dawn and dusk on days during the wet and dry seasons in Trinidad. As the activity of CAM increased in response to decreased availability of water and higher photon flux density, organic acids and soluble sugars were enriched in 13C by approximately 3.5 to 4%[per mille (thousand) sign] compared to plants sampled during the wet season. The induction of CAM was accompanied by a doubling in size of the reserve carbohydrate pools. Moreover, stoichiometric measurements indicated that degradation of both chloroplastic reserves and soluble sugars were necessary to supply phosphoenolpyruvate for the synthesis of organic acids at night. Results also suggest that two pools of soluble sugars exist in leaves of C. minor that perform CAM, one a vacuolar pool enriched in 13C and the second a transport pool depleted in 13C. Estimates of carbon-isotope discrimination expressed during CAM, derived from the trafficking among inorganic carbon, organic acids, and carbohydrate pools overnight, ranged from 0.9 to 3.1%[per mille (thousand) sign]. The [delta]13C of structural material did not change significantly between wet and dry seasons, indicating that most of the carbon used in growth was derived from C3 carboxylation.

  12. Carbon, Oxygen and Uranium Isotopes in Pedothem Carbonates Reveal Anomalous North American Atmospheric Circulation 70,000 to 55,000 Years Ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerter, E.; Sharp, W. D.; Oster, J. L.; Ebeling, A.; Valley, J. W.; Kozdon, R.; Orland, I. J.; Hellstrom, J. C.; Woodhead, J. D.; Hergt, J.; Chadwick, O.; Amundson, R.

    2015-12-01

    Climate conditions in North America during the past two glacial cycles remain uncertain in part because long, well-dated, continuous paleoclimate records are limited in number and sparsely distributed. Here we present the first continuous, millennial resolution paleoclimate proxy record derived from C, O and U isotopes in mm-thick pedogenic carbonate clast-coatings (pedothems), which are widely distributed in semi-arid to arid regions worldwide. Carbonate 230Th/U ages were obtained from laser ablation ICP-MS spots of 93um diameter size, which also yielded 234U/238Ui proxy values for soil water infiltration and paleoprecipitation. The U-series transects were coupled to δ13C and δ18O values obtained by ion probe on ~10um diameter spots. Modern soil carbonate in the region has δ18O and δ13C values that are similar to the youngest (early Holocene) samples acquired in the laminations, strengthening the interpretation that the carbonate reflects soil isotopic conditions at the time of formation. Our new record from the Wind River Basin in Wyoming spans the last 120,000 years and confirms a previously hypothesized period of increased transport of Gulf of Mexico moisture northward into the continental interior from 70,000 to 55,000 years ago. Such pronounced meridional moisture transport, which contrasts with the dominant zonal transport of Pacific moisture into the North American interior by westerly winds before and after 70,000 to 55,000 years ago, may have resulted from a persistent anticyclone developed above the North American ice sheet during Marine Isotope Stage 4. Subsequently, the carbonate record suggests that climate in mid-latitude central North America became progressively more arid during the onset of the last glaciation (both δ13C and 234U/238Ui values become more positive), culminating in peak aridity during the LGM. We conclude that pedothems, when analyzed using micro-analytical techniques, can provide unique insights into past terrestrial climates.

  13. High-resolution gamma-ray isotopic measurements of uranium plutonium samples at IPPE in support of physical inventory taking activities

    SciTech Connect

    Bezhunov, G; Kreek, S A; Mikhailov, G; Parker, W E; Sampson, T F; Savlov, A

    1999-07-01

    Measurement of various U and Pu samples by gamma-ray spectrometry were performed at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering to support physical-inventory-taking activities under the Joint US-Russian MPC and A Program. The resulting data was analyzed by several different methods which included Canberra's MGA9.63 (Pu and MOX analysis) and MGAU (U analysis), EG and G Ortec's MGA++ (Pu and MOX analysis) and U235 (U analysis), and FRAM v2.2 (U and Pu analysis) provided by Los Alamos. The results indicate that all of these codes are capable of performing the isotopic analysis adequately. However, some additional modifications may be required to permit better measurement of some of the more unusual components in the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) inventory to meet the demands of inventory-taking activities.

  14. Formation and resulfidization of a South Texas roll-type uranium deposit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldhaber, Martin B.; Reynolds, Richard L.; Rye, Robert O.

    1979-01-01

    iron disulfide phase; and (2) an ore-stage process which led to the development of the uranium roll with emplacement of the characteristic suite of minor and accessory elements and which produced abundant isotopically light marcasite. The host rock was modified by a post-ore stage of resulfidization which precipitated isotopically heavy pyrite. Sulfur isotopic compositions of sulfide and sulfate present in modern ground water within the host sand differ greatly from sulfur isotopic composition of iron disulfides formed during the resulfidization episode. Iron disulfide minerals formed from the sulfur species of modern ground water have not been unequivocally identified.

  15. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM MONOCARBIDE

    DOEpatents

    Powers, R.M.

    1962-07-24

    A method of making essentially stoichiometric uranium monocarbide by pelletizing a mixture of uranium tetrafluoride, silicon, and carbon and reacting the mixture at a temperature of approximately 1500 to 1700 deg C until the reaction goes to completion, forming uranium monocarbide powder and volatile silicon tetrafluoride, is described. The powder is then melted to produce uranium monocarbide in massive form. (AEC)

  16. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM TETRACHLORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Calkins, V.P.

    1958-12-16

    A process is descrlbed for the production of uranium tetrachloride by contacting uranlum values such as uranium hexafluoride, uranlum tetrafluoride, or uranium oxides with either aluminum chloride, boron chloride, or sodium alumlnum chloride under substantially anhydrous condltlons at such a temperature and pressure that the chlorldes are maintained in the molten form and until the uranium values are completely converted to uranlum tetrachloride.

  17. URANIUM EXTRACTION

    DOEpatents

    Harrington, C.D.; Opie, J.V.

    1958-07-01

    The recovery of uranium values from uranium ore such as pitchblende is described. The ore is first dissolved in nitric acid, and a water soluble nitrate is added as a salting out agent. The resulting feed solution is then contacted with diethyl ether, whereby the bulk of the uranyl nitrate and a portion of the impurities are taken up by the ether. This acid ether extract is then separated from the aqueous raffinate, and contacted with water causing back extractioa of the uranyl nitrate and impurities into the water to form a crude liquor. After separation from the ether extract, this crude liquor is heated to about 118 deg C to obtain molten uranyl nitrate hexahydratc. After being slightly cooled the uranyl nitrate hexahydrate is contacted with acid free diethyl ether whereby the bulk of the uranyl nitrate is dissolved into the ethcr to form a neutral ether solution while most of the impurities remain in the aqueous waste. After separation from the aqueous waste, the resultant ether solution is washed with about l0% of its volume of water to free it of any dissolved impurities and is then contacted with at least one half its volume of water whereby the uranyl nitrate is extracted into the water to form an aqueous product solution.

  18. DECONTAMINATION OF URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Feder, H.M.; Chellew, N.R.

    1958-02-01

    This patent deals with the separation of rare earth and other fission products from neutron bombarded uranium. This is accomplished by melting the uranium in contact with either thorium oxide, maguesium oxide, alumnum oxide, beryllium oxide, or uranium dioxide. The melting is preferably carried out at from 1150 deg to 1400 deg C in an inert atmosphere, such as argon or helium. During this treatment a scale of uranium dioxide forms on the uranium whtch contains most of the fission products.

  19. Stable isotopes (δ 18O and δ 13C), trace and minor element compositions of Recent scleractinians and Last Glacial bivalves at the Santa Maria di Leuca deep-water coral province, Ionian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correa, Matthias López; Montagna, Paolo; Vendrell-Simón, Begoña; McCulloch, Malcolm; Taviani, Marco

    2010-03-01

    The aragonitic skeletons of bathyal cold-water corals have a high potential as geochemical in situ archives for paleoceanography. Oxygen isotopes and stable carbon isotopes (δ 18O and δ 13C) have been analyzed, as well as trace and minor element compositions (e.g. Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, U/Ca, B/Ca and P/Ca) in Lophelia pertusa, one of the most important frame-builders at the Santa Maria di Leuca (SML) deep-water coral hotspot in the Central Mediterranean. The Apulian Bank is swept by strong currents of the Adriatic Deep Water Outflow. The temperature of 13.9 °C is the highest temperature recorded for L. pertusa and provides an important end-member of environmental conditions for geochemical analyses on living Atlantic and Mediterranean cold-water corals. Temperature and salinity (38.77 PSU) are stable throughout the year, and thus virtually no changes should be observed in the stable oxygen isotope signal—if the coral precipitates its skeleton in equilibrium with seawater. We measured various marine properties, such as the seawater oxygen isotope composition (δ 18O sw), stable carbon isotope composition (δ 13C DIC) of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and dissolved inorganic nutrient concentrations (PO 4, NO 3, NO 2, NH 3 and SiO 2). Bottom water at the coral sites shows a mean oxygen isotope composition of 1.47‰ δ 18O sw-VSMOW, and δ 13C DIC showed a mean of 1.1‰ VPDB. A section of a living L. pertusa with a thick theca calcification was probed with a Merchantek MicroMill at a high spatial sampling resolution with 10 samples per 1 mm. This reduced the signal-smoothing inherent to conventional sampling. The δ 18O ag of coral aragonite ranges between -2.0‰ and +2.8‰ VPDB and the δ 13C ag ranges between -7.77‰ and +1.47‰ VPDB. The Gaussian data distribution for both parameters, including heavy equilibrium values, suggests the completeness of the captured isotopic variability. The strict linear correlation of δ 13C and δ 18O displays a strong 'kinetic

  20. Newly discovered uranium mineralization at 2.0 Ma in the Menggongjie granite-hosted uranium deposit, South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Jin-Cheng; Hu, Rui-Zhong; Fayek, Mostafa; Bi, Xian-Wu; Shi, Shao-Hua; Chen, You-Wei

    2017-04-01

    The southeastern part of the Nanling metallogenic province, South China contains numerous economically important granite-hosted, hydrothermal vein-type uranium deposits. The Miao'ershan (MES) uranium ore field is one of the most important uranium sources in China, hosts the largest Chanziping carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock-type uranium deposit and several representative granite-hosted uranium deposits. The geology and geochemistry of these deposits have been extensively studied. However, accurate and precise ages for the uranium mineralization are scarce because uranium minerals in these deposits are usually fine-grained, and may have formed in several stages, thus hindering the understanding of the uranium metallogenesis of this province. The Menggongjie (MGJ) uranium deposit is one of the largest granite-hosted uranium deposits in the MES ore field. Uranium mineralization in this deposit occurs at the central part of the MES granitic complex, accompanied with silicification, fluorination, K-metasomatism and hematitization. The ore minerals are dominated by uraninite, occurring in quartz or fluorite veinlets along fractures in altered granite. In-situ SIMS U-Pb dating on the uraninite yields the U-Pb isotopic age of 1.9 ± 0.7 Ma, which is comparable to the chemical U-Th-Pbtol uraninite age of 2.3 ± 0.1 Ma. Such ages agree well with the eruption ages of the extension-related Quaternary volcanics (2.1-1.2 Ma) in South China, suggesting that the uranium mineralization have formed at an extensional setting, possibly related to the Quaternary volcanic activities. Therefore, our robust, new dating results of the MGJ uranium deposit make it the youngest granite-hosted uranium deposit reported so far in South China and the mineralization event represents a newly identified mineralization epoch.

  1. URANIUM DECONTAMINATION

    DOEpatents

    Buckingham, J.S.; Carroll, J.L.

    1959-12-22

    A process is described for reducing the extractability of ruthenium, zirconium, and niobium values into hexone contained in an aqueous nitric acid uranium-containing solution. The solution is made acid-deficient, heated to between 55 and 70 deg C, and at that temperature a water-soluble inorganic thiosulfate is added. By this, a precipitate is formed which carries the bulk of the ruthenium, and the remainder of the ruthenium as well as the zirconium and niobium are converted to a hexone-nonextractable form. The rutheniumcontaining precipitate can either be removed from the solu tion or it can be dissolved as a hexone-non-extractable compound by the addition of sodium dichromate prior to hexone extraction.

  2. Uranium industry annual 1994

    SciTech Connect

    1995-07-05

    The Uranium Industry Annual 1994 (UIA 1994) provides current statistical data on the US uranium industry`s activities relating to uranium raw materials and uranium marketing during that survey year. The UIA 1994 is prepared for use by the Congress, Federal and State agencies, the uranium and nuclear electric utility industries, and the public. It contains data for the 10-year period 1985 through 1994 as collected on the Form EIA-858, ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey.`` Data collected on the ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey`` (UIAS) provide a comprehensive statistical characterization of the industry`s activities for the survey year and also include some information about industry`s plans and commitments for the near-term future. Where aggregate data are presented in the UIA 1994, care has been taken to protect the confidentiality of company-specific information while still conveying accurate and complete statistical data. A feature article, ``Comparison of Uranium Mill Tailings Reclamation in the United States and Canada,`` is included in the UIA 1994. Data on uranium raw materials activities including exploration activities and expenditures, EIA-estimated resources and reserves, mine production of uranium, production of uranium concentrate, and industry employment are presented in Chapter 1. Data on uranium marketing activities, including purchases of uranium and enrichment services, and uranium inventories, enrichment feed deliveries (actual and projected), and unfilled market requirements are shown in Chapter 2.

  3. Uranium industry annual 1998

    SciTech Connect

    1999-04-22

    The Uranium Industry Annual 1998 (UIA 1998) provides current statistical data on the US uranium industry`s activities relating to uranium raw materials and uranium marketing. It contains data for the period 1989 through 2008 as collected on the Form EIA-858, ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey.`` Data provides a comprehensive statistical characterization of the industry`s activities for the survey year and also include some information about industry`s plans and commitments for the near-term future. Data on uranium raw materials activities for 1989 through 1998, including exploration activities and expenditures, EIA-estimated reserves, mine production of uranium, production of uranium concentrate, and industry employment, are presented in Chapter 1. Data on uranium marketing activities for 1994 through 2008, including purchases of uranium and enrichment services, enrichment feed deliveries, uranium fuel assemblies, filled and unfilled market requirements, and uranium inventories, are shown in Chapter 2. The methodology used in the 1998 survey, including data edit and analysis, is described in Appendix A. The methodologies for estimation of resources and reserves are described in Appendix B. A list of respondents to the ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey`` is provided in Appendix C. The Form EIA-858 ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey`` is shown in Appendix D. For the readers convenience, metric versions of selected tables from Chapters 1 and 2 are presented in Appendix E along with the standard conversion factors used. A glossary of technical terms is at the end of the report. 24 figs., 56 tabs.

  4. In-line assay monitor for uranium hexafluoride

    DOEpatents

    Wallace, Steven A.

    1981-01-01

    An in-line assay monitor for determining the content of uranium-235 in a uranium hexafluoride gas isotopic separation system is provided which removes the necessity of complete access to the operating parameters of the system for determining the uranium-235 content. The monitor is intended for uses such as safeguard applications to assure that weapons grade uranium is not being produced in an enrichment cascade. The method and monitor for carrying out the method involve cooling of a radiation pervious chamber connected in fluid communication with the selected point in the system to withdraw a specimen and solidify the specimen in the chamber. The specimen is irradiated by means of an ionizing radiation source of energy different from that of the 185 keV gamma emissions from the uranium-235 present in the specimen. Simultaneously, the gamma emissions from the uranium-235 of the specimen and the source emissions transmitted through the sample are counted and stored in a multiple channel analyzer. The uranium-235 content of the specimen is determined from the comparison of the accumulated 185 keV energy counts and the reference energy counts. The latter is used to measure the total uranium isotopic content of the specimen. The process eliminates the necessity of knowing the system operating conditions and yet obtains the necessary data without need for large scintillation crystals and sophisticated mechanical designs.

  5. Process for electroslag refining of uranium and uranium alloys

    DOEpatents

    Lewis, P.S. Jr.; Agee, W.A.; Bullock, J.S. IV; Condon, J.B.

    1975-07-22

    A process is described for electroslag refining of uranium and uranium alloys wherein molten uranium and uranium alloys are melted in a molten layer of a fluoride slag containing up to about 8 weight percent calcium metal. The calcium metal reduces oxides in the uranium and uranium alloys to provide them with an oxygen content of less than 100 parts per million. (auth)

  6. Uranium in NIMROC standard igneous rock samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rowe, M. W.; Herndon, J. M.

    1976-01-01

    Results are reported for analysis of the uranium in multiple samples of each of six igneous-rock standards (dunite, granite, lujavrite, norite, pyroxenite, and syenite) prepared as geochemical reference standards for elemental and isotopic compositions. Powdered rock samples were examined by measuring delayed neutron emission after irradiation with a flux of the order of 10 to the 13th power neutrons/sq cm per sec in a nuclear reactor. The measurements are shown to compare quite favorably with previous uranium determinations for other standard rock samples.

  7. Laser isotope separation

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C.P.; Reed, J.J.; Cotter, T.P.; Boyer, K.; Greiner, N.R.

    1975-11-26

    A process and apparatus for separating isotopes by selective excitation of isotopic species of a volatile compound by tuned laser light is described. A highly cooled gas of the volatile compound is produced in which the isotopic shift is sharpened and defined. Before substantial condensation occurs, the cooled gas is irradiated with laser light precisely tuned to a desired wavelength to selectively excite a particular isotopic species in the cooled gas. The laser light may impart sufficient energy to the excited species to cause it to undergo photolysis, photochemical reaction or even to photoionize. Alternatively, a two-photon irradiation may be applied to the cooled gas to induce photolysis, photochemical reaction or photoionization. The process is particularly applicable to the separation of isotopes of uranium.

  8. Photochemical isotope separation

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C.P.; Jensen, R.J.; Cotter, T.P.; Greiner, N.R.; Boyer, K.

    1987-04-28

    A process is described for separating isotopes by selective excitation of isotopic species of a volatile compound by tuned laser light. A highly cooled gas of the volatile compound is produced in which the isotopic shift is sharpened and defined. Before substantial condensation occurs, the cooled gas is irradiated with laser light precisely tuned to a desired wavelength to selectively excite a particular isotopic species in the cooled gas. The laser light may impart sufficient energy to the excited species to cause it to undergo photochemical reaction or even to photoionize. Alternatively, a two-photon irradiation may be applied to the cooled gas to induce photochemical reaction or photoionization. The process is particularly applicable to the separation of isotopes of uranium and plutonium. 8 figs.

  9. Laser isotope separation

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C. Paul; Jensen, Reed J.; Cotter, Theodore P.; Boyer, Keith; Greiner, Norman R.

    1988-01-01

    A process and apparatus for separating isotopes by selective excitation of isotopic species of a volatile compound by tuned laser light. A highly cooled gas of the volatile compound is produced in which the isotopic shift is sharpened and defined. Before substantial condensation occurs, the cooled gas is irradiated with laser light precisely tuned to a desired wavelength to selectively excite a particular isotopic species in the cooled gas. The laser light may impart sufficient energy to the excited species to cause it to undergo photolysis, photochemical reaction or even to photoionize. Alternatively, a two-photon irradiation may be applied to the cooled gas to induce photolysis, photochemical reaction or photoionization. The process is particularly applicable to the separation of isotopes of uranium.

  10. Photochemical isotope separation

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C. Paul; Jensen, Reed J.; Cotter, Theodore P.; Greiner, Norman R.; Boyer, Keith

    1987-01-01

    A process for separating isotopes by selective excitation of isotopic species of a volatile compound by tuned laser light. A highly cooled gas of the volatile compound is produced in which the isotopic shift is sharpened and defined. Before substantial condensation occurs, the cooled gas is irradiated with laser light precisely tuned to a desired wavelength to selectively excite a particular isotopic species in the cooled gas. The laser light may impart sufficient energy to the excited species to cause it to undergo photochemical reaction or even to photoionize. Alternatively, a two-photon irradiation may be applied to the cooled gas to induce photochemical reaction or photoionization. The process is particularly applicable to the separation of isotopes of uranium and plutonium.

  11. ISOTOPE FRACTIONATION PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Clewett, G.H.; Lee, DeW.A.

    1958-05-20

    A new method is described for isotopic enrichment of uranium. It has been found that when an aqueous acidic solution of ionic tetravalent uraniunn is contacted with chelate complexed tetravalent uranium, the U/sup 238/ preferentially concentrates in the complexed phase while U/sup 235/ concentrates in the ionic phase. The effect is enhanced when the chelate compound is water insoluble and is dissolved in a water-immiscible organic solvent. Cupferron is one of a number of sultable complexing agents, and chloroform is a suitable organic solvent.

  12. PRODUCTION OF PURIFIED URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Burris, L. Jr.; Knighton, J.B.; Feder, H.M.

    1960-01-26

    A pyrometallurgical method for processing nuclear reactor fuel elements containing uranium and fission products and for reducing uranium compound; to metallic uranium is reported. If the material proccssed is essentially metallic uranium, it is dissolved in zinc, the sulution is cooled to crystallize UZn/sub 9/ , and the UZn/sub 9/ is distilled to obtain uranium free of fission products. If the material processed is a uranium compound, the sollvent is an alloy of zinc and magnesium and the remaining steps are the same.

  13. URANIUM RECOVERY PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Bailes, R.H.; Long, R.S.; Olson, R.S.; Kerlinger, H.O.

    1959-02-10

    A method is described for recovering uranium values from uranium bearing phosphate solutions such as are encountered in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers. The solution is first treated with a reducing agent to obtain all the uranium in the tetravalent state. Following this reduction, the solution is treated to co-precipitate the rcduced uranium as a fluoride, together with other insoluble fluorides, thereby accomplishing a substantially complete recovery of even trace amounts of uranium from the phosphate solution. This precipitate usually takes the form of a complex fluoride precipitate, and after appropriate pre-treatment, the uranium fluorides are leached from this precipitate and rccovered from the leach solution.

  14. Isotope separation and advanced manufacturing technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, J.; Kan, T.

    This is the fourth issue of a semiannual report for the Isotope Separation and Advanced Materials Manufacturing (ISAM) Technology Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Primary objectives include: (1) the Uranium Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (UAVLIS) process, which is being developed and prepared for deployment as an advanced uranium enrichment capability; (2) Advanced manufacturing technologies, which include industrial laser and E-beam material processing and new manufacturing technologies for uranium, plutonium, and other strategically important materials in support of DOE and other national applications. This report features progress in the ISAM Program from October 1993 through March 1994.

  15. Isotope Enrichment Detection by Laser Ablation - Laser Absorption Spectrometry: Automated Environmental Sampling and Laser-Based Analysis for HEU Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Anheier, Norman C.; Bushaw, Bruce A.

    2010-01-01

    The global expansion of nuclear power, and consequently the uranium enrichment industry, requires the development of new safeguards technology to mitigate proliferation risks. Current enrichment monitoring instruments exist that provide only yes/no detection of highly enriched uranium (HEU) production. More accurate accountancy measurements are typically restricted to gamma-ray and weight measurements taken in cylinder storage yards. Analysis of environmental and cylinder content samples have much higher effectiveness, but this approach requires onsite sampling, shipping, and time-consuming laboratory analysis and reporting. Given that large modern gaseous centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs) can quickly produce a significant quantity (SQ ) of HEU, these limitations in verification suggest the need for more timely detection of potential facility misuse. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing an unattended safeguards instrument concept, combining continuous aerosol particulate collection with uranium isotope assay, to provide timely analysis of enrichment levels within low enriched uranium facilities. This approach is based on laser vaporization of aerosol particulate samples, followed by wavelength tuned laser diode spectroscopy to characterize the uranium isotopic ratio through subtle differences in atomic absorption wavelengths. Environmental sampling (ES) media from an integrated aerosol collector is introduced into a small, reduced pressure chamber, where a focused pulsed laser vaporizes material from a 10 to 20-µm diameter spot of the surface of the sampling media. The plume of ejected material begins as high-temperature plasma that yields ions and atoms, as well as molecules and molecular ions. We concentrate on the plume of atomic vapor that remains after the plasma has expanded and then cooled by the surrounding cover gas. Tunable diode lasers are directed through this plume and each isotope is detected by monitoring absorbance

  16. Review of uranium bioassay techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Bogard, J.S.

    1996-04-01

    A variety of analytical techniques is available for evaluating uranium in excreta and tissues at levels appropriate for occupational exposure control and evaluation. A few (fluorometry, kinetic phosphorescence analysis, {alpha}-particle spectrometry, neutron irradiation techniques, and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry) have also been demonstrated as capable of determining uranium in these materials at levels comparable to those which occur naturally. Sample preparation requirements and isotopic sensitivities vary widely among these techniques and should be considered carefully when choosing a method. This report discusses analytical techniques used for evaluating uranium in biological matrices (primarily urine) and limits of detection reported in the literature. No cost comparison is attempted, although references are cited which address cost. Techniques discussed include: {alpha}-particle spectrometry; liquid scintillation spectrometry, fluorometry, phosphorometry, neutron activation analysis, fission-track counting, UV-visible absorption spectrophotometry, resonance ionization mass spectrometry, and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. A summary table of reported limits of detection and of the more important experimental conditions associated with these reported limits is also provided.

  17. METHOD FOR PURIFYING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Knighton, J.B.; Feder, H.M.

    1960-04-26

    A process is given for purifying a uranium-base nuclear material. The nuclear material is dissolved in zinc or a zinc-magnesium alloy and the concentration of magnesium is increased until uranium precipitates.

  18. NICKEL COATED URANIUM ARTICLE

    DOEpatents

    Gray, A.G.

    1958-10-01

    Nickel coatings on uranium and various methods of obtaining such coatings are described. Specifically disclosed are such nickel or nickel alloy layers as barriers between uranium and aluminum- silicon, chromium, or copper coatings.

  19. PROCESS OF PURIFYING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Seaborg, G.T.; Orlemann, E.F.; Jensen, L.H.

    1958-12-23

    A method of obtaining substantially pure uranium from a uranium composition contaminated with light element impurities such as sodium, magnesium, beryllium, and the like is described. An acidic aqueous solution containing tetravalent uranium is treated with a soluble molybdate to form insoluble uranous molybdate which is removed. This material after washing is dissolved in concentrated nitric acid to obtaln a uranyl nitrate solution from which highly purified uranium is obtained by extraction with ether.

  20. Uranium industry annual 1995

    SciTech Connect

    1996-05-01

    The Uranium Industry Annual 1995 (UIA 1995) provides current statistical data on the U.S. uranium industry`s activities relating to uranium raw materials and uranium marketing. The UIA 1995 is prepared for use by the Congress, Federal and State agencies, the uranium and nuclear electric utility industries, and the public. It contains data for the period 1986 through 2005 as collected on the Form EIA-858, ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey``. Data collected on the ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey`` provide a comprehensive statistical characterization of the industry`s plans and commitments for the near-term future. Where aggregate data are presented in the UIA 1995, care has been taken to protect the confidentiality of company-specific information while still conveying accurate and complete statistical data. Data on uranium raw materials activities for 1986 through 1995 including exploration activities and expenditures, EIA-estimated reserves, mine production of uranium, production of uranium concentrate, and industry employment are presented in Chapter 1. Data on uranium marketing activities for 1994 through 2005, including purchases of uranium and enrichment services, enrichment feed deliveries, uranium fuel assemblies, filled and unfilled market requirements, uranium imports and exports, and uranium inventories are shown in Chapter 2. The methodology used in the 1995 survey, including data edit and analysis, is described in Appendix A. The methodologies for estimation of resources and reserves are described in Appendix B. A list of respondents to the ``Uranium Industry Annual Survey`` is provided in Appendix C. For the reader`s convenience, metric versions of selected tables from Chapters 1 and 2 are presented in Appendix D along with the standard conversion factors used. A glossary of technical terms is at the end of the report. 14 figs., 56 tabs.

  1. PREPARATION OF URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Lawroski, S.; Jonke, A.A.; Steunenberg, R.K.

    1959-10-01

    A process is described for preparing uranium hexafluoride from carbonate- leach uranium ore concentrate. The briquetted, crushed, and screened concentrate is reacted with hydrogen fluoride in a fluidized bed, and the uranium tetrafluoride formed is mixed with a solid diluent, such as calcium fluoride. This mixture is fluorinated with fluorine and an inert diluent gas, also in a fluidized bed, and the uranium hexafluoride obtained is finally purified by fractional distillation.

  2. Synthesis of Uranium Trichloride for the Pyrometallurgical Processing of Used Nuclear Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    B.R. Westphal; J.C. Price; R.D. Mariani

    2011-11-01

    The pyroprocessing of used nuclear fuel via electrorefining requires the continued addition of uranium trichloride to sustain operations. Uranium trichloride is utilized as an oxidant in the system to allow separation of uranium metal from the minor actinides and fission products. The inventory of uranium trichloride had diminished to a point that production was necessary to continue electrorefiner operations. Following initial experimentation, cupric chloride was chosen as a reactant with uranium metal to synthesize uranium trichloride. Despite the variability in equipment and charge characteristics, uranium trichloride was produced in sufficient quantities to maintain operations in the electrorefiner. The results and conclusions from several experiments are presented along with a set of optimized operating conditions for the synthesis of uranium trichloride.

  3. Intense alpha-particle emitting crystallites in uranium mill wastes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Landa, E.R.; Stieff, L.R.; Germani, M.S.; Tanner, A.B.; Evans, J.R.

    1994-01-01

    Nuclear emulsion microscopy has demonstrated the presence of small, intense ??-particle emitting crystallites in laboratory-produced tailings derived from the sulfuric acid milling of uranium ores. The ??-particle activity is associated with the isotope pair 210Pb 210Po, and the host mineral appears to be PbSO4 occurring as inclusions in gypsum laths. These particles represent potential inhalation hazards at uranium mill tailings disposal areas. ?? 1994.

  4. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Shaw, W.E.; Spenceley, R.M.; Teetzel, F.M.

    1959-08-01

    A method is presented for producing uranium tetrafluoride from the gaseous hexafluoride by feeding the hexafluoride into a high temperature zone obtained by the recombination of molecularly dissociated hydrogen. The molal ratio of hydrogen to uranium hexnfluoride is preferably about 3 to 1. Uranium tetrafluoride is obtained in a finely divided, anhydrous state.

  5. Uranium Oxide Aerosol Transport in Porous Graphite

    SciTech Connect

    Blanchard, Jeremy; Gerlach, David C.; Scheele, Randall D.; Stewart, Mark L.; Reid, Bruce D.; Gauglitz, Phillip A.; Bagaasen, Larry M.; Brown, Charles C.; Iovin, Cristian; Delegard, Calvin H.; Zelenyuk, Alla; Buck, Edgar C.; Riley, Brian J.; Burns, Carolyn A.

    2012-01-23

    The objective of this paper is to investigate the transport of uranium oxide particles that may be present in carbon dioxide (CO2) gas coolant, into the graphite blocks of gas-cooled, graphite moderated reactors. The transport of uranium oxide in the coolant system, and subsequent deposition of this material in the graphite, of such reactors is of interest because it has the potential to influence the application of the Graphite Isotope Ratio Method (GIRM). The GIRM is a technology that has been developed to validate the declared operation of graphite moderated reactors. GIRM exploits isotopic ratio changes that occur in the impurity elements present in the graphite to infer cumulative exposure and hence the reactor’s lifetime cumulative plutonium production. Reference Gesh, et. al., for a more complete discussion on the GIRM technology.

  6. PROCESS OF RECOVERING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Carter, J.M.; Larson, C.E.

    1958-10-01

    A process is presented for recovering uranium values from calutron deposits. The process consists in treating such deposits to produce an oxidlzed acidic solution containing uranium together with the following imparities: Cu, Fe, Cr, Ni, Mn, Zn. The uranium is recovered from such an impurity-bearing solution by adjusting the pH of the solution to the range 1.5 to 3.0 and then treating the solution with hydrogen peroxide. This results in the precipitation of uranium peroxide which is substantially free of the metal impurities in the solution. The peroxide precipitate is then separated from the solution, washed, and calcined to produce uranium trioxide.

  7. URANIUM SEPARATION PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Hyde, E.K.; Katzin, L.I.; Wolf, M.J.

    1959-07-14

    The separation of uranium from a mixture of uranium and thorium by organic solvent extraction from an aqueous solution is described. The uranium is separrted from an aqueous mixture of uranium and thorium nitrates 3 N in nitric acid and containing salting out agents such as ammonium nitrate, so as to bring ihe total nitrate ion concentration to a maximum of about 8 N by contacting the mixture with an immiscible aliphatic oxygen containing organic solvent such as diethyl carbinol, hexone, n-amyl acetate and the like. The uranium values may be recovered from the organic phase by back extraction with water.

  8. URANIUM RECOVERY PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Yeager, J.H.

    1958-08-12

    In the prior art processing of uranium ores, the ore is flrst digested with nitric acid and filtered, and the uranium values are then extracted tom the filtrate by contacting with an organic solvent. The insoluble residue has been processed separately in order to recover any uranium which it might contain. The improvement consists in contacting a slurry, composed of both solution and residue, with the organic solvent prior to filtration. Tbe result is that uranium values contained in the residue are extracted along with the uranium values contained th the solution in one step.

  9. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Spedding, F.H.; Wilhelm, H.A.; Keller, W.H.

    1958-04-15

    The production of uranium metal by the reduction of uranium tetrafluoride is described. Massive uranium metal of high purily is produced by reacting uranium tetrafluoride with 2 to 20% stoichiometric excess of magnesium at a temperature sufficient to promote the reaction and then mantaining the reaction mass in a sealed vessel at temperature in the range of 1150 to 2000 d C, under a superatomospheric pressure of magnesium for a period of time sufficient 10 allow separation of liquid uranium and liquid magnesium fluoride into separate layers.

  10. Method for converting uranium oxides to uranium metal

    DOEpatents

    Duerksen, Walter K.

    1988-01-01

    A process is described for converting scrap and waste uranium oxide to uranium metal. The uranium oxide is sequentially reduced with a suitable reducing agent to a mixture of uranium metal and oxide products. The uranium metal is then converted to uranium hydride and the uranium hydride-containing mixture is then cooled to a temperature less than -100.degree. C. in an inert liquid which renders the uranium hydride ferromagnetic. The uranium hydride is then magnetically separated from the cool