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Sample records for minor uranium isotopes

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 77 FR 53236 - Proposed International Isotopes Fluorine Extraction Process and Depleted Uranium Deconversion...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-31

    ... COMMISSION Proposed International Isotopes Fluorine Extraction Process and Depleted Uranium Deconversion... International Isotopes Fluorine Extraction Process and Depleted Uranium Deconversion Plant (INIS) in Lea County, New Mexico. On December 30, 2009, International Isotopes Fluorine Products, Inc. (IIFP), a...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. Isotopic exchange of uranium. II. Exchange kinetics in solution-organic-ion exchanger systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ryzhinskii, M.V.; Bronzov, P.A.; Vitinskii, M.Yu.

    1987-07-01

    The results of a study of the sorption of uranium and the kinetics of isotopic exchange between uranium(IV) and uranium(VI) in systems consisting of a hydrochloric acid solution and the KU-2-8P and AV-17-10P ion-exchange resins have been studied. It has been shown that the sorption of uranium is limited by diffusion in the sorbent grains and that isotopic exchange is limited by the reaction between uranium(IV) and uranium(VI).

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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-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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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%.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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].

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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].

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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,...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 10 CFR 74.33 - Nuclear material control and accounting for uranium enrichment facilities authorized to produce...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ...) Protect against and detect production of uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; (3... more in the isotope U235 (for centrifuge enrichment facilities this requirement does not apply to each... uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; and (9) Provide information to aid in...

  20. 10 CFR 74.33 - Nuclear material control and accounting for uranium enrichment facilities authorized to produce...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ...) Protect against and detect production of uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; (3... more in the isotope U235 (for centrifuge enrichment facilities this requirement does not apply to each... uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; and (9) Provide information to aid in...

  1. 10 CFR 74.33 - Nuclear material control and accounting for uranium enrichment facilities authorized to produce...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ...) Protect against and detect production of uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; (3... more in the isotope U235 (for centrifuge enrichment facilities this requirement does not apply to each... uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; and (9) Provide information to aid in...

  2. 10 CFR 74.33 - Nuclear material control and accounting for uranium enrichment facilities authorized to produce...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ...) Protect against and detect production of uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; (3... more in the isotope U235 (for centrifuge enrichment facilities this requirement does not apply to each... uranium enriched to 10 percent or more in the isotope U235; and (9) Provide information to aid in...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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)}.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Evolution of fluid-rock interactions: fluid inclusion, isotopic, and major/minor element chemistry of hydrothermally altered volcanic rock in core RN-17B, Reykjanes, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, A. P.; Zierenberg, R. A.; Schiffman, P.; Marks, N. E.; Fridleifsson, G. O.

    2011-12-01

    . Homogenization temperature (Th) measurements fall into 3 categories: 1) non-homogenizing adjacent to vein walls; 2) inwards of vein wall (Th = 383.6 to 401.5°C); and 3) the vein center (Th = 344.9 to 378.3°C). Laser ablation ICP-MS spot measurements of strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) ratios decrease from the vein edges (0.70500) to the vein centers (0.70400). 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios are overall shifted away from oceanic basalt values towards seawater values. Lower 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the vein centers indicate an evolution of the system to lower water/rock ratios. If this conclusion is correct, lower water/rock ratio may be responsible for salinities greater than seawater in the vein centers following wall rock hydration.

  19. Genetic implications of minor-element and Sr-isotope geochemistry of alkaline rock complexes in the Wet Mountains area, Fremont and Custer counties, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Armbrustmacher, T.J.; Hedge, C.E.

    1982-01-01

    Concentrations of Rb, Sr, and REE (rare earth elements), and Sr-isotopic ratios in rocks of the Cambrian alkaline complexes in the Wet Mountains area, Colorado, show that rocks formed as end-products of a variety of magmas generated from different source materials. The complexes generally contain a bimodal suite of cumulus mafic-ultramafic rocks and younger leucocratic rocks that include nepheline syenite and hornblende-biotite syenite in the McClure Mountain Complex, nepheline syenite pegmatite in the Gem Park Complex, and quartz syenite in the complex at Democrat Creek. The nepheline syenite and hornblende-biotite syenite at McClure Mountain (535??5m.y.) are older than the syenitic rocks at Democrat Creek (511??8m.y.). REE concentrations indicate that the nepheline syenite at McClure Mountain cannot be derived from the hornblende-biotite syenite, which it intrudes, or from the associated mafic-ultramafic rocks. REE also indicate that mafic-ultramafic rocks at McClure Mountain have a source distinct from that of the mafic-ultramafic rocks at Democrat Creek. In the McClure Mountain Complex, initial87Sr/86Sr ratios for mafic-ultramafic rocks (0.7046??0.0002) are similar to those of hornblende-biotite syenite (0.7045??0.0002), suggesting a similar magmatic source, whereas ratios for carbonatites (0.7038??0.0002) are similar to those of nepheline syenite (0.7038??0.0002). At Democrat Creek, initial ratios of syenitic rocks (0.7032??0.0002) and mafic-ultramafic rocks (0.7028??0.0002) are different from those of corresponding rocks at McClure Mountain. ?? 1982 Springer-Verlag.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Isotope Program Report June FY2016

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, Jr, Benjamin E.; Egle, Brian

    2016-09-01

    Isotope Program Monthly Highlights are briefly described. These include data on isotopes shipped, updates on equipment fabrication and testing, a potential new approach for nondestructive measurement of the amount of Cf-252 deposited on a surface, and efforts to recover and purify uranium-234 obtained from old PuBe sources.

  8. 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.

  9. Silent Minority.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, Beth, Ed.

    Discussed in the booklet are approaches for citizens to use in helping the silent minority--mentally retarded (MR) children and adults--attain their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The MR person is described to be one of 6 million retarded Americans, to benefit from education although his ability to learn is limited, to have…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Uranium-series constraints on radionuclide transport and groundwater flow at the Nopal I uranium deposit, Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Steven J; Abdel-Fattah, Amr I; Murrell, Michael T; Dobson, Patrick F; Norman, Deborah E; Amato, Ronald S; Nunn, Andrew J

    2010-03-01

    Uranium-series data for groundwater samples from the Nopal I uranium ore deposit were obtained to place constraints on radionuclide transport and hydrologic processes for a nuclear waste repository located in fractured, unsaturated volcanic tuff. Decreasing uranium concentrations for wells drilled in 2003 are consistent with a simple physical mixing model that indicates that groundwater velocities are low ( approximately 10 m/y). Uranium isotopic constraints, well productivities, and radon systematics also suggest limited groundwater mixing and slow flow in the saturated zone. Uranium isotopic systematics for seepage water collected in the mine adit show a spatial dependence which is consistent with longer water-rock interaction times and higher uranium dissolution inputs at the front adit where the deposit is located. Uranium-series disequilibria measurements for mostly unsaturated zone samples indicate that (230)Th/(238)U activity ratios range from 0.005 to 0.48 and (226)Ra/(238)U activity ratios range from 0.006 to 113. (239)Pu/(238)U mass ratios for the saturated zone are <2 x 10(-14), and Pu mobility in the saturated zone is >1000 times lower than the U mobility. Saturated zone mobility decreases in the order (238)U approximately (226)Ra > (230)Th approximately (239)Pu. Radium and thorium appear to have higher mobility in the unsaturated zone based on U-series data from fractures and seepage water near the deposit.

  16. Uranium-series constraints on radionuclide transport and groundwater flow at the Nopal I uranium deposit, Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Goldstein, S.J.; Abdel-Fattah, A.I.; Murrell, M.T.; Dobson, P.F.; Norman, D.E.; Amato, R.S.; Nunn, A. J.

    2009-10-01

    Uranium-series data for groundwater samples from the Nopal I uranium ore deposit were obtained to place constraints on radionuclide transport and hydrologic processes for a nuclear waste repository located in fractured, unsaturated volcanic tuff. Decreasing uranium concentrations for wells drilled in 2003 are consistent with a simple physical mixing model that indicates that groundwater velocities are low ({approx}10 m/y). Uranium isotopic constraints, well productivities, and radon systematics also suggest limited groundwater mixing and slow flow in the saturated zone. Uranium isotopic systematics for seepage water collected in the mine adit show a spatial dependence which is consistent with longer water-rock interaction times and higher uranium dissolution inputs at the front adit where the deposit is located. Uranium-series disequilibria measurements for mostly unsaturated zone samples indicate that {sup 230}Th/{sup 238}U activity ratios range from 0.005-0.48 and {sup 226}Ra/{sup 238}U activity ratios range from 0.006-113. {sup 239}Pu/{sup 238}U mass ratios for the saturated zone are <2 x 10{sup -14}, and Pu mobility in the saturated zone is >1000 times lower than the U mobility. Saturated zone mobility decreases in the order {sup 238}U{approx}{sup 226}Ra > {sup 230}Th{approx}{sup 239}Pu. Radium and thorium appear to have higher mobility in the unsaturated zone based on U-series data from fractures and seepage water near the deposit.

  17. 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 cooled mixture. The separated uranium hydride is readily converted to uranium metal by heating in an inert atmosphere. This process is environmentally acceptable and eliminates the use of hydrogen fluoride as well as the explosive conditions encountered in the previously employed bomb-reduction processes utilized for converting uranium oxides to uranium metal.

  18. A search for isotopic anomalies in uranium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1980-04-01

    The U-238/U-235 ratios for nine bulk chondritic meteorites and a terrestrial basalt were measured. The total range in U-238/U-235 determined for both total meteorites and for acid leaches was from 137.2 terrestrial U. The typical errors in a single determination are plus or minus 6 per thousand (2 sigma m) for a 2 ng U sample from a chondrite. Taking the extreme values of delta U-235 for each measurement the maximum amount of excess U-235 that can be allowed to be present ranges from 200 million to 2 billion atoms per gram of bulk meteorite. These results do not support the claims of variations in U-238/U-235 at the percentage levels or number of excess U-235 atoms in some of the same meteorites as reported by several other previous workers.

  19. Paragenesis and Geochronology of the Nopal I Uranium Deposit, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    M. Fayek; M. Ren

    2007-02-14

    Uranium deposits can, by analogy, provide important information on the long-term performance of radioactive waste forms and radioactive waste repositories. Their complex mineralogy and variable elemental and isotopic compositions can provide important information, provided that analyses are obtained on the scale of several micrometers. Here, we present a structural model of the Nopal I deposit as well as petrography at the nanoscale coupled with preliminary U-Th-Pb ages and O isotopic compositions of uranium-rich minerals obtained by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). This multi-technique approach promises to provide ''natural system'' data on the corrosion rate of uraninite, the natural analogue of spent nuclear fuel.

  20. 77 FR 73055 - Application for a License To Export High-Enriched Uranium

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-07

    ... XSNM3730 uranium. targets at the HFR 11006054 Research Reactor in the Netherlands, the BR-2 Reactor in Belgium, and the Maria Research Reactor in Poland for ultimate use for production of medical isotopes...

  1. 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... (Continued) OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM (HEU) AGREEMENT ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS General Definitions § 540.317 Uranium feed; natural uranium feed....

  2. Tags to Track Illicit Uranium and Plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Haire, M. Jonathan; Forsberg, Charles W.

    2007-07-01

    With the expansion of nuclear power, it is essential to avoid nuclear materials from falling into the hands of rogue nations, terrorists, and other opportunists. This paper examines the idea of detection and attribution tags for nuclear materials. For a detection tag, it is proposed to add small amounts [about one part per billion (ppb)] of {sup 232}U to enriched uranium to brighten its radioactive signature. Enriched uranium would then be as detectable as plutonium and thus increase the likelihood of intercepting illicit enriched uranium. The use of rare earth oxide elements is proposed as a new type of 'attribution' tag for uranium and thorium from mills, uranium and plutonium fuels, and other nuclear materials. Rare earth oxides are chosen because they are chemically compatible with the fuel cycle, can survive high-temperature processing operations in fuel fabrication, and can be chosen to have minimal neutronic impact within the nuclear reactor core. The mixture of rare earths and/or rare earth isotopes provides a unique 'bar code' for each tag. If illicit nuclear materials are recovered, the attribution tag can identify the source and lot of nuclear material, and thus help police reduce the possible number of suspects in the diversion of nuclear materials based on who had access. (authors)

  3. Uranium-series constraints on subrepository water flow at yucca mountain, nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Neymark, L.A.; Chipera, S.J.; Paces, J.B.; Vaniman, D.T.

    2006-01-01

    Mineral abundances and whole-rock chemical and uranium-series isotopic compositions were measured in unfractured and rubble core samples from borehole USW SD-9 in the same layers of variably zeolitized tuffs that underlie the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions also were measured in pore water from core samples from the same rock units and rock leachates representing loosely bound U adsorbed on mineral surfaces or contained in readily soluble secondary minerals. The chemical and isotopic data were used to evaluate differences in water-rock interaction between fractured and unfractured rock and between fracture surfaces and rock matrix. Samples of unfractured and rubble (fragments about 1 centimeter) core and material from fracture surfaces show similar amounts of uranium-series disequilibrium, recording a complex history of sorption and loss of uranium over the past 1 million years. The data indicate that fractures in zeolitized tuffs may not have had greater amounts of water-rock interaction than the rock matrix. The data also show that rock matrix from subrepository units is capable of scavenging uranium with elevated uranium-234/uranium-238 from percolating water and that retardation of radionuclides and dose reduction may be greater than currently credited to this aspect of the natural barrier. Uranium concentrations of pore water and the rock leachates are used to estimate long-term in situ uranium partition coefficient values greater than 7 milliliters per gram.

  4. Uranium-Series Constraints on Subrepository Water Flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    L.A. Neymark; J.B. Paces; S.J. Chipera; D.T. Vaniman

    2006-03-10

    Mineral abundances and whole-rock chemical and uranium-series isotopic compositions were measured in unfractured and rubble core samples from borehole USWSD-9 in the same layers of variably zeolitized tuffs that underlie the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions also were measured in pore water from core samples from the same rock units and rock leachates representing loosely bound U adsorbed on mineral surfaces or contained in readily soluble secondary minerals. The chemical and isotopic data were used to evaluate differences in water-rock interaction between fractured and unfractured rock and between fracture surfaces and rock matrix. Samples of unfractured and rubble fragments (about 1 centimeter) core and material from fracture surfaces show similar amounts of uranium-series disequilibrium, recording a complex history of sorption and loss of uranium over the past 1 million years. The data indicate that fractures in zeolitized tuffs may not have had greater amounts of water-rock interaction than the rock matrix. The data also show that rock matrix from subrepository units is capable of scavenging uranium with elevated uranium-234/uranium-238 from percolating water and that retardation of radionuclides and dose reduction may be greater than currently credited to this aspect of the natural barrier. Uranium concentrations of pore water and the rock leachates are used to estimate long-term in situ uranium partition coefficient values greater than 7 milliliters per gram.

  5. Depleted uranium analysis in blood by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Todorov, T.I.; Xu, H.; Ejnik, J.W.; Mullick, F.G.; Squibb, K.; McDiarmid, M.A.; Centeno, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    In this study we report depleted uranium (DU) analysis in whole blood samples. Internal exposure to DU causes increased uranium levels as well as change in the uranium isotopic composition in blood specimen. For identification of DU exposure we used the 235U/238U ratio in blood samples, which ranges from 0.00725 for natural uranium to 0.002 for depleted uranium. Uranium quantification and isotopic composition analysis were performed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. For method validation we used eight spiked blood samples with known uranium concentrations and isotopic composition. The detection limit for quantification was determined to be 4 ng L-1 uranium in whole blood. The data reproduced within 1-5% RSD and an accuracy of 1-4%. In order to achieve a 235U/238U ratio range of 0.00698-0.00752% with 99.7% confidence limit a minimum whole blood uranium concentration of 60 ng L??1 was required. An additional 10 samples from a cohort of veterans exposed to DU in Gulf War I were analyzed with no knowledge of their medical history. The measured 235U/ 238U ratios in the blood samples were used to identify the presence or absence of DU exposure within this patient group. ?? 2009 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  6. Innovations in Mass Spectrometry for Precise and Accurate Isotope Ratio Determination from Very Small Analyte Quantities (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, N. S.; Bouman, C.; Horstwood, M. S.; Parrish, R. R.; Schwieters, J. B.

    2010-12-01

    This presentation describes progress in mass spectrometry for analysing very small analyte quantities, illustrated by example applications from nuclear forensics. In this challenging application, precise and accurate (‰) uranium isotope ratios are required from 1 - 2 µm diameter uranium oxide particles, which comprise less than 40 pg of uranium. Traditionally these are analysed using thermal ionisation mass spectrometry (TIMS), and more recently using secondary ionisation mass spectrometry (SIMS). Multicollector inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) can offer higher productivity compared to these techniques, but is traditionally limited by low efficiency of analyte utilisation (sample through to ion detection). Samples can either be introduced as a solution, or sampled directly from solid using laser ablation. Large multi-isotope ratio datasets can help identify provenance and intended use of anthropogenic uranium and other nuclear materials [1]. The Thermo Scientific NEPTUNE Plus (Bremen, Germany) with ‘Jet Interface’ option offers unparalleled MC-ICP-MS sensitivity. An analyte utilisation of c. 4% has previously been reported for uranium [2]. This high-sensitivity configuration utilises a dry high-capacity (100 m3/h) interface pump, special skimmer and sampler cones and a desolvating nebuliser system. Coupled with new acquisition methodologies, this sensitivity enhancement makes possible the analysis of micro-particles and small sample volumes at higher precision levels than previously achieved. New, high-performance, full-size and compact discrete dynode secondary electron multipliers (SEM) exhibit excellent stability and linearity over a large dynamic range and can be configured to simultaneously measure all of the uranium isotopes. Options for high abundance-sensitivity filters on two ion beams are also available, e.g. for 236U and 234U. Additionally, amplifiers with high ohm (1012 - 1013) feedback resistors have been developed to

  7. Welding of uranium and uranium alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Mara, G.L.; Murphy, J.L.

    1982-03-26

    The major reported work on joining uranium comes from the USA, Great Britain, France and the USSR. The driving force for producing this technology base stems from the uses of uranium as a nuclear fuel for energy production, compact structures requiring high density, projectiles, radiation shielding, and nuclear weapons. This review examines the state-of-the-art of this technology and presents current welding process and parameter information. The welding metallurgy of uranium and the influence of microstructure on mechanical properties is developed for a number of the more commonly used welding processes.

  8. Investigation into the Feasibility of Highly Enriched Uranium Detection by External Neutron Stimulation (Expanded Study)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-05-01

    the thorium series which originates with Th232 ; and (3) actinium series, which originates with 235seisaeteoHEanU . The first and the last series...the uranium and actinium series. The principle cargo materials that contain the isotopes would be fertilizers and stones/rocks used for building...i.e. produce false positives) for those cargo materials that contain isotopes in the uranium and actinium series. The principle cargo materials that

  9. Uranium provinces of North America; their definition, distribution, and models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finch, Warren Irvin

    1996-01-01

    initially by hot saline formational water related to diagenesis (1,400 to 1,330 Ma) and later reconcentrated by hydrothermal events at 1,280?1,000, 575, and 225 Ma. Subsequently in North America, only minor uranium mineralization occurred until after continental collision in Permian time (255 Ma). Three principal epochs of uranium mineralization occurred in the CPUP: (1) 210?200 Ma, shortly after Late Triassic sedimentation; (2) 155?150 Ma, in Late Jurassic time; and (3) 135 Ma, after sedimentation of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation. The most likely source of the uranium was silicic volcaniclastics for the three epochs derived from a volcanic island arc at the west edge of the North American continent. Uranium mineralization occurred during Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene times in the RMIBUP, GCUP, and BRUP. Volcanic activity took place near the west edge of the continent during and shortly after sedimentation of the host rocks in these three provinces. Some volcanic centers in the Sierra de Pe?a Blanca district within the BRUP may have provided uranium-rich ash to host rocks in the GCUP. Most of the uranium provinces in North America appear to have a common theme of close associations to volcanic activity related to the development of the western margin of the North American plate. The south and west margin of the Canadian Shield formed the leading edge of the progress of uranium source development and mineralization from the Proterozoic to the present. The development of favorable hosts and sources of uranium is related to various tectonic elements developed over time. Periods of major uranium mineralization in North America were Early Proterozoic, Middle Proterozoic, Late Triassic?Early Jurassic, Early Cretaceous, Oligocene, and Miocene. Tertiary mineralization was the most pervasive, covering most of Western and Southern North America.

  10. Uranium Geochemistry in Hypersaline Soda Lakes in Eastern Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linhoff, B. S.; Bennett, P.; Puntsag, T.

    2007-12-01

    Extremely high concentrations of uranium were discovered in water samples from hypersaline soda lakes in eastern Mongolia. The origin and fate of uranium in these lakes was examined using geochemical analyses and modeling, using samples collected from five lakes, six wells and one stream. Samples were analyzed for strontium and uranium isotopes, cations and trace metals, anions, alkalinity, and unstable field parameters. The lakes are small, shallow (<1Km2, <1m) and terminal; their size fluctuates seasonally and they periodically completely desiccate. The region is characterized by rolling semi arid grassland steppe covered by a thick loess deposit of unknown thickness that is underlain by Neogene rhyolite. A typical groundwater in the field area is alkaline (pH = 7.9, 10.7 meq alk/L), 4.4 ° C, with an average T.D.S. of 1500 and low calcium concentration (20 ppm). A strong linear correlation was found between groundwater and lake water chlorine to bromine ratios implying groundwater discharges to lake water and is subsequently evaporated. Evaporation is intense with lake waters having average chlorine concentrations 300 times that of well waters. Uranium in well samples is higher than typical for shallow groundwaters (7-101ppb) suggesting discharging groundwater as a probable source of uranium in lake water. Concentrations of uranium in lake water ranges from 57-14,900ppb making these lakes possibly the highest naturally occurring uranium concentration reported. Lake water alkalinity is strongly correlated to uranium abundance suggesting uranium is complexed with carbonate as the aqueous species UO2CO3. Consequently, the extremely high alkalinity of the most alkaline lake (pH = 9.8, 1288.8 meq alk/L) also has the highest uranium concentrations. Stable strontium isotopes were used to assess the degree of water rock interactions and the presence of 90Sr was checked for to test the possibility of input of nuclear fallout. 90Sr was not detected in lake water samples

  11. Uranium hexafluoride public risk

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, D.R.; Hui, T.E.; Yurconic, M.; Johnson, J.R.

    1994-08-01

    The limiting value for uranium toxicity in a human being should be based on the concentration of uranium (U) in the kidneys. The threshold for nephrotoxicity appears to lie very near 3 {mu}g U per gram kidney tissue. There does not appear to be strong scientific support for any other improved estimate, either higher or lower than this, of the threshold for uranium nephrotoxicity in a human being. The value 3 {mu}g U per gram kidney is the concentration that results from a single intake of about 30 mg soluble uranium by inhalation (assuming the metabolism of a standard person). The concentration of uranium continues to increase in the kidneys after long-term, continuous (or chronic) exposure. After chronic intakes of soluble uranium by workers at the rate of 10 mg U per week, the concentration of uranium in the kidneys approaches and may even exceed the nephrotoxic limit of 3 {mu}g U per gram kidney tissue. Precise values of the kidney concentration depend on the biokinetic model and model parameters assumed for such a calculation. Since it is possible for the concentration of uranium in the kidneys to exceed 3 {mu}g per gram tissue at an intake rate of 10 mg U per week over long periods of time, we believe that the kidneys are protected from injury when intakes of soluble uranium at the rate of 10 mg U per week do not continue for more than two consecutive weeks. For long-term, continuous occupational exposure to low-level, soluble uranium, we recommend a reduced weekly intake limit of 5 mg uranium to prevent nephrotoxicity in workers. Our analysis shows that the nephrotoxic limit of 3 {mu}g U per gram kidney tissues is not exceeded after long-term, continuous uranium intake at the intake rate of 5 mg soluble uranium per week.

  12. Bioremediation of uranium contamination with enzymatic uranium reduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovley, D.R.; Phillips, E.J.P.

    1992-01-01

    Enzymatic uranium reduction by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans readily removed uranium from solution in a batch system or when D. desulfuricans was separated from the bulk of the uranium-containing water by a semipermeable membrane. Uranium reduction continued at concentrations as high as 24 mM. Of a variety of potentially inhibiting anions and metals evaluated, only high concentrations of copper inhibited uranium reduction. Freeze-dried cells, stored aerobically, reduced uranium as fast as fresh cells. D. desulfuricans reduced uranium in pH 4 and pH 7.4 mine drainage waters and in uraniumcontaining groundwaters from a contaminated Department of Energy site. Enzymatic uranium reduction has several potential advantages over other bioprocessing techniques for uranium removal, the most important of which are as follows: the ability to precipitate uranium that is in the form of a uranyl carbonate complex; high capacity for uranium removal per cell; the formation of a compact, relatively pure, uranium precipitate.

  13. Fuel preparation for use in the production of medical isotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Policke, Timothy A.; Aase, Scott B.; Stagg, William R.

    2016-10-25

    The present invention relates generally to the field of medical isotope production by fission of uranium-235 and the fuel utilized therein (e.g., the production of suitable Low Enriched Uranium (LEU is uranium having 20 weight percent or less uranium-235) fuel for medical isotope production) and, in particular to a method for producing LEU fuel and a LEU fuel product that is suitable for use in the production of medical isotopes. In one embodiment, the LEU fuel of the present invention is designed to be utilized in an Aqueous Homogeneous Reactor (AHR) for the production of various medical isotopes including, but not limited to, molybdenum-99, cesium-137, iodine-131, strontium-89, xenon-133 and yttrium-90.

  14. Process for continuous production of metallic uranium and uranium alloys

    DOEpatents

    Hayden, Jr., Howard W.; Horton, James A.; Elliott, Guy R. B.

    1995-01-01

    A method is described for forming metallic uranium, or a uranium alloy, from uranium oxide in a manner which substantially eliminates the formation of uranium-containing wastes. A source of uranium dioxide is first provided, for example, by reducing uranium trioxide (UO.sub.3), or any other substantially stable uranium oxide, to form the uranium dioxide (UO.sub.2). This uranium dioxide is then chlorinated to form uranium tetrachloride (UCl.sub.4), and the uranium tetrachloride is then reduced to metallic uranium by reacting the uranium chloride with a metal which will form the chloride of the metal. This last step may be carried out in the presence of another metal capable of forming one or more alloys with metallic uranium to thereby lower the melting point of the reduced uranium product. The metal chloride formed during the uranium tetrachloride reduction step may then be reduced in an electrolysis cell to recover and recycle the metal back to the uranium tetrachloride reduction operation and the chlorine gas back to the uranium dioxide chlorination operation.

  15. Process for continuous production of metallic uranium and uranium alloys

    DOEpatents

    Hayden, H.W. Jr.; Horton, J.A.; Elliott, G.R.B.

    1995-06-06

    A method is described for forming metallic uranium, or a uranium alloy, from uranium oxide in a manner which substantially eliminates the formation of uranium-containing wastes. A source of uranium dioxide is first provided, for example, by reducing uranium trioxide (UO{sub 3}), or any other substantially stable uranium oxide, to form the uranium dioxide (UO{sub 2}). This uranium dioxide is then chlorinated to form uranium tetrachloride (UCl{sub 4}), and the uranium tetrachloride is then reduced to metallic uranium by reacting the uranium chloride with a metal which will form the chloride of the metal. This last step may be carried out in the presence of another metal capable of forming one or more alloys with metallic uranium to thereby lower the melting point of the reduced uranium product. The metal chloride formed during the uranium tetrachloride reduction step may then be reduced in an electrolysis cell to recover and recycle the metal back to the uranium tetrachloride reduction operation and the chlorine gas back to the uranium dioxide chlorination operation. 4 figs.

  16. Preparation of uranium compounds

    DOEpatents

    Kiplinger, Jaqueline L; Montreal, Marisa J; Thomson, Robert K; Cantat, Thibault; Travia, Nicholas E

    2013-02-19

    UI.sub.3(1,4-dioxane).sub.1.5 and UI.sub.4(1,4-dioxane).sub.2, were synthesized in high yield by reacting turnings of elemental uranium with iodine dissolved in 1,4-dioxane under mild conditions. These molecular compounds of uranium are thermally stable and excellent precursor materials for synthesizing other molecular compounds of uranium including alkoxide, amide, organometallic, and halide compounds.

  17. Metals fact sheet - uranium

    SciTech Connect

    1996-04-01

    About 147 million pounds of this radioactive element are consumed annually by the worldwide nuclear power and weapons industries, as well as in the manufacture of ceramics and metal products. The heaviest naturally occurring element, uranium is typically found in intrusive granites, igneous and metamorphic veins, tabular sedimentary deposits, and unconformity-related structures. This article discusses the geology, exploitation, market, and applications of uranium and uranium ores.

  18. Elevated Uranium in Aquifers of the Jacobsville Sandstone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, H.; Gierke, J.

    2003-12-01

    The EPA has announced a new standard for uranium in drinking water of 30 parts per billion (ppb). This maximum contaminant level (MCL) takes effect for community water supplies December 2003. The EPA's ruling has heightened awareness among residential well owners that uranium in drinking water may increase the risk of kidney disease and cancer and has created a need for a quantified, scientific understanding of the occurrence and distribution of uranium isotopes in aquifers. The authors are investigating the occurrence of elevated uranium in northern Michigan aquifers of the Middle Proterozoic Jacobsville sandstone, a red to mottled sequence of sandstones, conglomerates, siltstones and shales deposited as basin fill in the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift. Approximately 25% of 300 well water samples tested for isotopic uranium have concentrations above the MCL. Elevated uranium occurrences are distributed throughout the Jacobsville sandstone aquifers stretching across Michigan's Upper Peninsula. However, there is significant variation in well water uranium concentrations (from 0.01 to 190 ppb) and neighboring wells do not necessarily have similar concentrations. The authors are investigating hydrogeologic controls on ground water uranium concentrations in the Jacobsville sandstone, e.g. variations in lithology, mineralogy, groundwater residence time and geochemistry. Approximately 2000' of Jacobsville core from the Amoco St. Amour well was examined in conjunction with the spectral gamma ray log run in the borehole. Spikes in equivalent uranium (eU) concentration from the log are frequently associated with clay and heavy mineral layers in the sandstone core. The lithology and mineralogy of these layers will be determined by analysis of thin sections and x-ray diffraction. A portable spectrometer, model GRS-2000/BL, will be used on the sandstone cliffs along Lake Superior to characterize depositional and lithologic facies of the Jacobsville sandstone in terms of

  19. METHOD OF ROLLING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Smith, C.S.

    1959-08-01

    A method is described for rolling uranium metal at relatively low temperatures and under non-oxidizing conditions. The method involves the steps of heating the uranium to 200 deg C in an oil bath, withdrawing the uranium and permitting the oil to drain so that only a thin protective coating remains and rolling the oil coated uranium at a temperature of 200 deg C to give about a 15% reduction in thickness at each pass. The operation may be repeated to accomplish about a 90% reduction without edge cracking, checking or any appreciable increase in brittleness.

  20. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Ruehle, A.E.; Stevenson, J.W.

    1957-11-12

    An improved process is described for the magnesium reduction of UF/sub 4/ to produce uranium metal. In the past, there have been undesirable premature reactions between the Mg and the bomb liner or the UF/sub 4/ before the actual ignition of the bomb reaction. Since these premature reactions impair the yield of uranium metal, they have been inhibited by forming a protective film upon the particles of Mg by reacting it with hydrated uranium tetrafluoride, sodium bifluoride, uranyl fluoride, or uranium trioxide. This may be accomplished by adding about 0.5 to 2% of the additive to the bomb charge.

  1. Uranium Dispersion & Dosimetry Model.

    SciTech Connect

    MICHAEL,; MOMENI, H.

    2002-03-22

    The Uranium Dispersion and Dosimetry (UDAD) program provides estimates of potential radiation exposure to individuals and to the general population in the vicinity of a uranium processing facility such as a uranium mine or mill. Only transport through the air is considered. Exposure results from inhalation, external irradiation from airborne and ground-deposited activity, and ingestion of foodstuffs. Individual dose commitments, population dose commitments, and environmental dose commitments are computed. The program was developed for application to uranium mining and milling; however, it may be applied to dispersion of any other pollutant.

  2. COATING URANIUM FROM CARBONYLS

    DOEpatents

    Gurinsky, D.H.; Storrs, S.S.

    1959-07-14

    Methods are described for making adherent corrosion resistant coatings on uranium metal. According to the invention, the uranium metal is heated in the presence of an organometallic compound such as the carbonyls of nickel, molybdenum, chromium, niobium, and tungsten at a temperature sufficient to decompose the metal carbonyl and dry plate the resultant free metal on the surface of the uranium metal body. The metal coated body is then further heated at a higher temperature to thermally diffuse the coating metal within the uranium bcdy.

  3. URANIUM RECOVERY PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Kaufman, D.

    1958-04-15

    A process of recovering uranium from very low-grade ore residues is described. These low-grade uraniumcontaining hydroxide precipitates, which also contain hydrated silica and iron and aluminum hydroxides, are subjected to multiple leachings with aqueous solutions of sodium carbonate at a pH of at least 9. This leaching serves to selectively extract the uranium from the precipitate, but to leave the greater part of the silica, iron, and aluminum with the residue. The uranium is then separated from the leach liquor by the addition of an acid in sufficient amount to destroy the carbonate followed by the addition of ammonia to precipitate uranium as ammonium diuranate.

  4. Forensic analysis of uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Stoyer, N.J.; Moody, K.J.

    1996-10-01

    As more and more offers for illicit {open_quotes}Black Market{close_quotes} radioactive materials are found, the forensic information contained within the radioactive material itself becomes more important. Many {open_quotes}Black Market{close_quotes} offers are for uranium in various forms and enrichments. Although most are scams, some countries have actually interdicted enriched uranium. We will discuss the forensic information that can be obtained from materials containing uranium along with examples of data that has been determined from analysis of uranium samples obtained from legitimate sources.

  5. Calculating Capstone depleted uranium aerosol concentrations from beta activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Szrom, Frances; Falo, Gerald A; Parkhurst, Mary Ann; Whicker, Jeffrey J; Alberth, David P

    2009-03-01

    Beta activity measurements were used as surrogate measurements of uranium mass in aerosol samples collected during the field testing phase of the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study. These aerosol samples generated by the perforation of armored combat vehicles were used to characterize the DU source term for the subsequent Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) of Capstone aerosols. Establishing a calibration curve between beta activity measurements and uranium mass measurements is straightforward if the uranium isotopes are in equilibrium with their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny. For DU samples collected during the Capstone study, it was determined that the equilibrium between the uranium isotopes and their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny had been disrupted when penetrators had perforated target vehicles. Adjustments were made to account for the disrupted equilibrium and for wall losses in the aerosol samplers. Values for the equilibrium fraction ranged from 0.16 to 1, and the wall loss correction factors ranged from 1 to 1.92. This paper describes the process used and adjustments necessary to calculate uranium mass from proportional counting measurements.

  6. URANIUM LEACHING AND RECOVERY PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    McClaine, L.A.

    1959-08-18

    A process is described for recovering uranium from carbonate leach solutions by precipitating uranium as a mixed oxidation state compound. Uranium is recovered by adding a quadrivalent uranium carbon;te solution to the carbonate solution, adjusting the pH to 13 or greater, and precipitating the uranium as a filterable mixed oxidation state compound. In the event vanadium occurs with the uranium, the vanadium is unaffected by the uranium precipitation step and remains in the carbonate solution. The uranium-free solution is electrolyzed in the cathode compartment of a mercury cathode diaphragm cell to reduce and precipitate the vanadium.

  7. Isotope separation by laser means

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C. Paul; Jensen, Reed J.; Cotter, Theodore P.; Greiner, Norman R.; Boyer, Keith

    1982-06-15

    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.

  8. URANIUM DETECTION USING SMALL SCINTILLATORS IN A MARITIME ENVIRONMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Hofstetter, K; Donna Beals, D; Ken Odell, K

    2006-05-12

    The performance of several commercially available portable radiation spectrometers containing small NaI(Tl) scintillation detectors has been studied at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). These hand-held radioisotope identifiers are used by field personnel to detect and identify the illegal transport of uranium as a deterrent to undeclared nuclear proliferation or nuclear terrorism. The detection of uranium in a variety of chemical forms and isotopic enrichments presents some unique challenges in the maritime environment. This study was conducted using a variety of shielded and unshielded uranium sources in a simulated maritime environment. The results include estimates of the detection sensitivity for various isotopic enrichments and configurations using the manufacturer's spectral analysis firmware. More sophisticated methods for analyzing the spectra off-line are also evaluated to determine the detection limits and enrichment sensitivities from the field measurements.

  9. Uranium industry annual 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-09-01

    Uranium production in the United States has declined dramatically from a peak of 43.7 million pounds U{sub 3}O{sub 8} (16.8 thousand metric tons uranium (U)) in 1980 to 3.1 million pounds U{sub 3}O{sub 8} (1.2 thousand metric tons U) in 1993. This decline is attributed to the world uranium market experiencing oversupply and intense competition. Large inventories of uranium accumulated when optimistic forecasts for growth in nuclear power generation were not realized. The other factor which is affecting U.S. uranium production is that some other countries, notably Australia and Canada, possess higher quality uranium reserves that can be mined at lower costs than those of the United States. Realizing its competitive advantage, Canada was the world`s largest producer in 1993 with an output of 23.9 million pounds U{sub 3}O{sub 8} (9.2 thousand metric tons U). The U.S. uranium industry, responding to over a decade of declining market prices, has downsized and adopted less costly and more efficient production methods. The main result has been a suspension of production from conventional mines and mills. Since mid-1992, only nonconventional production facilities, chiefly in situ leach (ISL) mining and byproduct recovery, have operated in the United States. In contrast, nonconventional sources provided only 13 percent of the uranium produced in 1980. ISL mining has developed into the most cost efficient and environmentally acceptable method for producing uranium in the United States. The process, also known as solution mining, differs from conventional mining in that solutions are used to recover uranium from the ground without excavating the ore and generating associated solid waste. This article describes the current ISL Yang technology and its regulatory approval process, and provides an analysis of the factors favoring ISL mining over conventional methods in a declining uranium market.

  10. A Graphical Examination of Uranium and Plutonium Fissility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, B. Cameron

    2008-01-01

    The issue of why only particular isotopes of uranium and plutonium are suitable for use in nuclear weapons is analyzed with the aid of graphs and semiquantitative discussions of parameters such as excitation energies, fission barriers, reaction cross-sections, and the role of processes such as [alpha]-decay and spontaneous fission. The goal is to…

  11. Uranium in the Surrounding of San Marcos-Sacramento River Environment (Chihuahua, Mexico)

    PubMed Central

    Rentería-Villalobos, Marusia; Cortés, Manuel Reyes; Mantero, Juan; Manjón, Guillermo; García-Tenorio, Rafael; Herrera, Eduardo; Montero-Cabrera, Maria Elena

    2012-01-01

    The main interest of this study is to assess whether uranium deposits located in the San Marcos outcrops (NW of Chihuahua City, Mexico) could be considered as a source of U-isotopes in its surrounding environment. Uranium activity concentrations were determined in biota, ground, and surface water by either alpha or liquid scintillation spectrometries. Major ions were analyzed by ICP-OES in surface water and its suspended matter. For determining uranium activity in biota, samples were divided in parts. The results have shown a possible lixiviation and infiltration of uranium from geological substrate into the ground and surface water, and consequently, a transfer to biota. Calculated annual effective doses by ingestion suggest that U-isotopes in biota could not negligibly contribute to the neighboring population dose. By all these considerations, it is concluded that in this zone there is natural enhancement of uranium in all environmental samples analyzed in the present work. PMID:22536148

  12. Uranium in the surrounding of San Marcos-Sacramento River environment (Chihuahua, Mexico).

    PubMed

    Rentería-Villalobos, Marusia; Cortés, Manuel Reyes; Mantero, Juan; Manjón, Guillermo; García-Tenorio, Rafael; Herrera, Eduardo; Montero-Cabrera, Maria Elena

    2012-01-01

    The main interest of this study is to assess whether uranium deposits located in the San Marcos outcrops (NW of Chihuahua City, Mexico) could be considered as a source of U-isotopes in its surrounding environment. Uranium activity concentrations were determined in biota, ground, and surface water by either alpha or liquid scintillation spectrometries. Major ions were analyzed by ICP-OES in surface water and its suspended matter. For determining uranium activity in biota, samples were divided in parts. The results have shown a possible lixiviation and infiltration of uranium from geological substrate into the ground and surface water, and consequently, a transfer to biota. Calculated annual effective doses by ingestion suggest that U-isotopes in biota could not negligibly contribute to the neighboring population dose. By all these considerations, it is concluded that in this zone there is natural enhancement of uranium in all environmental samples analyzed in the present work.

  13. RAPID QUANTITATION OF URANIUM FROM MIXED FISSION PRODUCT SAMPLES

    SciTech Connect

    Haney, Morgan M.; Seiner, Brienne N.; Finn, Erin C.; Friese, Judah I.

    2016-03-09

    Chemical similarities between U(VI) and Mo(VI) create challenges for separation and quantification of uranium from a mixed fission product sample. The purpose of this work was to demonstrate the feasibility of using Eichrom’s® UTEVA resin in addition to a tellurium spontaneous deposition to improve the quantitation of 235U using gamma spectroscopy. The optimized method demonstrated a consistent chemical yield of 74 ± 3 % for uranium. This procedure was evaluated using 1.41x1012 fissions produced from an irradiated HEU sample. The uranium was isotopically yielded by HPGe, and the minimum detectable activity (MDA) determined from the gamma spectra. The MDA for 235U, 237U, and 238U was reduced by a factor of two. The chemical isolation of uranium was successfully achieved in less than four hours, with a separation factor of 1.41x105 from molybdenum.

  14. DECONTAMINATION OF URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Spedding, F.H.; Butler, T.A.

    1962-05-15

    A process is given for separating fission products from uranium by extracting the former into molten aluminum. Phase isolation can be accomplished by selectively hydriding the uranium at between 200 and 300 deg C and separating the hydride powder from coarse particles of fissionproduct-containing aluminum. (AEC)

  15. URANIUM SEPARATION PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    McVey, W.H.; Reas, W.H.

    1959-03-10

    The separation of uranium from an aqueous solution containing a water soluble uranyl salt is described. The process involves adding an alkali thiocyanate to the aqueous solution, contacting the resulting solution with methyl isobutyl ketons and separating the resulting aqueous and organic phase. The uranium is extracted in the organic phase as UO/sub 2/(SCN)/sub/.

  16. Uranium and Thorium

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finch, Warren I.

    1978-01-01

    The results of President Carter's policy on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons are expected to slow the growth rate in energy consumption, put the development of the breeder reactor in question, halt plans to reprocess and recycle uranium and plutonium, and expand facilities to supply enriched uranium. (Author/MA)

  17. 16. VIEW OF THE ENRICHED URANIUM RECOVERY SYSTEM. ENRICHED URANIUM ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    16. VIEW OF THE ENRICHED URANIUM RECOVERY SYSTEM. ENRICHED URANIUM RECOVERY PROCESSED RELATIVELY PURE MATERIALS AND SOLUTIONS AND SOLID RESIDUES WITH RELATIVELY LOW URANIUM CONTENT. URANIUM RECOVERY INVOLVED BOTH SLOW AND FAST PROCESSES. (4/4/66) - Rocky Flats Plant, General Manufacturing, Support, Records-Central Computing, Southern portion of Plant, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  18. Environmental consequences of uranium atmospheric releases from fuel cycle facility: II. The atmospheric deposition of uranium and thorium on plants.

    PubMed

    Pourcelot, L; Masson, O; Renaud, P; Cagnat, X; Boulet, B; Cariou, N; De Vismes-Ott, A

    2015-03-01

    Uranium and thorium isotopes were measured in cypress leaves, wheat grains and lettuce taken in the surroundings of the uranium conversion facility of Malvési (South of France). The comparison of activity levels and activity ratios (namely (238)U/(232)Th and (230)Th/(232)Th) in plants with those in aerosols taken at this site and plants taken far from it shows that aerosols emitted by the nuclear site (uranium releases in the atmosphere by stacks and (230)Th-rich particles emitted from artificial ponds collecting radioactive waste mud) accounts for the high activities recorded in the plant samples close to the site. The atmospheric deposition process onto the plants appears to be the dominant process in plant contamination. Dry deposition velocities of airborne uranium and thorium were measured as 4.6 × 10(-3) and 5.0 × 10(-3) m s(-1), respectively.

  19. URANIUM PRECIPITATION PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Thunaes, A.; Brown, E.A.; Smith, H.W.; Simard, R.

    1957-12-01

    A method for the recovery of uranium from sulfuric acid solutions is described. In the present process, sulfuric acid is added to the uranium bearing solution to bring the pH to between 1 and 1.8, preferably to about 1.4, and aluminum metal is then used as a reducing agent to convert hexavalent uranium to the tetravalent state. As the reaction proceeds, the pH rises amd a selective precipitation of uranium occurs resulting in a high grade precipitate. This process is an improvement over the process using metallic iron, in that metallic aluminum reacts less readily than metallic iron with sulfuric acid, thus avoiding consumption of the reducing agent and a raising of the pH without accomplishing the desired reduction of the hexavalent uranium in the solution. Another disadvantage to the use of iron is that positive ferric ions will precipitate with negative phosphate and arsenate ions at the pH range employed.

  20. Uranium triamidoamine chemistry.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Benedict M; Liddle, Stephen T

    2015-07-07

    Triamidoamine (Tren) complexes of the p- and d-block elements have been well-studied, and they display a diverse array of chemistry of academic, industrial and biological significance. Such in-depth investigations are not as widespread for Tren complexes of uranium, despite the general drive to better understand the chemical behaviour of uranium by virtue of its fundamental position within the nuclear sector. However, the chemistry of Tren-uranium complexes is characterised by the ability to stabilise otherwise reactive, multiply bonded main group donor atom ligands, construct uranium-metal bonds, promote small molecule activation, and support single molecule magnetism, all of which exploit the steric, electronic, thermodynamic and kinetic features of the Tren ligand system. This Feature Article presents a current account of the chemistry of Tren-uranium complexes.

  1. Uranium dioxide electrolysis

    DOEpatents

    Willit, James L.; Ackerman, John P.; Williamson, Mark A.

    2009-12-29

    This is a single stage process for treating spent nuclear fuel from light water reactors. The spent nuclear fuel, uranium oxide, UO.sub.2, is added to a solution of UCl.sub.4 dissolved in molten LiCl. A carbon anode and a metallic cathode is positioned in the molten salt bath. A power source is connected to the electrodes and a voltage greater than or equal to 1.3 volts is applied to the bath. At the anode, the carbon is oxidized to form carbon dioxide and uranium chloride. At the cathode, uranium is electroplated. The uranium chloride at the cathode reacts with more uranium oxide to continue the reaction. The process may also be used with other transuranic oxides and rare earth metal oxides.

  2. Preserving Ultra-Pure Uranium-233

    SciTech Connect

    Krichinsky, Alan M; Goldberg, Dr. Steven A.; Hutcheon, Dr. Ian D.

    2011-10-01

    Uranium-233 ({sup 233}U) is a synthetic isotope of uranium formed under reactor conditions during neutron capture by natural thorium ({sup 232}Th). At high purities, this synthetic isotope serves as a crucial reference material for accurately quantifying and characterizing uranium-bearing materials assays and isotopic distributions for domestic and international nuclear safeguards. Separated, high purity {sup 233}U is stored in vaults at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). These materials represent a broad spectrum of {sup 233}U from the standpoint of isotopic purity - the purest being crucial for precise analyses in safeguarding uranium. All {sup 233}U at ORNL is currently scheduled to be disposed of by down-blending with depleted uranium beginning in 2015. This will reduce safety concerns and security costs associated with storage. Down-blending this material will permanently destroy its potential value as a certified reference material for use in uranium analyses. Furthermore, no credible options exist for replacing {sup 233}U due to the lack of operating production capability and the high cost of restarting currently shut down capabilities. A study was commissioned to determine the need for preserving high-purity {sup 233}U. This study looked at the current supply and the historical and continuing domestic need for this crucial isotope. It examined the gap in supplies and uses to meet domestic needs and extrapolated them in the context of international safeguards and security activities - superimposed on the recognition that existing supplies are being depleted while candidate replacement material is being prepared for disposal. This study found that the total worldwide need by this projection is at least 850 g of certified {sup 233}U reference material over the next 50 years. This amount also includes a strategic reserve. To meet this need, 18 individual items totaling 959 g of {sup 233}U were identified as candidates for establishing a lasting supply of

  3. A convenient method for discriminating between natural and depleted uranium by gamma-ray spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Shoji, M; Hamajima, Y; Takatsuka, K; Honoki, H; Nakajima, T; Kondo, T; Nakanishi, T

    2001-08-01

    A convenient method for discriminating between natural and depleted uranium reagent was developed by measuring and analyzing the gamma-ray spectra of some reagents with no standard source. The counting rates (R) of photoelectric peaks of gamma-rays from nuclides with the same radioactivity divided by their emission probability (B) are expressed as a function of gamma-ray energy. The radioactivities of 234Th and 234mPa and 21.72 times that of 235U are equal to the radioactivity of 235U in natural uranium. Therefore, the plot of 21.72-fold R/B for 235U should be on a curve fitted to the points for 234Th and 234mPa in natural uranium. Depleted uranium with a 235U isotopic composition of less than 0.68% could be discriminated from natural uranium in the case of a reagent containing 4.0 g of uranium.

  4. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA.

    PubMed

    Kayzar, Theresa M; Villa, Adam C; Lobaugh, Megan L; Gaffney, Amy M; Williams, Ross W

    2014-10-01

    The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. The ((234)U)/((238)U) composition of Red Rock Creek is altered downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water ((234)U)/((238)U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114-1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activity ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041-1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (∼70-80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.

  5. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA

    DOE PAGES

    Kayzar, Theresa M.; Villa, Adam C.; Lobaugh, Megan L.; ...

    2014-06-07

    The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. Furthermore, we alter the (234U)/(238U) composition of Red Rock Creek downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water (234U)/(238U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114–1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activitymore » ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041–1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (~70–80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Furthermore, contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.« less

  6. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA

    SciTech Connect

    Kayzar, Theresa M.; Villa, Adam C.; Lobaugh, Megan L.; Gaffney, Amy M.; Williams, Ross W.

    2014-06-07

    The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. Furthermore, we alter the (234U)/(238U) composition of Red Rock Creek downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water (234U)/(238U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114–1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activity ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041–1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (~70–80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Furthermore, contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.

  7. PROCESS OF RECOVERING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Kilner, S.B.

    1959-12-29

    A method is presented for separating and recovering uranium from a complex mixure of impurities. The uranium is dissolved to produce an aqueous acidic solution including various impurities. In accordance with one method, with the uranium in the uranyl state, hydrogen cyanide is introduced into the solution to complex the impurities. Subsequently, ammonia is added to the solution to precipitate the uraniunn as ammonium diuranate away from the impurities in the solution. Alternatively, the uranium is precipitated by adding an alkaline metal hydroxide. In accordance with the second method, the uranium is reduced to the uranous state in the solution. The reduced solution is then treated with solid alkali metal cyanide sufficient to render the solution about 0.1 to 1.0 N in cyanide ions whereat cyanide complex ions of the metal impurities are produced and the uranium is simultaneously precipituted as uranous hydroxide. Alternatively, hydrogen cyanide may be added to the reduced solution and the uranium precipitated subsequently by adding ammonium hydroxide or an alkali metal hydroxide. Other refinements of the method are also disclosed.

  8. Apparatus for storing hydrogen isotopes

    DOEpatents

    McMullen, John W.; Wheeler, Michael G.; Cullingford, Hatice S.; Sherman, Robert H.

    1985-01-01

    An improved method and apparatus for storing isotopes of hydrogen (especially tritium) are provided. The hydrogen gas(es) is (are) 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 forming at a significantly lower temperature).

  9. Performance Assessment Transport Modeling of Uranium at the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site at the Nevada National Security Site

    SciTech Connect

    NSTec Radioactive Waste

    2010-10-12

    Following is a brief summary of the assumptions that are pertinent to the radioactive isotope transport in the GoldSim Performance Assessment model of the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site, with special emphasis on the water-phase reactive transport of uranium, which includes depleted uranium products.

  10. Uranium facilitated transport by water-dispersible colloids in field and soil columns.

    PubMed

    Crançon, P; Pili, E; Charlet, L

    2010-04-01

    The transport of uranium through a sandy podzolic soil has been investigated in the field and in column experiments. Field monitoring, numerous years after surface contamination by depleted uranium deposits, revealed a 20 cm deep uranium migration in soil. Uranium retention in soil is controlled by the <50 microm mixed humic and clayey coatings in the first 40 cm i.e. in the E horizon. Column experiments of uranium transport under various conditions were run using isotopic spiking. After 100 pore volumes elution, 60% of the total input uranium is retained in the first 2 cm of the column. Retardation factor of uranium on E horizon material ranges from 1300 (column) to 3000 (batch). In parallel to this slow uranium migration, we experimentally observed a fast elution related to humic colloids of about 1-5% of the total-uranium input, transferred at the mean porewater velocity through the soil column. In order to understand the effect of rain events, ionic strength of the input solution was sharply changed. Humic colloids are retarded when ionic strength increases, while a major mobilization of humic colloids and colloid-borne uranium occurs as ionic strength decreases. Isotopic spiking shows that both (238)U initially present in the soil column and (233)U brought by input solution are desorbed. The mobilization process observed experimentally after a drop of ionic strength may account for a rapid uranium migration in the field after a rainfall event, and for the significant uranium concentrations found in deep soil horizons and in groundwater, 1 km downstream from the pollution source.

  11. India's Worsening Uranium Shortage

    SciTech Connect

    Curtis, Michael M.

    2007-01-15

    As a result of NSG restrictions, India cannot import the natural uranium required to fuel its Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs); consequently, it is forced to rely on the expediency of domestic uranium production. However, domestic production from mines and byproduct sources has not kept pace with demand from commercial reactors. This shortage has been officially confirmed by the Indian Planning Commission’s Mid-Term Appraisal of the country’s current Five Year Plan. The report stresses that as a result of the uranium shortage, Indian PHWR load factors have been continually decreasing. The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) operates a number of underground mines in the Singhbhum Shear Zone of Jharkhand, and it is all processed at a single mill in Jaduguda. UCIL is attempting to aggrandize operations by establishing new mines and mills in other states, but the requisite permit-gathering and development time will defer production until at least 2009. A significant portion of India’s uranium comes from byproduct sources, but a number of these are derived from accumulated stores that are nearing exhaustion. A current maximum estimate of indigenous uranium production is 430t/yr (230t from mines and 200t from byproduct sources); whereas, the current uranium requirement for Indian PHWRs is 455t/yr (depending on plant capacity factor). This deficit is exacerbated by the additional requirements of the Indian weapons program. Present power generation capacity of Indian nuclear plants is 4350 MWe. The power generation target set by the Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is 20,000 MWe by the year 2020. It is expected that around half of this total will be provided by PHWRs using indigenously supplied uranium with the bulk of the remainder provided by breeder reactors or pressurized water reactors using imported low-enriched uranium.

  12. Paleo-channel deposition of natural uranium at a US Air Force landfill

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Carl; Weismann, Joseph; Caputo, Daniel

    2007-07-01

    Available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: The US Air Force sought to identify the source of radionuclides that were detected in groundwater surrounding a closed solid waste landfill at the former Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado, USA. Gross alpha, gross beta, and uranium levels in groundwater were thought to exceed US drinking water standards and down-gradient concentrations exceeded up-gradient concentrations. Our study has concluded that the elevated radionuclide concentrations are due to naturally-occurring uranium in the regional watershed and that the uranium is being released from paleo-channel sediments beneath the site. Groundwater samples were collected from monitor wells, surface water and sediments over four consecutive quarters. A list of 23 radionuclides was developed for analysis based on historical landfill records. Concentrations of major ions and metals and standard geochemical parameters were analyzed. The only radionuclide found to be above regulatory standards was uranium. A search of regional records shows that uranium is abundant in the upstream drainage basin. Analysis of uranium isotopic ratios shows that the uranium has not been processed for enrichment nor is it depleted uranium. There is however slight enrichment in the U-234:U- 238 activity ratio, which is consistent with uranium that has undergone aqueous transport. Comparison of up-gradient versus down-gradient uranium concentrations in groundwater confirms that higher uranium concentrations are found in the down-gradient wells. The US drinking water standard of 30 {mu}g/L for uranium was exceeded in some of the up-gradient wells and in most of the down-gradient wells. Several lines of evidence indicate that natural uranium occurring in streams has been preferentially deposited in paleo-channel sediments beneath the site, and that the paleo-channel deposits are causing the increased uranium concentrations in down-gradient groundwater compared to up

  13. Porous membrane electrochemical cell for uranium and transuranic recovery from molten salt electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Willit, James L.

    2010-09-21

    An improved process and device for the recovery of the minor actinides and the transuranic elements (TRU's) from a molten salt electrolyte. The process involves placing the device, an electrically non-conducting barrier between an anode salt and a cathode salt. The porous barrier allows uranium to diffuse between the anode and cathode, yet slows the diffusion of uranium ions so as to cause depletion of uranium ions in the catholyte. This allows for the eventual preferential deposition of transuranics present in spent nuclear fuel such as Np, Pu, Am, Cm. The device also comprises an uranium oxidation anode. The oxidation anode is solid uranium metal in the form of spent nuclear fuel. The spent fuel is placed in a ferric metal anode basket which serves as the electrical lead or contact between the molten electrolyte and the anodic uranium metal.

  14. Porous membrane electrochemical cell for uranium and transuranic recovery from molten salt electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Willit, James L.

    2007-09-11

    An improved process and device for the recovery of the minor actinides and the transuranic elements (TRU's) from a molten salt electrolyte. The process involves placing the device, an electrically non-conducting barrier between an anode salt and a cathode salt. The porous barrier allows uranium to diffuse between the anode and cathode, yet slows the diffusion of uranium ions so as to cause depletion of uranium ions in the catholyte. This allows for the eventual preferential deposition of transuranics present in spent nuclear fuel such as Np, Pu, Am, Cm. The device also comprises an uranium oxidation anode. The oxidation anode is solid uranium metal in the form of spent nuclear fuel. The spent fuel is placed in a ferric metal anode basket which serves as the electrical lead or contact between the molten electrolyte and the anodic uranium metal.

  15. Minority Language Rights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O Riagain, Padraig; Shuibhne, Niamh Nic

    1997-01-01

    A survey of literature since 1990 on minority languages and language rights focuses on five issues: definition of minorities; individual vs. collective rights; legal bases for minority linguistic rights; applications and interpretations of minority language rights; and assessments of the impact of minority rights legislation. A nine-item annotated…

  16. Uptake and mobility of uranium in black oaks: implications for biomonitoring depleted uranium-contaminated groundwater.

    PubMed

    Edmands, J D; Brabander, D J; Coleman, D S

    2001-08-01

    In a preliminary study, the uptake and the mobility of uranium (U) by black oak trees (Quercus velutina) were assessed by measuring the isotopic composition of tree rings in two mature oak trees in a heavy metal contaminated bog in Concord, MA. The bog is adjacent to a nuclear industrial facility that has been processing depleted uranium (DU) since 1959. Over the past 40 years, DU has been leaking from an onsite holding basin and cooling pond down gradient to the bog where the oaks are located. Because DU has no source outside the nuclear industry, contamination from the industrial facility is readily discernable from uptake of natural U by measuring isotopic compositions. Isotope ratio analysis confirms the occurrence of DU in bark, sapwood and heartwood tree rings dating back to 1937, pre-dating the introduction of DU at the site by at least 20 years. Isotope dilution analysis indicates high concentrations of U (>3 ppb) in sapwood that drop rapidly to relatively constant concentrations (0.3-0.4 ppb) in heartwood. These data indicate that once incorporated into tree cells, U is mobile, possibly by diffusion through the tree wood. Concentrations of U in sapwood are approximately equal to average U concentrations in groundwater onsite over the past 10 years, suggesting that oak trees can be used as present-day bioindicators of U-contaminated groundwater. We suggest that regional sampling of oak bark and sapwood is a reasonable, inexpensive alternative to drilling wells to monitor shallow groundwater U contamination.

  17. Radiochronological Age of a Uranium Metal Sample from an Abandoned Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers, L A; Williams, R W; Glover, S E; LaMont, S P; Stalcup, A M; Spitz, H B

    2012-03-16

    A piece of scrap uranium metal bar buried in the dirt floor of an old, abandoned metal rolling mill was analyzed using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (MC-ICP-MS). The mill rolled uranium rods in the 1940s and 1950s. Samples of the contaminated dirt in which the bar was buried were also analyzed. The isotopic composition of uranium in the bar and dirt samples were both the same as natural uranium, though a few samples of dirt also contained recycled uranium; likely a result of contamination with other material rolled at the mill. The time elapsed since the uranium metal bar was last purified can be determined by the in-growth of the isotope {sup 230}Th from the decay of {sup 234}U, assuming that only uranium isotopes were present in the bar after purification. The age of the metal bar was determined to be 61 years at the time of this analysis and corresponds to a purification date of July 1950 {+-} 1.5 years.

  18. URANIUM RECOVERY PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Stevenson, J.W.; Werkema, R.G.

    1959-07-28

    The recovery of uranium from magnesium fluoride slag obtained as a by- product in the production of uranium metal by the bomb reduction prccess is presented. Generally the recovery is accomplished by finely grinding the slag, roasting ihe ground slag air, and leaching the roasted slag with a hot, aqueous solution containing an excess of the sodium bicarbonate stoichiometrically required to form soluble uranium carbonate complex. The roasting is preferably carried out at between 425 and 485 deg C for about three hours. The leaching is preferably done at 70 to 90 deg C and under pressure. After leaching and filtration the uranium may be recovered from the clear leach liquor by any desired method.

  19. Uranium concentrations in asparagus

    SciTech Connect

    Tiller, B.L.; Poston, T.M.

    1992-05-01

    Concentrations of uranium were determined in asparagus collected from eight locations near and ten locations on the Hanford Site southcentral Washington State. Only one location (Sagemoor) had samples with elevated concentrations. The presence of elevated uranium in asparagus at Sagemoor may be explained by the elevated levels in irrigation water. These levels of uranium are comparable to levels previously reported upstream and downstream of the 300-FF-1 Operable Unit on the Hanford Site (0.0008 {mu}g/g), but were below the 0.020-{mu}g/g level reported for brush collected at Sagemoor in a 1982 study. Concentrations at all other onsite and offsite sample locations were considerably lower than concentrations reported immediately upstream and downstream of the 300-FF-1 Operable Unit. Using an earlier analysis of the uranium concentrations in asparagus collected from the Hanford Site constitutes a very small fraction of the US Department of Energy effective dose equivalent limit of 100 mrem.

  20. PURIFICATION OF URANIUM FUELS

    DOEpatents

    Niedrach, L.W.; Glamm, A.C.

    1959-09-01

    An electrolytic process of refining or decontaminating uranium is presented. The impure uranium is made the anode of an electrolytic cell. The molten salt electrolyte of this cell comprises a uranium halide such as UF/sub 4/ or UCl/sub 3/ and an alkaline earth metal halide such as CaCl/sub 2/, BaF/sub 2/, or BaCl/sub 2/. The cathode of the cell is a metal such as Mn, Cr, Co, Fe, or Ni which forms a low melting eutectic with U. The cell is operated at a temperature below the melting point of U. In operation the electrodeposited uranium becomes alloyed with the metal of the cathode, and the low melting alloy thus formed drips from the cathode.

  1. Uranium Location Database Compilation

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA has compiled mine location information from federal, state, and Tribal agencies into a single database as part of its investigation into the potential environmental hazards of wastes from abandoned uranium mines in the western United States.

  2. Depleted Uranium: Technical Brief

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This technical brief provides accepted data and references to additional sources for radiological and chemical characteristics, health risks and references for both the monitoring and measurement, and applicable treatment techniques for depleted uranium.

  3. Lichens as biomonitors of uranium and other trace elements in an area of Kosovo heavily shelled with depleted uranium rounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Lella, Luigi A.; Frati, Luisa; Loppi, Stefano; Protano, Giuseppe; Riccobono, Francesco

    This paper reports the results of a study using lichens as biomonitors to investigate the small-scale environmental distribution of uranium and other trace elements in an area of Kosovo (Djakovica) heavily shelled with depleted uranium (DU) anti-tank ammunition. The results of total uranium concentrations showed great variability and species-specific differences, mainly due to differences in the exposed surface area of the lichens. The uranium concentrations in lichen samples were rather similar at a site heavily shelled with DU ammunition and at a control site. Unexpectedly, the highest uranium concentrations were found at the control site. The observed U distribution can be explained by contamination of lichen thalli by soil particles. The soil geochemistry was similar at the two sampling sites. The 235U/ 238U ratios in the soil samples suggested a modest DU contribution only at the heavily shelled site. Measurements of U isotopes in lichens did not reveal DU pollution at the control site. The U isotopic ratios in lichens at the shelled site showed variable figures; only two samples were clearly contaminated by DU. There were no signs of contamination by other trace elements.

  4. Occurrence of minor elements in water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durum, W.H.; Haffty, Joseph

    1961-01-01

    Three basic studies, using spectrographic methods, have been used to establish the occurrence of minor elements in natural waters. One study, of oceanborne chemicals in principal rivers, has established a method for the quantitative analysis of many minor elements. Strontium, barium, lithium, rubidium, chromium, nickel, copper, lead, boron, titanium, molybdenum, manganese, and vanadium occur most frequently in measurable quantities. Reconnaissance of the strontium in surface waters of the United States, shows that surface waters in parts of northern and western Texas and southern New Mexico and Arizona are comparatively high in strontium. A study of minor elements in selected waters of California is continuing. Assessment of preliminary data on uranium and radium in waters is facilitated by grouping data for 10 geotectonic regions of the United States.

  5. Spectroscopy of uranium within the SILVA program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avril, R.; Petit, Alain D.; Radwan, J.; Vors, E.

    1993-05-01

    The multistep photoionization of uranium atoms implies choosing an irradiation scheme and this choice is only possible if the following spectroscopic parameters are known: oscillator strength, isotopic shift, hyperfine structure, lifetime, autoionization spectrum. In order to measure these parameters two kinds of experimental set-up are used: laser induced fluorescence and laser induced photoionization techniques. Since the oscillator strengths determine the laser fluences needed for an effective atomic photoionization, this parameter must be accurately measured and two different methods are used: the saturation method, and branching ratio plus lifetime.

  6. Helium-uranium dating of corals.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, M. L.

    1973-01-01

    Fanale and Schaeffer (1965) determined He/U ages of corals and other aragonitic fossils, and found that the results generally agreed with independent age estimates. As a more extensive and rigorous test of the reliability of He/U ages of fossil corals, I have determined He/U ages of forty-five independently dated Cenozoic corals. Uranium and thorium isotope compositions and Rn-222 retentivities were also determined as consistency checks. The results indicate that reliable ages are obtained when certain consistency tests are met and specified corrections are made.

  7. Method for the recovery of uranium values from uranium tetrafluoride

    DOEpatents

    Kreuzmann, Alvin B.

    1983-01-01

    The invention is a novel method for the recovery of uranium from dry, particulate uranium tetrafluoride. In one aspect, the invention comprises reacting particulate uranium tetrafluoride and calcium oxide in the presence of gaseous oxygen to effect formation of the corresponding alkaline earth metal uranate and alkaline earth metal fluoride. The product uranate is highly soluble in various acidic solutions wherein the product fluoride is virtually insoluble therein. The product mixture of uranate and alkaline earth metal fluoride is contacted with a suitable acid to provide a uranium-containing solution, from which the uranium is recovered. The invention can achieve quantitative recovery of uranium in highly pure form.

  8. Method for the recovery of uranium values from uranium tetrafluoride

    DOEpatents

    Kreuzmann, A.B.

    1982-10-27

    The invention is a novel method for the recovery of uranium from dry, particulate uranium tetrafluoride. In one aspect, the invention comprises reacting particulate uranium tetrafluoride and calcium oxide in the presence of gaseous oxygen to effect formation of the corresponding alkaline earth metal uranate and alkaline earth metal fluoride. The product uranate is highly soluble in various acidic solutions whereas the product fluoride is virtually insoluble therein. The product mixture of uranate and alkaline earth metal fluoride is contacted with a suitable acid to provide a uranium-containing solution, from which the uranium is recovered. The invention can achieve quantitative recovery of uranium in highly pure form.

  9. Uranium purchases report 1994

    SciTech Connect

    1995-07-01

    US utilities are required to report to the Secretary of Energy annually the country of origin and the seller of any uranium or enriched uranium purchased or imported into the US, as well as the country of origin and seller of any enrichment services purchased by the utility. This report compiles these data and also contains a glossary of terms and additional purchase information covering average price and contract duration. 3 tabs.

  10. URANIUM SEPARATION PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Lyon, W.L.

    1962-04-17

    A method of separating uranium oxides from PuO/sub 2/, ThO/sub 2/, and other actinide oxides is described. The oxide mixture is suspended in a fused salt melt and a chlorinating agent such as chlorine gas or phosgene is sparged through the suspension. Uranium oxides are selectively chlorinated and dissolve in the melt, which may then be filtered to remove the unchlorinated oxides of the other actinides. (AEC)

  11. ANODIC TREATMENT OF URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Kolodney, M.

    1959-02-01

    A method is presented for effecting eloctrolytic dissolution of a metallic uranium article at a uniform rate. The uranium is made the anode in an aqueous phosphoric acid solution containing nitrate ions furnished by either ammonium nitrate, lithium nitrate, sodium nitrate, or potassium nitrate. A stainless steel cathode is employed and electrolysls carried out at a current density of about 0.1 to 1 ampere per square inch.

  12. Toxicity of Depleted Uranium

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-02-01

    Exposure to Uranium Hexafluoride NUREG /CR- 5566, PNL-7328, Prepared for US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, 1990. 27. Thun MJ, Baker DB... NUREG /CR-495 1, Prepared for US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, 1987. 31. Morrow PE, Leach LJ, Smith FA, Goloin RM, Scott JB, Belter HD...of Uranium Hexafluoride, NUREG /CR- 2268, RH, Prepared for Division of Health Siting and Waste Management, Washington, DC, 1982. 32. Eidson AF, Damon

  13. URANIUM EXTRACTION PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Baldwin, W.H.; Higgins, C.E.

    1958-12-16

    A process is described for recovering uranium values from acidic aqueous solutions containing hexavalent uranium by contacting the solution with an organic solution comprised of a substantially water-immiscible organlc diluent and an organic phosphate to extract the uranlum values into the organic phase. Carbon tetrachloride and a petroleum hydrocarbon fraction, such as kerosene, are sultable diluents to be used in combination with organlc phosphates such as dibutyl butylphosphonate, trlbutyl phosphine oxide, and tributyl phosphate.

  14. DUSCOBS - a depleted-uranium silicate backfill for transport, storage, and disposal of spent nuclear fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Forsberg, C.W.; Pope, R.B.; Ashline, R.C.; DeHart, M.D.; Childs, K.W.; Tang, J.S.

    1995-11-30

    A Depleted Uranium Silicate COntainer Backfill System (DUSCOBS) is proposed that would use small, isotopically-depleted uranium silicate glass beads as a backfill material inside storage, transport, and repository waste packages containing spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The uranium silicate glass beads would fill all void space inside the package including the coolant channels inside SNF assemblies. Based on preliminary analysis, the following benefits have been identified. DUSCOBS improves repository waste package performance by three mechanisms. First, it reduces the radionuclide releases from SNF when water enters the waste package by creating a local uranium silicate saturated groundwater environment that suppresses (1) the dissolution and/or transformation of uranium dioxide fuel pellets and, hence, (2) the release of radionuclides incorporated into the SNF pellets. Second, the potential for long-term nuclear criticality is reduced by isotopic exchange of enriched uranium in SNF with the depleted uranium (DU) in the glass. Third, the backfill reduces radiation interactions between SNF and the local environment (package and local geology) and thus reduces generation of hydrogen, acids, and other chemicals that degrade the waste package system. In addition, the DUSCOBS improves the integrity of the package by acting as a packing material and ensures criticality control for the package during SNF storage and transport. Finally, DUSCOBS provides a potential method to dispose of significant quantities of excess DU from uranium enrichment plants at potential economic savings. DUSCOBS is a new concept. Consequently, the concept has not been optimized or demonstrated in laboratory experiments.

  15. Uranium levels in Cypriot groundwater samples determined by ICP-MS and α-spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Charalambous, Chrystalla; Aletrari, Maria; Piera, Panagiota; Nicolaidou-Kanari, Popi; Efstathiou, Maria; Pashalidis, Ioannis

    2013-02-01

    The uranium concentration and the isotopic ratio (238)U/(234)U have been determined in Cypriot groundwater samples by ICP-MS after ultrafiltration and acidification of the samples and α-spectroscopy after pre-concentration and separation of uranium by cation-exchange (Chelex 100 resin) and electro-deposition on stainless steel discs. The uranium concentration in the groundwater samples varies strongly between 0.1 and 40 μg l(-1). The highest uranium concentrations are found in groundwater samples associated with sedimentary rock formations and the obtained isotopic ratio (238)U/(234)U varies between 0.95 and 1.2 indicating basically the presence of natural uranium in the studied samples. The pH of the groundwater samples is neutral to weak alkaline (7 < pH < 8) and this is attributed to the carbonaceous content of the sedimentary rocks and the ophiolitic origin of the igneous rocks, which form the background geology in Cyprus. Generally, in groundwaters uranium concentration in solution increases with decreasing pH (7 < pH < 8) and this is attributed to the fact that at lower pH dissolution of soil minerals occurs, and uranium, which is adsorbed or forms solid solution with the geological matrix enters the aqueous phase. This is also corroborated by the strong correlation between the uranium concentration and the electrical conductivity (e.g. dissolved solids) measured in the groundwaters under investigation.

  16. Soviet uranium supply capability

    SciTech Connect

    1990-02-01

    For many years, only limited information concerning uranium deposits in the USSR has been available from Soviet sources. The Soviet Union has, however, cooperated in some past efforts to promote interaction with the international scientific community. For example, in 1984 the Soviet Union hosted the 27th International Geological Congress (IGC). The uranium portion included 50 papers, primarily on uranium deposits in sandstone and metamorphic rocks, presented to about 300 members. The IGC sponsored almost 400 geology field trips, the most noteworthy of which was a five-day trip to the Krivoi Rog iron and uranium district in the south-central Ukraine, including visits to two open-pit iron mines and the underground Novaya uranium mine in Zholtye Vody. That conference was reported in detail on the October 1984 NUEXCO Monthly Report. Some other information that has been made available over the years is contained in the April 1985 Report discussion of uranium deposit classifications. Advanced processing technology, low-cost labor, by-product and co-product recovery, and the large existing production capacity enable MAEI to produce nuclear fuel at low cost. The Soviet Union`s reserve base, technological development, and production experience make it one of the world`s leading producers of nuclear fuel. As additional information is made available for publication, NUEXCO will present updated reports on the nuclear fuel cycle facilities in the Soviet Union.

  17. Process for electrolytically preparing uranium metal

    DOEpatents

    Haas, Paul A.

    1989-01-01

    A process for making uranium metal from uranium oxide by first fluorinating uranium oxide to form uranium tetrafluoride and next electrolytically reducing the uranium tetrafluoride with a carbon anode to form uranium metal and CF.sub.4. The CF.sub.4 is reused in the fluorination reaction rather than being disposed of as a hazardous waste.

  18. Process for electrolytically preparing uranium metal

    DOEpatents

    Haas, Paul A.

    1989-08-01

    A process for making uranium metal from uranium oxide by first fluorinating uranium oxide to form uranium tetrafluoride and next electrolytically reducing the uranium tetrafluoride with a carbon anode to form uranium metal and CF.sub.4. The CF.sub.4 is reused in the fluorination reaction rather than being disposed of as a hazardous waste.

  19. Mass-independent isotope effects.

    PubMed

    Buchachenko, Anatoly L

    2013-02-28

    Three fundamental properties of atomic nuclei-mass, spin (and related magnetic moment), and volume-are the source of isotope effects. The mostly deserved and popular, with almost hundred-year history, is the mass-dependent isotope effect. The first mass-independent isotope effect which chemically discriminates isotopes by their nuclear spins and nuclear magnetic moments rather than by their masses was detected in 1976. It was named as the magnetic isotope effect because it is controlled by magnetic interaction, i.e., electron-nuclear hyperfine coupling in the paramagnetic species, the reaction intermediates. The effect follows from the universal physical property of chemical reactions to conserve angular momentum (spin) of electrons and nuclei. It is now detected for oxygen, silicon, sulfur, germanium, tin, mercury, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and uranium in a great variety of chemical and biochemical reactions including those of medical and ecological importance. Another mass-independent isotope effect was detected in 1983 as a deviation of isotopic distribution in reaction products from that which would be expected from the mass-dependent isotope effect. On the physical basis, it is in fact a mass-dependent effect, but it surprisingly results in isotope fractionation which is incompatible with that predicted by traditional mass-dependent effects. It is supposed to be a function of dynamic parameters of reaction and energy relaxation in excited states of products. The third, nuclear volume mass-independent isotope effect is detected in the high-resolution atomic and molecular spectra and in the extraction processes, but there are no unambiguous indications of its importance as an isotope fractionation factor in chemical reactions.

  20. Influence of uranium hydride oxidation on uranium metal behaviour

    SciTech Connect

    Patel, N.; Hambley, D.; Clarke, S.A.; Simpson, K.

    2013-07-01

    This work addresses concerns that the rapid, exothermic oxidation of active uranium hydride in air could stimulate an exothermic reaction (burning) involving any adjacent uranium metal, so as to increase the potential hazard arising from a hydride reaction. The effect of the thermal reaction of active uranium hydride, especially in contact with uranium metal, does not increase in proportion with hydride mass, particularly when considering large quantities of hydride. Whether uranium metal continues to burn in the long term is a function of the uranium metal and its surroundings. The source of the initial heat input to the uranium, if sufficient to cause ignition, is not important. Sustained burning of uranium requires the rate of heat generation to be sufficient to offset the total rate of heat loss so as to maintain an elevated temperature. For dense uranium, this is very difficult to achieve in naturally occurring circumstances. Areas of the uranium surface can lose heat but not generate heat. Heat can be lost by conduction, through contact with other materials, and by convection and radiation, e.g. from areas where the uranium surface is covered with a layer of oxidised material, such as burned-out hydride or from fuel cladding. These rates of heat loss are highly significant in relation to the rate of heat generation by sustained oxidation of uranium in air. Finite volume modelling has been used to examine the behaviour of a magnesium-clad uranium metal fuel element within a bottle surrounded by other un-bottled fuel elements. In the event that the bottle is breached, suddenly, in air, it can be concluded that the bulk uranium metal oxidation reaction will not reach a self-sustaining level and the mass of uranium oxidised will likely to be small in relation to mass of uranium hydride oxidised. (authors)

  1. Uranium redox transition pathways in acetate-amended sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bargar, John R.; Williams, Kenneth H.; Campbell, Kate M.; Long, Philip E.; Stubbs, Joanne E.; Suvorova, Elenal I.; Lezama-Pacheco, Juan S.; Alessi, Daniel S.; Stylo, Malgorzata; Webb, Samuel M.; Davis, James A.; Giammar, Daniel E.; Blue, Lisa Y.; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2013-01-01

    Redox transitions of uranium [from U(VI) to U(IV)] in low-temperature sediments govern the mobility of uranium in the environment and the accumulation of uranium in ore bodies, and inform our understanding of Earth’s geochemical history. The molecular-scale mechanistic pathways of these transitions determine the U(IV) products formed, thus influencing uranium isotope fractionation, reoxidation, and transport in sediments. Studies that improve our understanding of these pathways have the potential to substantially advance process understanding across a number of earth sciences disciplines. Detailed mechanistic information regarding uranium redox transitions in field sediments is largely nonexistent, owing to the difficulty of directly observing molecular-scale processes in the subsurface and the compositional/physical complexity of subsurface systems. Here, we present results from an in situ study of uranium redox transitions occurring in aquifer sediments under sulfate-reducing conditions. Based on molecular-scale spectroscopic, pore-scale geochemical, and macroscale aqueous evidence, we propose a biotic–abiotic transition pathway in which biomass-hosted mackinawite (FeS) is an electron source to reduce U(VI) to U(IV), which subsequently reacts with biomass to produce monomeric U(IV) species. A species resembling nanoscale uraninite is also present, implying the operation of at least two redox transition pathways. The presence of multiple pathways in low-temperature sediments unifies apparently contrasting prior observations and helps to explain sustained uranium reduction under disparate biogeochemical conditions. These findings have direct implications for our understanding of uranium bioremediation, ore formation, and global geochemical processes.

  2. Radionuclide inventories : ORIGEN2.2 isotopic depletion calculation for high burnup low-enriched uranium and weapons-grade mixed-oxide pressurized-water reactor fuel assemblies.

    SciTech Connect

    Gauntt, Randall O.; Ross, Kyle W.; Smith, James Dean; Longmire, Pamela

    2010-04-01

    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory computer code, ORIGEN2.2 (CCC-371, 2002), was used to obtain the elemental composition of irradiated low-enriched uranium (LEU)/mixed-oxide (MOX) pressurized-water reactor fuel assemblies. Described in this report are the input parameters for the ORIGEN2.2 calculations. The rationale for performing the ORIGEN2.2 calculation was to generate inventories to be used to populate MELCOR radionuclide classes. Therefore the ORIGEN2.2 output was subsequently manipulated. The procedures performed in this data reduction process are also described herein. A listing of the ORIGEN2.2 input deck for two-cycle MOX is provided in the appendix. The final output from this data reduction process was three tables containing the radionuclide inventories for LEU/MOX in elemental form. Masses, thermal powers, and activities were reported for each category.

  3. Isotopically Modified Molybdenum: Production for Application in Nuclear Energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, A. Yu.; Bonarev, A. K.; Sulaberidze, G. A.; Borisevich, V. D.; Kulikov, G. G.; Shmelev, A. N.

    The possibility to use the isotopically modified molybdenum as a constructive material for the fuel rods of light water and fast reactors is discussed. The calculations demonstrate that the isotopically modified molybdenum with an average neutron absorption cross-section comparable to that of zirconium can be obtained with the reasonable for practice cost by a cascade of gas centrifuges, specially designed for separation of non-uranium isotopes.

  4. Isotopic Biogeochemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, J. M.

    1985-01-01

    An overview is provided of the biogeochemical research. The funding, productivity, personnel and facilities are reviewed. Some of the technical areas covered are: carbon isotopic records; isotopic studies of banded iron formations; isotope effects in microbial systems; studies of organic compounds in ancient sediments; and development in isotopic geochemistry and analysis.

  5. METHOD OF RECOVERING URANIUM COMPOUNDS

    DOEpatents

    Poirier, R.H.

    1957-10-29

    S>The recovery of uranium compounds which have been adsorbed on anion exchange resins is discussed. The uranium and thorium-containing residues from monazite processed by alkali hydroxide are separated from solution, and leached with an alkali metal carbonate solution, whereby the uranium and thorium hydrorides are dissolved. The carbonate solution is then passed over an anion exchange resin causing the uranium to be adsorbed while the thorium remains in solution. The uranium may be recovered by contacting the uranium-holding resin with an aqueous ammonium carbonate solution whereby the uranium values are eluted from the resin and then heating the eluate whereby carbon dioxide and ammonia are given off, the pH value of the solution is lowered, and the uranium is precipitated.

  6. Uranium series disequilibrium in a young surficial uranium deposit, northeastern Washington, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zielinski, R.A.; Bush, C.A.; Rosholt, J.N.

    1986-01-01

    A recently discovered ore-grade accumulation of U in organic-rich sediments of late Quaternary age provides an opportunity for studying the early association of U, U-daughters, and organic matter in a natural setting. The U occurs in valley-fill sediments of peat, peaty clay, silt, and sand along the north fork of Flodelle Creek, Stevens County, Washington. Radiometric techniques (delayed neutron, high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry, thin-source alpha spectrometry) were employed to determine the abundance and distribution of U-series nuclides, the extent of secular equilibrium within the U decay series, and the apparent U-series ages of U incorporation. Sixteen lithologically distinct intervals were sampled from a 292 cm core. Uranium contents range from 140 to 2790 ppm and are positively correlated with organic contents. Measured alpha activity ratios of 234U/238U (1.31-1.38) are very similar to those reported in coexisting waters, suggesting a rather constant isotopic composition of introduced U. Much lower Th contents of <10-40 ppm are controlled by the type and abundance of silicate detritus. The youth of the host sediments (<15 000 a) and the paucity of associated radioactivity suggested large excesses of U relative to radioactive daughters and such excesses were observed, particularly in the shallowest intervals. Apparent ages of U emplacement determined by the (alpha) activity ratio of 230Th daughter to 234U parent show a general increase with depth and fair agreement with estimated depositional ages. This observation suggests dominantly syndepositional or early post depositional emplacement of U followed by decay-generated buildup of 230Th daughter with time. However, interval by interval comparisons of the relative abundances of other daughters, particularly 226Ra and 210Pb, indicate variability caused by processes other than closed-system growth and decay, probably because chemically diverse daughters that are decay-generated in situ have differing

  7. Conversion and Blending Facility highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium as oxide. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    1995-07-05

    This Conversion and Blending Facility (CBF) will have two missions: (1) convert HEU materials into pure HEU oxide and (2) blend the pure HEU oxide with depleted and natural uranium oxide to produce an LWR grade LEU product. The primary emphasis of this blending operation will be to destroy the weapons capability of large, surplus stockpiles of HEU. The blended LEU product can only be made weapons capable again by the uranium enrichment process. To the extent practical, the chemical and isotopic concentrations of blended LEU product will be held within the specifications required for LWR fuel. Such blended LEU product will be offered to the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) to be sold as feed material to the commercial nuclear industry. Otherwise, blended LEU will be produced as a waste suitable for storage or disposal.

  8. Minor planets: the discovery of minor satellites.

    PubMed

    Binzel, R P; VAN Flandern, T C

    1979-03-02

    The recent confirmation of the discovery of a satellite of the minor planet 532 Herculina indicates that other similar anomalous sightings are probably also due to satellites, which must therefore be numerous and commonplace. There are now 23 candidate satellites for eight minor planets, and no one of these minor planets occulting a star has failed to show evidence of at least one secondary event. Such companions are gravitationally stable but apparently have rapid tidal evolution rates.

  9. Microbial reduction of uranium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovley, D.R.; Phillips, E.J.P.; Gorby, Y.A.; Landa, E.R.

    1991-01-01

    REDUCTION of the soluble, oxidized form of uranium, U(VI), to insoluble U(IV) is an important mechanism for the immobilization of uranium in aquatic sediments and for the formation of some uranium ores1-10. U(VI) reduction has generally been regarded as an abiological reaction in which sulphide, molecular hydrogen or organic compounds function as the reductant1,2,5,11. Microbial involvement in U(VI) reduction has been considered to be limited to indirect effects, such as microbial metabolism providing the reduced compounds for abiological U(VI) reduction and microbial cell walls providing a surface to stimulate abiological U(VI) reduction1,12,13. We report here, however, that dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms can obtain energy for growth by electron transport to U(VI). This novel form of microbial metabolism can be much faster than commonly cited abiological mechanisms for U(VI) reduction. Not only do these findings expand the known potential terminal electron acceptors for microbial energy transduction, they offer a likely explanation for the deposition of uranium in aquatic sediments and aquifers, and suggest a method for biological remediation of environments contaminated with uranium.

  10. Uranium deposits of Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    1991-09-01

    Brazil is a country of vast natural resources, including numerous uranium deposits. In support of the country`s nuclear power program, Brazil has developed the most active uranium industry in South America. Brazil has one operating reactor (Angra 1, a 626-MWe PWR), and two under construction. The country`s economic challenges have slowed the progress of its nuclear program. At present, the Pocos de Caldas district is the only active uranium production. In 1990, the Cercado open-pit mine produced approximately 45 metric tons (MT) U{sub 3}O{sub 8} (100 thousand pounds). Brazil`s state-owned uranium production and processing company, Uranio do Brasil, announced it has decided to begin shifting its production from the high-cost and nearly depleted deposits at Pocos de Caldas, to lower-cost reserves at Lagoa Real. Production at Lagoa Real is schedules to begin by 1993. In addition to these two districts, Brazil has many other known uranium deposits, and as a whole, it is estimated that Brazil has over 275,000 MT U{sub 3}O{sub 8} (600 million pounds U{sub 3}O{sub 8}) in reserves.

  11. Uranium hexafluoride handling. Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-31

    The United States Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Field Office, and Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., are co-sponsoring this Second International Conference on Uranium Hexafluoride Handling. The conference is offered as a forum for the exchange of information and concepts regarding the technical and regulatory issues and the safety aspects which relate to the handling of uranium hexafluoride. Through the papers presented here, we attempt not only to share technological advances and lessons learned, but also to demonstrate that we are concerned about the health and safety of our workers and the public, and are good stewards of the environment in which we all work and live. These proceedings are a compilation of the work of many experts in that phase of world-wide industry which comprises the nuclear fuel cycle. Their experience spans the entire range over which uranium hexafluoride is involved in the fuel cycle, from the production of UF{sub 6} from the naturally-occurring oxide to its re-conversion to oxide for reactor fuels. The papers furnish insights into the chemical, physical, and nuclear properties of uranium hexafluoride as they influence its transport, storage, and the design and operation of plant-scale facilities for production, processing, and conversion to oxide. The papers demonstrate, in an industry often cited for its excellent safety record, continuing efforts to further improve safety in all areas of handling uranium hexafluoride. Selected papers were processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  12. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Fowler, R.D.

    1957-08-27

    A process for the production of uranium hexafluoride from the oxides of uranium is reported. In accordance with the method, the higher oxides of uranium may be reduced to uranium dioxide (UO/sub 2/), the latter converted into uranium tetrafluoride by reaction with hydrogen fluoride, and the UF/sub 4/ converted to UF/sub 6/ by reaction with a fluorinating agent, such as CoF/sub 3/. The UO/sub 3/ or U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ is placed in a reac tion chamber in a copper boat or tray enclosed in a copper oven, and heated to 500 to 650 deg C while hydrogen gas is passed through the oven. After nitrogen gas is used to sweep out the hydrogen and the water vapor formed, and while continuing to inaintain the temperature between 400 deg C and 600 deg C, anhydrous hydrogen fluoride is passed through. After completion of the conversion of UO/sub 2/ to UF/sub 4/ the temperature of the reaction chamber is lowered to about 400 deg C or less, the UF/sub 4/ is mixed with the requisite quantity of CoF/sub 3/, and after evacuating the chamber, the mixture is heated to 300 to 400 deg C, and the resulting UF/sub 6/ is led off and delivered to a condenser.

  13. Isotopic signatures by bulk analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Efurd, D.W.; Rokop, D.J.

    1997-12-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has developed a series of measurement techniques for identification of nuclear signatures by analyzing bulk samples. Two specific applications for isotopic fingerprinting to identify the origin of anthropogenic radioactivity in bulk samples are presented. The first example is the analyses of environmental samples collected in the US Arctic to determine the impact of dumping of radionuclides in this polar region. Analyses of sediment and biota samples indicate that for the areas sampled the anthropogenic radionuclide content of sediments was predominantly the result of the deposition of global fallout. The anthropogenic radionuclide concentrations in fish, birds and mammals were very low. It can be surmised that marine food chains are presently not significantly affected. The second example is isotopic fingerprinting of water and sediment samples from the Rocky Flats Facility (RFP). The largest source of anthropogenic radioactivity presently affecting surface-waters at RFP is the sediments that are currently residing in the holding ponds. One gram of sediment from a holding pond contains approximately 50 times more plutonium than 1 liter of water from the pond. Essentially 100% of the uranium in Ponds A-1 and A-2 originated as depleted uranium. The largest source of radioactivity in the terminal Ponds A-4, B-5 and C-2 was naturally occurring uranium and its decay product radium. The uranium concentrations in the waters collected from the terminal ponds contained 0.05% or less of the interim standard calculated derived concentration guide for uranium in waters available to the public. All of the radioactivity observed in soil, sediment and water samples collected at RFP was naturally occurring, the result of processes at RFP or the result of global fallout. No extraneous anthropogenic alpha, beta or gamma activities were detected. The plutonium concentrations in Pond C-2 appear to vary seasonally.

  14. Depleted uranium as a backfill for nuclear fuel waste package

    DOEpatents

    Forsberg, Charles W.

    1998-01-01

    A method for packaging spent nuclear fuel for long-term disposal in a geological repository. At least one spent nuclear fuel assembly is first placed in an unsealed waste package and a depleted uranium fill material is added to the waste package. The depleted uranium fill material comprises flowable particles having a size sufficient to substantially fill any voids in and around the assembly and contains isotopically-depleted uranium in the +4 valence state in an amount sufficient to inhibit dissolution of the spent nuclear fuel from the assembly into a surrounding medium and to lessen the potential for nuclear criticality inside the repository in the event of failure of the waste package. Last, the waste package is sealed, thereby substantially reducing the release of radionuclides into the surrounding medium, while simultaneously providing radiation shielding and increased structural integrity of the waste package.

  15. Depleted uranium as a backfill for nuclear fuel waste package

    DOEpatents

    Forsberg, C.W.

    1998-11-03

    A method is described for packaging spent nuclear fuel for long-term disposal in a geological repository. At least one spent nuclear fuel assembly is first placed in an unsealed waste package and a depleted uranium fill material is added to the waste package. The depleted uranium fill material comprises flowable particles having a size sufficient to substantially fill any voids in and around the assembly and contains isotopically-depleted uranium in the +4 valence state in an amount sufficient to inhibit dissolution of the spent nuclear fuel from the assembly into a surrounding medium and to lessen the potential for nuclear criticality inside the repository in the event of failure of the waste package. Last, the waste package is sealed, thereby substantially reducing the release of radionuclides into the surrounding medium, while simultaneously providing radiation shielding and increased structural integrity of the waste package. 6 figs.

  16. PROCESS OF PREPARING URANIUM CARBIDE

    DOEpatents

    Miller, W.E.; Stethers, H.L.; Johnson, T.R.

    1964-03-24

    A process of preparing uranium monocarbide is de scribed. Uranium metal is dissolved in cadmium, zinc, cadmium-- zinc, or magnesium-- zinc alloy and a small quantity of alkali metal is added. Addition of stoichiometric amounts of carbon at 500 to 820 deg C then precipitates uranium monocarbide. (AEC)

  17. Magnesium reduction of uranium oxide

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, G.R.B.

    1985-08-13

    A method and apparatus are provided for reducing uranium oxide with magnesium to form uranium metal. The reduction is carried out in a molten-salt solution of density greater than 3.4 grams per cubic centimeter, thereby allowing the uranium product to sink and the magnesium oxide byproduct to float, consequently allowing separation of product and byproduct.

  18. Uranium immobilization and nuclear waste

    SciTech Connect

    Duffy, C.J.; Ogard, A.E.

    1982-02-01

    Considerable information useful in nuclear waste storage can be gained by studying the conditions of uranium ore deposit formation. Further information can be gained by comparing the chemistry of uranium to nuclear fission products and other radionuclides of concern to nuclear waste disposal. Redox state appears to be the most important variable in controlling uranium solubility, especially at near neutral pH, which is characteristic of most ground water. This is probably also true of neptunium, plutonium, and technetium. Further, redox conditions that immobilize uranium should immobilize these elements. The mechanisms that have produced uranium ore bodies in the Earth's crust are somewhat less clear. At the temperatures of hydrothermal uranium deposits, equilibrium models are probably adequate, aqueous uranium (VI) being reduced and precipitated by interaction with ferrous-iron-bearing oxides and silicates. In lower temperature roll-type uranium deposits, overall equilibrium may not have been achieved. The involvement of sulfate-reducing bacteria in ore-body formation has been postulated, but is uncertain. Reduced sulfur species do, however, appear to be involved in much of the low temperature uranium precipitation. Assessment of the possibility of uranium transport in natural ground water is complicated because the system is generally not in overall equilibrium. For this reason, Eh measurements are of limited value. If a ground water is to be capable of reducing uranium, it must contain ions capable of reducing uranium both thermodynamically and kinetically. At present, the best candidates are reduced sulfur species.

  19. Isotope production in fast reactor blankets

    SciTech Connect

    Zvonarev, A.V.; Koloskov, B.V.; Kochetkov, L.A.

    1993-12-31

    At the BR-10 research reactor radioactive isotopes are produced that are required for the production of radiopharmaceuticals and phosphor 32 used for the synthesis of biochemical labelled compounds. A procedure has been developed of uranium target irradiation followed by radiochemical processing aimed at isotope isolation of molybdenum 99, xenon 133 and iodine 131,132,and 133 isotopes mixture. Irradiation is carried out in a special channel of the radial blanket. The production of cobalt 60 at the BN-600 reactor and facilities are also described.

  20. Estimation of uranium migration parameters in sandstone aquifers.

    PubMed

    Malov, A I

    2016-03-01

    The chemical composition and isotopes of carbon and uranium were investigated in groundwater samples that were collected from 16 wells and 2 sources in the Northern Dvina Basin, Northwest Russia. Across the dataset, the temperatures in the groundwater ranged from 3.6 to 6.9 °C, the pH ranged from 7.6 to 9.0, the Eh ranged from -137 to +128 mV, the total dissolved solids (TDS) ranged from 209 to 22,000 mg L(-1), and the dissolved oxygen (DO) ranged from 0 to 9.9 ppm. The (14)C activity ranged from 0 to 69.96 ± 0.69 percent modern carbon (pmC). The uranium content in the groundwater ranged from 0.006 to 16 ppb, and the (234)U:(238)U activity ratio ranged from 1.35 ± 0.21 to 8.61 ± 1.35. The uranium concentration and (234)U:(238)U activity ratio increased from the recharge area to the redox barrier; behind the barrier, the uranium content is minimal. The results were systematized by creating a conceptual model of the Northern Dvina Basin's hydrogeological system. The use of uranium isotope dating in conjunction with radiocarbon dating allowed the determination of important water-rock interaction parameters, such as the dissolution rate:recoil loss factor ratio Rd:p (a(-1)) and the uranium retardation factor:recoil loss factor ratio R:p in the aquifer. The (14)C age of the water was estimated to be between modern and >35,000 years. The (234)U-(238)U age of the water was estimated to be between 260 and 582,000 years. The Rd:p ratio decreases with increasing groundwater residence time in the aquifer from n × 10(-5) to n × 10(-7) a(-1). This finding is observed because the TDS increases in that direction from 0.2 to 9 g L(-1), and accordingly, the mineral saturation indices increase. Relatively high values of R:p (200-1000) characterize aquifers in sandy-clayey sediments from the Late Pleistocene and the deepest parts of the Vendian strata. In samples from the sandstones of the upper part of the Vendian strata, the R:p value is ∼ 24, i.e., sorption processes are

  1. Process for recovering uranium

    DOEpatents

    MacWood, G. E.; Wilder, C. D.; Altman, D.

    1959-03-24

    A process useful in recovering uranium from deposits on stainless steel liner surfaces of calutrons is presented. The deposit is removed from the stainless steel surface by washing with aqueous nitric acid. The solution obtained containing uranium, chromium, nickel, copper, and iron is treated with an excess of ammonium hydroxide to precipitnte the uranium, iron, and chromium and convert the nickel and copper to soluble ammonio complexions. The precipitated material is removed, dried and treated with carbon tetrachloride at an elevated temperature of about 500 to 600 deg C to form a vapor mixture of UCl/ sub 4/, UCl/sub 5/, FeCl/sub 3/, and CrCl/sub 4/. The UCl/sub 4/ is separated from this vapor mixture by selective fractional condensation at a temperature of about 500 to 400 deg C.

  2. PROCESS FOR RECOVERING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    MacWood, G.E.; Wilder, C.D.; Altman, D.

    1959-03-24

    A process is described for recovering uranium from deposits on stainless steel liner surfaces of calutrons. The deposit is removed from the stainless steel surface by washing with aqueous nitric acid. The solution obtained containing uranium, chromium, nickels copper, and iron is treated with excess of ammonium hydroxide to precipitatc the uranium, irons and chromium and convert thc nickel and copper to soluble ammonia complexions. The precipitated material is removed, dried, and treated with carbon tetrachloride at an elevated temperature of about 500 to 600 deg C to form a vapor mixture of UCl/sub 4/, UCl/sub 5/, FeCl/ sub 3/, and CrCl/sub 4/. The UCl/sub 4/ is separated from this vapor mixture by selective fractional condensation at a temprrature of about 300 to400 deg C.

  3. EXTRACTION OF URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Kesler, R.D.; Rabb, D.D.

    1959-07-28

    An improved process is presented for recovering uranium from a carnotite ore. In the improved process U/sub 2/O/sub 5/ is added to the comminuted ore along with the usual amount of NaCl prior to roasting. The amount of U/sub 2/O/ sub 5/ is dependent on the amount of free calcium oxide and the uranium in the ore. Specifically, the desirable amount of U/sub 2/O/sub 5/ is 3.2% for each 1% of CaO, and 5 to 6% for each 1% of uranium. The mixture is roasted at about 1560 deg C for about 30 min and then leached with a 3 to 9% aqueous solution of sodium carbonate.

  4. 230Th-234U Age-Dating Uranium by Mass Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R W; Gaffney, A M

    2012-04-18

    This is the standard operating procedure used by the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Group of the Chemical Sciences Division at LLNL for the preparation of a sample of uranium oxide or uranium metal for {sup 230}Th-{sup 234}U age-dating. The method described here includes the dissolution of a sample of uranium oxide or uranium metal, preparation of a secondary dilution, spiking of separate aliquots for uranium and thorium isotope dilution measurements, and purification of uranium and thorium aliquots for mass spectrometry. This SOP may be applied to uranium samples of unknown purity as in a nuclear forensic investigation, and also to well-characterized samples such as, for example, U{sub 3}O{sub 8} and U-metal certified reference materials. The sample of uranium is transferred to a quartz or PFA vial, concentrated nitric acid is added and the sample is heated on a hotplate at approximately 100 C for several hours until it dissolves. The sample solution is diluted with water to make the solution approximately 4 M HNO{sub 3} and hydrofluoric acid is added to make it 0.05 M HF. A secondary dilution of the primary uranium solution is prepared. Separate aliquots for uranium and thorium isotope dilution measurements are taken and spiked with {sup 233}U and {sup 229}Th, respectively. The spiked aliquot for uranium isotope dilution analysis is purified using EiChrom UTEVA resin. The spiked aliquot for thorium isotope dilution analysis is purified by, first, a 1.8 mL AG1x8 resin bed in 9 M HCl on which U adsorbs and Th passes through; second, adsorbing Th on a 1 mL AG1x8 resin bed in 8 M HNO{sub 3} and then eluting it with 9 M HCl followed by 0.1 M HCl + 0.005 M HF; and third, by passing the Th through a final 1.0 mL AG1x8 resin bed in 9 M HCl. The mass spectrometry is performed using the procedure 'Th and U Mass Spectrometry for {sup 230}Th-{sup 234}U Age Dating'.

  5. Solubility characterization of airborne uranium from a uranium recycling plant.

    PubMed

    Metzger, Robert; Cole, Leslie

    2004-07-01

    Solubility profiles of uranium dusts in a uranium recycling plant were determined by performing in vitro solubility tests on breathing zone air samples conducted in all process areas of the processing plant. The recycling plant produces high density shields, closed end tubes that are punched and formed from uranium sheet metal, and high-fired uranium oxide, which is used as a catalyst. The recycled uranium is cut and melted in a vacuum furnace, and part of the molten uranium is poured into molds for further processing. Air samples were taken in process areas under normal working conditions. The dissolution rate of the uranium in a simulant solution of extracellular airway lining fluid (Gamble's solution) was then determined over the next 28 d. Airborne uranium in the oxide section of the plant was found to be highly insoluble with 99% of the uranium having a dissolution half time in excess of 100 d. The solubility of the airborne uranium in other areas of the facility was only slightly more soluble with over 90% of the airborne uranium having dissolution half times in excess of 90 d.

  6. PREPARATION OF URANIUM TRIOXIDE

    DOEpatents

    Buckingham, J.S.

    1959-09-01

    The production of uranium trioxide from aqueous solutions of uranyl nitrate is discussed. The uranium trioxide is produced by adding sulfur or a sulfur-containing compound, such as thiourea, sulfamic acid, sulfuric acid, and ammonium sulfate, to the uranyl solution in an amount of about 0.5% by weight of the uranyl nitrate hexahydrate, evaporating the solution to dryness, and calcining the dry residue. The trioxide obtained by this method furnished a dioxide with a considerably higher reactivity with hydrogen fluoride than a trioxide prepared without the sulfur additive.

  7. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM TUBING

    DOEpatents

    Creutz, E.C.

    1958-04-15

    The manufacture of thin-walled uranium tubing by the hot-piercing techique is described. Uranium billets are preheated to a temperature above 780 d C. The heated billet is fed to a station where it is engaged on its external surface by three convex-surfaced rotating rollers which are set at an angle to the axis of the billet to produce a surface friction force in one direction to force the billet over a piercing mandrel. While being formed around the mandrel and before losing the desired shape, the tube thus formed is cooled by a water spray.

  8. Corrosion-resistant uranium

    DOEpatents

    Hovis, Jr., Victor M.; Pullen, William C.; Kollie, Thomas G.; Bell, Richard T.

    1983-01-01

    The present invention is directed to the protecting of uranium and uranium alloy articles from corrosion by providing the surfaces of the articles with a layer of an ion-plated metal selected from aluminum and zinc to a thickness of at least 60 microinches and then converting at least the outer surface of the ion-plated layer of aluminum or zinc to aluminum chromate or zinc chromate. This conversion of the aluminum or zinc to the chromate form considerably enhances the corrosion resistance of the ion plating so as to effectively protect the coated article from corrosion.

  9. Corrosion-resistant uranium

    DOEpatents

    Hovis, V.M. Jr.; Pullen, W.C.; Kollie, T.G.; Bell, R.T.

    1981-10-21

    The present invention is directed to the protecting of uranium and uranium alloy articles from corrosion by providing the surfaces of the articles with a layer of an ion-plated metal selected from aluminum and zinc to a thickness of at least 60 microinches and then converting at least the outer surface of the ion-plated layer of aluminum or zinc to aluminum chromate or zinc chromate. This conversion of the aluminum or zinc to the chromate form considerably enhances the corrosion resistance of the ion plating so as to effectively protect the coated article from corrosion.

  10. TREATMENT OF URANIUM SURFACES

    DOEpatents

    Slunder, C.J.

    1959-02-01

    An improved process is presented for prcparation of uranium surfaces prior to electroplating. The surfacc of the uranium to be electroplated is anodized in a bath comprising a solution of approximately 20 to 602 by weight of phosphoric acid which contains about 20 cc per liter of concentrated hydrochloric acid. Anodization is carried out for approximately 20 minutes at a current density of about 0.5 amperes per square inch at a temperature of about 35 to 45 C. The oxidic film produced by anodization is removed by dipping in strong nitric acid, followed by rinsing with water just prior to electroplating.

  11. PROCESS OF RECOVERING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Price, T.D.; Jeung, N.M.

    1958-06-17

    An improved precipitation method is described for the recovery of uranium from aqueous solutions. After removal of all but small amounts of Ni or Cu, and after complexing any iron present, the uranium is separated as the peroxide by adding H/sub 2/O/sub 2/. The improvement lies in the fact that the addition of H/sub 2/O/sub 2/ and consequent precipitation are carried out at a temperature below the freezing; point of the solution, so that minute crystals of solvent are present as seed crystals for the precipitation.

  12. METHOD OF ELECTROPOLISHING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Walker, D.E.; Noland, R.A.

    1959-07-14

    A method of electropolishing the surface of uranium articles is presented. The process of this invention is carried out by immersing the uranium anticle into an electrolyte which contains from 35 to 65% by volume sulfuric acid, 1 to 20% by volume glycerine and 25 to 50% by volume of water. The article is made the anode in the cell and polished by electrolyzing at a voltage of from 10 to 15 volts. Discontinuing the electrolysis by intermittently withdrawing the anode from the electrolyte and removing any polarized film formed therein results in an especially bright surface.

  13. Molten salt extraction of transuranic and reactive fission products from used uranium oxide fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Herrmann, Steven Douglas

    2014-05-27

    Used uranium oxide fuel is detoxified by extracting transuranic and reactive fission products into molten salt. By contacting declad and crushed used uranium oxide fuel with a molten halide salt containing a minor fraction of the respective uranium trihalide, transuranic and reactive fission products partition from the fuel to the molten salt phase, while uranium oxide and non-reactive, or noble metal, fission products remain in an insoluble solid phase. The salt is then separated from the fuel via draining and distillation. By this method, the bulk of the decay heat, fission poisoning capacity, and radiotoxicity are removed from the used fuel. The remaining radioactivity from the noble metal fission products in the detoxified fuel is primarily limited to soft beta emitters. The extracted transuranic and reactive fission products are amenable to existing technologies for group uranium/transuranic product recovery and fission product immobilization in engineered waste forms.

  14. High loading uranium fuel plate

    DOEpatents

    Wiencek, Thomas C.; Domagala, Robert F.; Thresh, Henry R.

    1990-01-01

    Two embodiments of a high uranium fuel plate are disclosed which contain a meat comprising structured uranium compound confined between a pair of diffusion bonded ductile metal cladding plates uniformly covering the meat, the meat having a uniform high fuel loading comprising a content of uranium compound greater than about 45 Vol. % at a porosity not greater than about 10 Vol. %. In a first embodiment, the meat is a plurality of parallel wires of uranium compound. In a second embodiment, the meat is a dispersion compact containing uranium compound. The fuel plates are fabricated by a hot isostatic pressing process.

  15. STRIPPING OF URANIUM FROM ORGANIC EXTRACTANTS

    DOEpatents

    Crouse, D.J. Jr.

    1962-09-01

    A liquid-liquid extraction method is given for recovering uranium values from uranium-containing solutions. Uranium is removed from a uranium-containing organic solution by contacting said organic solution with an aqueous ammonium carbonate solution substantially saturated in uranium values. A uranium- containing precipitate is thereby formed which is separated from the organic and aqueous phases. Uranium values are recovered from this separated precipitate. (AE C)

  16. AMS of natural 236U and 239Pu produced in uranium ores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcken, K. M.; Barrows, T. T.; Fifield, L. K.; Tims, S. G.; Steier, P.

    2007-06-01

    The rare isotopes 236U and 239Pu are produced naturally by neutron capture in uranium ores. Here we measure 236U and 239Pu by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) in the same ore samples for the first time. To ensure efficient extraction of both elements and isotopic equilibrium between the 239Pu in the ore and a 242Pu spike, we developed a new sample preparation protocol. AMS has clear advantages over previous methods because it achieves better discrimination against molecular interferences with higher sensitivity and shorter counting times. Measurements of 236U and 239Pu hold considerable promise as proxy indicators of neutron flux and uranium concentration.

  17. A Review of Depleted Uranium Biological Effects: In Vitro Studies (Briefing charts)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-11-01

    MeV, 5 cGy) Short-Term Carcinogenicity Tests In Vitro: Relative Comparison of DU, Nickel, and Alpha Particles Miller, et al, Environmental Health... Tested (20) Uranium Isotopes: Rad Activity Chem Tox DU 0.43 1.0 238U 0.33 1.0 Special thanks to Gwen Watson, MRC UK Alpha Particle Genomic Instability...Micronuclei as Endpoint of Genomic Instability Due to Radiation Effect Number of Clones Tested (5-7) Number of Clones Tested (20) Uranium Isotopes: Rad

  18. Uranium Location Database

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A GIS compiled locational database in Microsoft Access of ~15,000 mines with uranium occurrence or production, primarily in the western United States. The metadata was cooperatively compiled from Federal and State agency data sets and enables the user to conduct geographic and analytical studies on mine impacts on the public and environment.

  19. URANIUM SOLVENT EXTRACTION PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Harrington, C.D.

    1959-09-01

    A method is given for extracting uranium values from ores of high phosphate content consisting of dissolving them in aqueous nitric acid, adjusting the concentration of the aqueous solution to about 2 M with respect to nitric acid, and then contacting it with diethyl ether which has previously been made 1 M with respect to nitric acid.

  20. URANIUM RECOVERY PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Hyman, H.H.; Dreher, J.L.

    1959-07-01

    The recovery of uranium from the acidic aqueous metal waste solutions resulting from the bismuth phosphate carrier precipitation of plutonium from solutions of neutron irradiated uranium is described. The waste solutions consist of phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid, and uranium as a uranyl salt, together with salts of the fission products normally associated with neutron irradiated uranium. Generally, the process of the invention involves the partial neutralization of the waste solution with sodium hydroxide, followed by conversion of the solution to a pH 11 by mixing therewith sufficient sodium carbonate. The resultant carbonate-complexed waste is contacted with a titanated silica gel and the adsorbent separated from the aqueous medium. The aqueous solution is then mixed with sufficient acetic acid to bring the pH of the aqueous medium to between 4 and 5, whereby sodium uranyl acetate is precipitated. The precipitate is dissolved in nitric acid and the resulting solution preferably provided with salting out agents. Uranyl nitrate is recovered from the solution by extraction with an ether such as diethyl ether.

  1. The neurotoxicology of uranium.

    PubMed

    Dinocourt, Céline; Legrand, Marie; Dublineau, Isabelle; Lestaevel, Philippe

    2015-11-04

    The brain is a target of environmental toxic pollutants that impair cerebral functions. Uranium is present in the environment as a result of natural deposits and release by human applications. The first part of this review describes the passage of uranium into the brain, and its effects on neurological functions and cognitive abilities. Very few human studies have looked at its cognitive effects. Experimental studies show that after exposure, uranium can reach the brain and lead to neurobehavioral impairments, including increased locomotor activity, perturbation of the sleep-wake cycle, decreased memory, and increased anxiety. The mechanisms underlying these neurobehavioral disturbances are not clearly understood. It is evident that there must be more than one toxic mechanism and that it might include different targets in the brain. In the second part, we therefore review the principal mechanisms that have been investigated in experimental models: imbalance of the anti/pro-oxidant system and neurochemical and neurophysiological pathways. Uranium effects are clearly specific according to brain area, dose, and time. Nonetheless, this review demonstrates the paucity of data about its effects on developmental processes and the need for more attention to the consequences of exposure during development.

  2. Uranium Reduction by Clostridia

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, A.J.; Dodge, Cleveland J.; Gillow, Jeffrey B.

    2006-04-05

    The FRC groundwater and sediment contain significant concentrations of U and Tc and are dominated by low pH, and high nitrate and Al concentrations where dissimilatory metal reducing bacterial activity may be limited. The presence of Clostridia in Area 3 at the FRC site has been confirmed and their ability to reduce uranium under site conditions will be determined. Although the phenomenon of uranium reduction by Clostridia has been firmly established, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a reaction are not very clear. The authors are exploring the hypothesis that U(VI) reduction occurs through hydrogenases and other enzymes (Matin and Francis). Fundamental knowledge of metal reduction using Clostridia will allow us to exploit naturally occurring processes to attenuate radionuclide and metal contaminants in situ in the subsurface. The outline for this report are as follows: (1) Growth of Clostridium sp. under normal culture conditions; (2) Fate of metals and radionuclides in the presence of Clostridia; (3) Bioreduction of uranium associated with nitrate, citrate, and lepidocrocite; and (4) Utilization of Clostridium sp. for immobilization of uranium at the FRC Area 3 site.

  3. Uranium, soluble salts

    Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

    Uranium , soluble salts ; no CASRN 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 Noncarcinogenic Eff

  4. Fluid-bed fluoride volatility process recovers uranium from spent uranium alloy fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barghusen, J. J.; Chilenskas, A. A.; Gunderson, G. E.; Holmes, J. T.; Jonke, A. A.; Kincinas, J. E.; Levitz, N. M.; Potts, G. L.; Ramaswami, D.; Stethers, H.; Turner, K. S.

    1967-01-01

    Fluid-bed fluoride volatility process recovers uranium from uranium fuels containing either zirconium or aluminum. The uranium is recovered as uranium hexafluoride. The process requires few operations in simple, compact equipment, and eliminates aqueous radioactive wastes.

  5. Minority Women's Health

    MedlinePlus

    ... About Us Contact Us Text size | Print | Minority Women's Health This section of womenshealth.gov takes a ... Health email updates. Enter email address Submit Minority Women's Health news Accessibility | Privacy policy | Disclaimers | FOIA | Link ...

  6. Uranium from seawater

    SciTech Connect

    Gregg, D.; Folkendt, M.

    1982-09-21

    A novel process for recovering uranium from seawater is proposed and some of the critical technical parameters are evaluated. The process, in summary, consists of two different options for contacting adsorbant pellets with seawater without pumping the seawater. It is expected that this will reduce the mass handling requirements, compared to pumped seawater systems, by a factor of approximately 10/sup 5/, which should also result in a large reduction in initial capital investment. Activated carbon, possibly in combination with a small amount of dissolved titanium hydroxide, is expected to be the preferred adsorbant material instead of the commonly assumed titanium hydroxide alone. The activated carbon, after exposure to seawater, can be stripped of uranium with an appropriate eluant (probably an acid) or can be burned for its heating value (possible in a power plant) leaving the uranium further enriched in its ash. The uranium, representing about 1% of the ash, is then a rich ore and would be recovered in a conventional manner. Experimental results have indicated that activated carbon, acting alone, is not adequately effective in adsorbing the uranium from seawater. We measured partition coefficients (concentration ratios) of approximately 10/sup 3/ in seawater instead of the reported values of 10/sup 5/. However, preliminary tests carried out in fresh water show considerable promise for an extraction system that uses a combination of dissolved titanium hydroxide (in minute amounts) which forms an insoluble compound with the uranyl ion, and the insoluble compound then being sorbed out on activated carbon. Such a system showed partition coefficients in excess of 10/sup 5/ in fresh water. However, the system was not tested in seawater.

  7. PRODUCTION OF URANIUM METAL BY CARBON REDUCTION

    DOEpatents

    Holden, R.B.; Powers, R.M.; Blaber, O.J.

    1959-09-22

    The preparation of uranium metal by the carbon reduction of an oxide of uranium is described. In a preferred embodiment of the invention a charge composed of carbon and uranium oxide is heated to a solid mass after which it is further heated under vacuum to a temperature of about 2000 deg C to produce a fused uranium metal. Slowly ccoling the fused mass produces a dendritic structure of uranium carbide in uranium metal. Reacting the solidified charge with deionized water hydrolyzes the uranium carbide to finely divide uranium dioxide which can be separated from the coarser uranium metal by ordinary filtration methods.

  8. Uranium-Toxicity and Uranium-Induced Osteosarcoma Using A New Regimen and Surgery : A First-Time Experience

    PubMed Central

    Sukhmani; Gill, Karamjit Singh

    2015-01-01

    Uranium isotopes have always been problematic to mankind since many centuries. Different studies all over the world have been unable to reveal causal relationship between uranium and its toxic effects on kidneys, bone and lungs. In this case report, we present a rare association of uranium toxicity with renal dysfunction and possibility of induction of osteosarcoma by an unknown mechanism. The presentation of the 12-year-old patient was reduction in urine output along with joint pains, seemed like that of diabetes mellitus, as he was already on insulin. The patient later diagnosed to have uranium toxicity. This case is an instance of strong association between medicine and public health. With complete history, physical examination and required investigations, all common causes like NSAID toxicity, aminoglycoside toxicity and exacerbation of diabetes were ruled out. Uranium investigations were done lastly based on the toxicology report of drinking water (South African toxicologist, Caron Smith). In the management strategy, the new regimen CBMIDA, supported by studies in Europe, was used. However, to our surprise, joint symptoms tracked their way to a diagnosis of osteosarcoma, which was later operated upon by our orthopaedic surgery team. Histopathologically, it was found to be a chondroblastic type of osteosarcoma. PMID:26266171

  9. Evaluation of Uranium Measurements in Water by Various Methods - 13571

    SciTech Connect

    Tucker, Brian J.; Workman, Stephen M.

    2013-07-01

    In December 2000, EPA amended its drinking water regulations for radionuclides by adding a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for uranium (so called MCL Rule)[1] of 30 micrograms per liter (μg/L). The MCL Rule also included MCL goals of zero for uranium and other radionuclides. Many radioactively contaminated sites must test uranium in wastewater and groundwater to comply with the MCL rule as well as local publicly owned treatment works discharge limitations. This paper addresses the relative sensitivity, accuracy, precision, cost and comparability of two EPA-approved methods for detection of total uranium: inductively plasma/mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and alpha spectrometry. Both methods are capable of measuring the individual uranium isotopes U-234, U- 235, and U-238 and both methods have been deemed acceptable by EPA. However, the U-238 is by far the primary contributor to the mass-based ICP-MS measurement, especially for naturally-occurring uranium, which contains 99.2745% U-238. An evaluation shall be performed relative to the regulatory requirement promulgated by EPA in December 2000. Data will be garnered from various client sample results measured by ALS Laboratory in Fort Collins, CO. Data shall include method detection limits (MDL), minimum detectable activities (MDA), means and trends in laboratory control sample results, performance evaluation data for all methods, and replicate results. In addition, a comparison will be made of sample analyses results obtained from both alpha spectrometry and the screening method Kinetic Phosphorescence Analysis (KPA) performed at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) FUSRAP Maywood Laboratory (UFML). Many uranium measurements occur in laboratories that only perform radiological analysis. This work is important because it shows that uranium can be measured in radiological as well as stable chemistry laboratories and it provides several criteria as a basis for comparison of two uranium test methods. This data will

  10. Minorities and Career Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davenport, Lawrence; Petty, Reginald

    This publication explores needed changes in the career preparation and education for minorities and examines the implications of career education emphases for minorities in the U.S. Contents include: (1) "An Overview of Minorities and Career Education" by L. Davenport and R. Petty, (2) "Public Schools, Public Policy, and Public Problems: Some…

  11. Ethnic Minorities and Telecommunications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes-Hull, Marion

    Developments in communications technology should become a major concern of minorities (native Americans and Americans of African, Asian, and Hispanic racial or ethnic origin). Although minorities are disillusioned with broadcast television because television decision makers have not been sensitive to minority needs, they have shown interest…

  12. Office of Minority Health

    MedlinePlus

    Skip Navigation Office of Minority Health A A A En Español Newsroom Contact Us Search: About OMH What We Do Resource Center Policy and Data ... Funding and Programs History Leadership Regional Staff State Minority Health Contacts Offices of Minority Health at HHS ...

  13. Distribution of uranium in the Bisbee district, Cochise County, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Stewart R.

    1956-01-01

    The Bisbee district has been an important source of copper for many years, and substantial amounts of lead and zinc ore and minor amounts of manganese ore have been mined during certain periods. The copper deposits occur both as low-grade disseminated ore in the Sacramento Hill stock and as massive sulfide (and secondary oxide and carbonate) replacement bodies in Paleozoic limestones that are intruded by the stock and related igneous bodies. The lead-zinc production has come almost entirely from limestone replacement bodies. The disseminated ore exhibits no anomalous radioactivity, and samples from the Lavender pit contain from 0.002 to less than 0.001 percent equivalent uranium. The limestone replacement ores are distinctly radioactive and stoping areas can be readily distinguished from from unmineralized ground on the basis of radioactivity alone. The equivalent uranium content of the copper replacement ores ranges from 0.002 to 0.014 percent and averages about 0.005 percent; the lead-zinc replacement ores average more than 0.007 percent equivalent uranium. Most of the uranium in the copper ores of the district is retained in the smelter slag of a residual concentrate; the slag contains about 0.009 percent equivalent uranium. Uranium carried off each day by acid mine drainage is roughly equal to 1 percent of that being added to the slag dump. Although the total amount of uranium in the district is large, no minable concentrations of ore-grade material are known; samples of relatively high-grade material represent only small fractions of tons at any one locality.

  14. 31 CFR 540.309 - Natural uranium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Natural uranium. 540.309 Section 540... FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM (HEU) AGREEMENT ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS General Definitions § 540.309 Natural uranium. The term natural uranium means uranium found...

  15. Method of preparation of uranium nitride

    DOEpatents

    Kiplinger, Jaqueline Loetsch; Thomson, Robert Kenneth James

    2013-07-09

    Method for producing terminal uranium nitride complexes comprising providing a suitable starting material comprising uranium; oxidizing the starting material with a suitable oxidant to produce one or more uranium(IV)-azide complexes; and, sufficiently irradiating the uranium(IV)-azide complexes to produce the terminal uranium nitride complexes.

  16. Isotopic anomalies in extraterrestrial grains.

    PubMed

    Ireland, T R

    1996-03-01

    Isotopic compositions are referred to as anomalous if the isotopic ratios measured cannot be related to the terrestrial (solar) composition of a given element. While small effects close to the resolution of mass spectrometric techniques can have ambiguous origins, the discovery of large isotopic anomalies in inclusions and grains from primitive meteorites suggests that material from distinct sites of stellar nucleosynthesis has been preserved. Refractory inclusions, which are predominantly composed of the refractory oxides of Al, Ca, Ti, and Mg, in chondritic meteorites commonly have excesses in the heaviest isotopes of Ca, Ti, and Cr which are inferred to have been produced in a supernova. Refractory inclusions also contain excess 26Mg from short lived 26Al decay. However, despite the isotopic anomalies indicating the preservation of distinct nucleosynthetic sites, refractory inclusions have been processed in the solar system and are not interstellar grains. Carbon (graphite and diamond) and silicon carbide grains from the same meteorites also have large isotopic anomalies but these phases are not stable in the oxidized solar nebula which suggests that they are presolar and formed in the circumstellar atmospheres of carbon-rich stars. Diamond has a characteristic signature enriched in the lightest and heaviest isotopes of Xe, and graphite shows a wide range in C isotopic compositions. SiC commonly has C and N isotopic signatures which are characteristic of H-burning in the C-N-O cycle in low-mass stars. Heavier elements such as Si, Ti, Xe, Ba, and Nd, carry an isotopic signature of the s-process. A minor population of SiC (known as Grains X, ca. 1%) are distinct in having decay products of short lived isotopes 26Al (now 26Mg), 44Ti (now 44Ca), and 49V (now 49Ti), as well as 28Si excesses which are characteristic of supernova nucleosynthesis. The preservation of these isotopic anomalies allows the examination of detailed nucleosynthetic pathways in stars.

  17. Atomic vapor laser isotope separation

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, R.C.; Paisner, J.A.

    1985-11-08

    Atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) is a general and powerful technique. A major present application to the enrichment of uranium for light-water power reactor fuel has been under development for over 10 years. In June 1985 the Department of Energy announced the selection of AVLIS as the technology to meet the nation's future need for the internationally competitive production of uranium separative work. The economic basis for this decision is considered, with an indicated of the constraints placed on the process figures of merit and the process laser system. We then trace an atom through a generic AVLIS separator and give examples of the physical steps encountered, the models used to describe the process physics, the fundamental parameters involved, and the role of diagnostic laser measurements.

  18. Method of preparing uranium nitride or uranium carbonitride bodies

    DOEpatents

    Wilhelm, Harley A.; McClusky, James K.

    1976-04-27

    Sintered uranium nitride or uranium carbonitride bodies having a controlled final carbon-to-uranium ratio are prepared, in an essentially continuous process, from U.sub.3 O.sub.8 and carbon by varying the weight ratio of carbon to U.sub.3 O.sub.8 in the feed mixture, which is compressed into a green body and sintered in a continuous heating process under various controlled atmospheric conditions to prepare the sintered bodies.

  19. Corrosion Evaluation of RERTR Uranium Molybdenum Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    A K Wertsching

    2012-09-01

    As part of the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) mandate to replace the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel for low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, research into the development of LEU fuel for research reactors has been active since the late 1970’s. Originally referred to as the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) program the new effort named Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) is nearing the goal of replacing the standard aluminum clad dispersion highly enriched uranium aluminide fuel with a new LEU fuel. The five domestic high performance research reactors undergoing this conversion are High Flux Isotope reactor (HFIR), Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Reactor, Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reactor II (MITR-II). The design of these reactors requires a higher neutron flux than other international research reactors, which to this point has posed unique challenges in the design and development of the new mandated LEU fuel. The new design utilizes a monolithic fuel configuration in order to obtain sufficient 235U within the LEU stoichoimetry to maintain the fission reaction within the domestic test reactors. The change from uranium aluminide dispersion fuel type to uranium molybdenum (UMo) monolithic configuration requires examination of possible corrosion issues associated with the new fuel meat. A focused analysis of the UMo fuel under potential corrosion conditions, within the ATR and under aqueous storage indicates a slow and predictable corrosion rate. Additional corrosion testing is recommended for the highest burn-up fuels to confirm observed corrosion rate trends. This corrosion analysis will focus only on the UMo fuel and will address corrosion of ancillary components such as cladding only in terms of how it affects the fuel. The calculations and corrosion scenarios are weighted with a conservative bias to

  20. Method for fabricating uranium foils and uranium alloy foils

    DOEpatents

    Hofman, Gerard L.; Meyer, Mitchell K.; Knighton, Gaven C.; Clark, Curtis R.

    2006-09-05

    A method of producing thin foils of uranium or an alloy. The uranium or alloy is cast as a plate or sheet having a thickness less than about 5 mm and thereafter cold rolled in one or more passes at substantially ambient temperatures until the uranium or alloy thereof is in the shape of a foil having a thickness less than about 1.0 mm. The uranium alloy includes one or more of Zr, Nb, Mo, Cr, Fe, Si, Ni, Cu or Al.

  1. RECOVERY OF URANIUM FROM ZIRCONIUM-URANIUM NUCLEAR FUELS

    DOEpatents

    Gens, T.A.

    1962-07-10

    An improvement was made in a process of recovering uranium from a uranium-zirconium composition which was hydrochlorinated with gsseous hydrogen chloride at a temperature of from 350 to 800 deg C resulting in volatilization of the zirconium, as zirconium tetrachloride, and the formation of a uranium containing nitric acid insoluble residue. The improvement consists of reacting the nitric acid insoluble hydrochlorination residue with gaseous carbon tetrachloride at a temperature in the range 550 to 600 deg C, and thereafter recovering the resulting uranium chloride vapors. (AEC)

  2. Uranium accumulation by aquatic plants from uranium-contaminated water in Central Portugal.

    PubMed

    Pratas, João; Favas, Paulo J C; Paulo, Carlos; Rodrigues, Nelson; Prasad, M N V

    2012-03-01

    Several species of plants have developed a tolerance to metal that enables them to survive in metal contaminated and polluted sites. Some of these aquatic plants have been reported to accumulate significant amounts of specific trace elements and are, therefore, useful for phytofiltration. This work focuses the potential of aquatic plants for the phytofiltration of uranium (U) from contaminated water. We observed that Callitriche stagnalis, Lemna minor, and Fontinalis antipyretica, which grow in the uraniferous geochemical province of Central Portugal, have been able to accumulate significant amounts of U. The highest concentration of U was found in Callitriche stagnalis (1948.41 mg/kg DW), Fontinalis antipyretica (234.79 mg/kg DW), and Lemna minor (52.98 mg/kg DW). These results indicate their potential for the phytofiltration of U through constructed treatment wetlands or by introducing these plants into natural water bodies in the uraniferous province of Central Portugal.

  3. Atomic vapor laser isotope separation using resonance ionization

    SciTech Connect

    Comaskey, B.; Crane, J.; Erbert, G.; Haynam, C.; Johnson, M.; Morris, J.; Paisner, J.; Solarz, R.; Worden, E.

    1986-09-01

    Atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) is a general and powerful technique. A major present application to the enrichment of uranium for light-water power-reactor fuel has been under development for over 10 years. In June 1985, the Department of Energy announced the selection of AVLIS as the technology to meet the nation's future need for enriched uranium. Resonance photoionization is the heart of the AVLIS process. We discuss those fundamental atomic parameters that are necessary for describing isotope-selective resonant multistep photoionization along with the measurement techniques that we use. We illustrate the methodology adopted with examples of other elements that are under study in our program.

  4. PROCESS FOR PRODUCING URANIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Harvey, B.G.

    1954-09-14

    >This patent relates to improvements in the method for producing uranium tetrafluoride by treating an aqueous solutlon of a uranyl salt at an elevated temperature with a reducing agent effective in acld solutlon in the presence of hydrofluoric acid. Uranium tetrafluoride produced this way frequentiy contains impurities in the raw material serving as the source of uranium. Uranium tetrafluoride much less contaminated with impurities than when prepared by the above method can be prepared from materials containing such impurities by first adding a small proportion of reducing agent so as to cause a small fraction, for example 1 to 5% of the uranium tetrafluoride to be precipitated, rejecting such precipitate, and then precipitating and recovering the remainder of the uranium tetrafluoride.

  5. ELECTROLYSIS OF THORIUM AND URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Hansen, W.N.

    1960-09-01

    An electrolytic method is given for obtaining pure thorium, uranium, and thorium-uranium alloys. The electrolytic cell comprises a cathode composed of a metal selected from the class consisting of zinc, cadmium, tin, lead, antimony, and bismuth, an anode composed of at least one of the metals selected from the group consisting of thorium and uranium in an impure state, and an electrolyte composed of a fused salt containing at least one of the salts of the metals selected from the class consisting of thorium, uranium. zinc, cadmium, tin, lead, antimony, and bismuth. Electrolysis of the fused salt while the cathode is maintained in the molten condition deposits thorium, uranium, or thorium-uranium alloys in pure form in the molten cathode which thereafter may be separated from the molten cathode product by distillation.

  6. METHOD OF PRODUCING URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Foster, L.S.; Magel, T.T.

    1958-05-13

    A modified process is described for the production of uranium metal by means of a bomb reduction of UF/sub 4/. Difficulty is sometimes experienced in obtaining complete separation of the uranium from the slag when the process is carried out on a snnall scale, i.e., for the production of 10 grams of U or less. Complete separation may be obtained by incorporating in the reaction mixture a quantity of MnCl/sub 2/, so that this compound is reduced along with the UF/sub 4/ . As a result a U--Mn alloy is formed which has a melting point lower than that of pure U, and consequently the metal remains molten for a longer period allowing more complete separation from the slag.

  7. Instabilities in uranium plasma.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tidman, D. A.

    1971-01-01

    The nonlinear evolution of unstable sound waves in a uranium plasma has been calculated using a multiple time-scale asymptotic expansion scheme. The fluid equations used include the fission power density, radiation diffusion, and the effects of the changing degree of ionization of the uranium atoms. The nonlinear growth of unstable waves is shown to be limited by mode coupling to shorter wavelength waves which are damped by radiation diffusion. This mechanism limits the wave pressure fluctuations to values of order delta P/P equal to about .00001 in the plasma of a typical gas-core nuclear rocket engine. The instability is thus not expected to present a control problem for this engine.

  8. FORMATION OF URANIUM PRECIPITATES

    DOEpatents

    Googin, J.M. Jr.

    1959-03-17

    A method is described for precipitation of uranium peroxide from uranium- containing solutions so as to obtain larger aggregates which facilitates washings decantations filtrations centrifugations and the like. The desired larger aggregate form is obtained by maintaining the pH of the solution in the approximate range of 1 to 3 and the temperature at about 25 deg C or below while carrytng out the precipitation. Then prior to removal of the precipitate a surface active sulfonated bicarboxyacids such as di-octyl sodium sulfo-succinates is incorporated in an anount of the order of 0.01 to 0.05 percent by weights and the slurry is allowed to ripen for about one-half hour at a temperatare below 10 deg C.

  9. Regularities of spatial association of major endogenous uranium deposits and kimberlitic dykes in the uranium ore regions of the Ukrainian Shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalashnyk, Anna

    2015-04-01

    During exploration works we discovered the spatial association and proximity time formation of kimberlite dykes (ages are 1,815 and 1,900 Ga for phlogopite) and major industrial uranium deposits in carbonate-sodium metasomatites (age of the main uranium ore of an albititic formation is 1,85-1,70 Ga according to U-Pb method) in Kirovogradsky, Krivorozhsky and Alekseevsko-Lysogorskiy uranium ore regions of the Ukrainian Shield (UkrSh) [1]. In kimberlites of Kirovogradsky ore region uranium content reaches 18-20 g/t. Carbon dioxide is a major component in the formation of hydrothermal uranium deposits and the formation of the sodium in the process of generating the spectrum of alkaline ultrabasic magmas in the range from picritic to kimberlite and this is the connection between these disparate geochemical processes. For industrial uranium deposits in carbonate-sodium metasomatitics of the Kirovogradsky and Krivorozhsky uranium ore regions are characteristic of uranyl carbonate introduction of uranium, which causes correlation between CO2 content and U in range of "poor - ordinary - rich" uranium ore. In productive areas of uranium-ore fields of the Kirovogradsky ore region for phlogopite-carbonate veinlets of uranium ore albitites deep δ13C values (from -7.9 to -6.9o/oo) are characteristic. Isotope-geochemical investigation of albitites from Novokonstantynovskoe, Dokuchaevskoe, Partyzanskoe uranium deposits allowed obtaining direct evidence of the involvement of mantle material during formation of uranium albitites in Kirovogradsky ore region [2]. Petrological characteristics of kimberlites from uranium ore regions of the UkrSh (presence of nodules of dunite and harzburgite garnet in kimberlites, diamonds of peridotite paragenesis, chemical composition of indicator minerals of kimberlite, in particular Gruzskoy areas pyropes (Cr2O3 = 6,1-7,1%, MgO = 19,33-20,01%, CaO = 4,14-4,38 %, the content of knorringite component of most grains > 50mol%), chromites (Cr2O3 = 45

  10. Uranium Mines and Mills Location Database

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Uranium Mines and Mills location database identifies and shows the location of active and inactive uranium mines and mills, as well as mines which principally produced other minerals, but were known to have uranium in the ore.

  11. PROCESS FOR REMOVING NOBLE METALS FROM URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Knighton, J.B.

    1961-01-31

    A pyrometallurgical method is given for purifying uranium containing ruthenium and palladium. The uranium is disintegrated and oxidized by exposure to air and then the ruthenium and palladium are extracted from the uranium with molten zinc.

  12. Progress in AMS measurement of U isotope ratios in nanogram U samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Kejun; He, Ming; Wang, Chen; Zhao, Xinhong; Li, Lili; Zhao, Yonggang; Wang, Xianggao; Shen, Hongtao; Wang, Xiaoming; Pang, Fangfang; Xu, Yongning; Zhao, Qingzhang; Dou, Liang; Yang, Xuran; Wu, Shaoyong; Lin, Deyu; Li, Kangning; You, Qubo; Bao, Yiwen; Hu, Yueming; Xia, Qingliang; Yin, Xinyi; Jiang, Shan

    2015-10-01

    The determination of uranium isotopic composition in ultra-trace U samples is very important in different fields, especially for the nuclear forensics. A new Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) technique has been developed for the measurement of uranium isotopic ratios in ng level uranium samples at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). Recently, the method was further optimized and developed by using a series of blank and standard samples. The results show that the 236U at the femtogram level can be determined in nanogram U samples by the newly developed AMS technique at CIAE. The experimental setup, performances and results will be detailed in this contribution.

  13. Method of isotope separation by chemi-ionization

    DOEpatents

    Wexler, Sol; Young, Charles E.

    1977-05-17

    A method for separating specific isotopes present in an isotopic mixture by aerodynamically accelerating a gaseous compound to form a jet of molecules, and passing the jet through a stream of electron donor atoms whereby an electron transfer takes place, thus forming negative ions of the molecules. The molecular ions are then passed through a radiofrequency quadrupole mass filter to separate the specific isotopes. This method may be used for any compounds having a sufficiently high electron affinity to permit negative ion formation, and is especially useful for the separation of plutonium and uranium isotopes.

  14. Uranium price forecasting methods

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, D.M.

    1994-03-01

    This article reviews a number of forecasting methods that have been applied to uranium prices and compares their relative strengths and weaknesses. The methods reviewed are: (1) judgemental methods, (2) technical analysis, (3) time-series methods, (4) fundamental analysis, and (5) econometric methods. Historically, none of these methods has performed very well, but a well-thought-out model is still useful as a basis from which to adjust to new circumstances and try again.

  15. WELDED JACKETED URANIUM BODY

    DOEpatents

    Gurinsky, D.H.

    1958-08-26

    A fuel element is presented for a neutronic reactor and is comprised of a uranium body, a non-fissionable jacket surrounding sald body, thu jacket including a portion sealed by a weld, and an inclusion in said sealed jacket at said weld of a fiux having a low neutron capture cross-section. The flux is provided by combining chlorine gas and hydrogen in the intense heat of-the arc, in a "Heliarc" welding muthod, to form dry hydrochloric acid gas.

  16. PROCESS FOR PREPARING URANIUM METAL

    DOEpatents

    Prescott, C.H. Jr.; Reynolds, F.L.

    1959-01-13

    A process is presented for producing oxygen-free uranium metal comprising contacting iodine vapor with crude uranium in a reaction zone maintained at 400 to 800 C to produce a vaporous mixture of UI/sub 4/ and iodine. Also disposed within the maction zone is a tungsten filament which is heated to about 1600 C. The UI/sub 4/, upon contacting the hot filament, is decomposed to molten uranium substantially free of oxygen.

  17. METHOD OF JACKETING URANIUM BODIES

    DOEpatents

    Maloney, J.O.; Haines, E.B.; Tepe, J.B.

    1958-08-26

    An improved process is presented for providing uranium slugs with thin walled aluminum jackets. Since aluminum has a slightiy higher coefficient of thermal expansion than does uraaium, both uranium slugs and aluminum cans are heated to an elevated temperature of about 180 C, and the slug are inserted in the cans at that temperature. During the subsequent cooling of the assembly, the aluminum contracts more than does the uranium and a tight shrink fit is thus assured.

  18. METHOD OF DISSOLVING URANIUM METAL

    DOEpatents

    Slotin, L.A.

    1958-02-18

    This patent relates to an economicai means of dissolving metallic uranium. It has been found that the addition of a small amount of perchloric acid to the concentrated nitric acid in which the uranium is being dissolved greatly shortens the time necessary for dissolution of the metal. Thus the use of about 1 or 2 percent of perchioric acid based on the weight of the nitric acid used, reduces the time of dissolution of uranium by a factor of about 100.

  19. Sputtering of uranium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregg, R.; Tombrello, T. A.

    1978-01-01

    Results are presented for an experimental study of the sputtering of U-235 atoms from foil targets by hydrogen, helium, and argon ions, which was performed by observing tracks produced in mica by fission fragments following thermal-neutron-induced fission. The technique used allowed measurements of uranium sputtering yields of less than 0.0001 atom/ion as well as yields involving the removal of less than 0.01 monolayer of the uranium target surface. The results reported include measurements of the sputtering yields for 40-120-keV protons, 40-120-keV He-4(+) ions, and 40- and 80-keV Ar-40(+) ions, the mass distribution of chunks emitted during sputtering by the protons and 80-keV Ar-40(+) ions, the total chunk yield during He-4(+) sputtering, and some limited data on molecular sputtering by H2(+) and H3(+). The angular distribution of the sputtered uranium is discussed, and the yields obtained are compared with the predictions of collision cascade theory.

  20. METHOD FOR RECOVERING URANIUM FROM OILS

    DOEpatents

    Gooch, L.H.

    1959-07-14

    A method is presented for recovering uranium from hydrocarbon oils, wherein the uranium is principally present as UF/sub 4/. According to the invention, substantially complete removal of the uranium from the hydrocarbon oil may be effected by intimately mixing one part of acetone to about 2 to 12 parts of the hydrocarbon oil containing uranium and separating the resulting cake of uranium from the resulting mixture. The uranium in the cake may be readily recovered by burning to the oxide.