The solvents tributylphosphate (TBP) and odourless kerosene (OK) are widely used to extract plutonium(IV) and uranium(V) in nuclear processing plants. Their use depends upon their relatively low affinity for fission products, but small amounts of radioisotopes are taken up by them. To aid disposal/reuse of these solvents it is of use to study ways of removing radioisotopes of Cs and Sr from them. This paper describes simple distribution coefficient (Kd) measurements to test the ability of aluminosilicate zeolites to remove137Cs and90Sr/90Y from TBP, OK and their mixtures.
Half-life of241Pu is of great importance in nuclear technology. In view of large variation in the values (13–15 y) reported till 1974 in literature, efforts have been made in different laboratories to determine this half-life with high precision and accuracy. In our laboratory, it has been determined by different methods which may be classified in two categories, viz. (1) parent decay method, and (2) daughter growth method. In the parent decay method, change in isotope ratios241Pu/239Pu,241Pu/240Pu and241Pu/242Pu was studied periodically by a thermal ionization mass spectrometer. Single as well as double ratio method was used to calculate the half-life. In the daughter growth method, the half-life was obtained in four independent ways. These were (1) alpha spectrometry taking239Pu and242Pu separately as reference isotopes and studying periodically the increase in alpha activity ratio, (2) alpha proportional counting for observing periodically the change in total alpha activity, (3) isotope dilution alpha spectrometry using243Am as a spike, (4) isotope dilution mass spectrometry using243Am as a spike. In all these methods, synthetic mixtures were prepared for achieving high precision and accuracy in different measurements. Based on the results obtained in this laboratory and the values reported by other laboratories, a half-life value of 14.4±0.1 y is recommended. The paper reviews the past history, puts forth the present status, highlights the current trends for studying the effect of chemical composition of plutonium on the half-life of241Pu and presents the future requirements for achieving higher accuracy in the half-life of241Pu.
Relative activity method offers the potentiality of providing half-life values over a wide range in a short time for different -emitting transactinium isotopes. The method involves the preparation of a synthetic mixture using another isotope of the same element followed by the determination of atom ratio and -activity ratio by thermal ionization mass spectrometry and -spectrometry, respectively. A double dilution technique is described which helps in maintaining the atom ratios as well as -activity ratios close to unity so that these could be determined with high precision and accuracy. Results obtained on the half-lives of232U,238Pu,242Pu and243Am using double dilution technique in relative activity method are summarized. Requirements, advantages and applications of this technique for determining the half-lives of other transactinium isotopes are presented.
Isotopic composition of uranium obtained from irradiated thorium dioxide was determined using alpha spectrometry by employing
WinALPHA for the deconvolution of the alpha spectra recorded using electrodeposited sources. The results obtained were found
to agree within 1% with those determined by thermal ionization mass spectrometry. The deconvolution methodology is important
since it is possible to account for the in-growth of 228Th, which interferes in the determination of 232U by alpha spectrometry. The present methodology has the potential to determine isotopic composition of uranium in the irradiated
thorium based nuclear fuels, employing alpha spectrometry.
234U/238U α-activity ratios determined by α-spectrometry (AS) and those calculated from the atom ratio data using the half-life values
are compared in some of the isotopic reference materials of uranium and a few other uranium samples. For α-spectrometry, electrodeposited
sources were prepared and a large area passivated ion implanted (IPE) detector (450 mm2) was used for recording the α-spectra. The isotopic composition of U was determined by thermal ionisation mass spectrometry
(TIMS) and the recommended half-life values of234U and238U were used to calculate the α-activity ratio. It is observed that234U/238U α-activity ratios calculated from the atom ratio data are consistently high, with a mean difference of about 5%, when compared
to the α-spectrometry results. This discrepancy warrants confirmation by a few more laboratories and suggests redetermination
of the half-life values of234U and238U.
The solvents tributylphosphate (TBP) and odourless kerosene (OK) are widely used to extract plutonium(IV) and uranium(V) in nuclear processing plants. Although these solvents are chosen because of their low affinity for fission products it is, nevertheless, of value to study ways of removing the small quantities of fission products, such as isotopes of Cs, Sr and Ru, which can be present in the solvents. This paper describes simple distribution coefficients (Kd) measurements made to test the ability of the aluminosilicate zeolites to remove106Ru from TBP, OK, and their mixtures.
For high resolution alpha-spectrometric studies, the sources of alpha-emitting actinides are generally prepared by electrodeposition.
Usually, by electrodeposition of only one element can be achieved quantitatively. A method was developed for the simultaneous
quantitative electrodeposition of plutonium and americium, in two hours using 0.005M oxalic acid with saturated ammonium chloride.
The alpha-spectral characteristics of sources prepared by this method were better than those prepared by the drop deposition
method. This electrodeposition procedure was validated with nuclear fuel samples containing plutonium and americium.
A method based on the geometric progression decrease of the counts in the far tail of the alpha spectrum is described for the simultaneous determination of plutonium, americium and curium by alpha spectrometry. For evaluating the precision and accuracy, synthetic mixtures were prepared from solutions of enriched isotopes and sources were prepared by direct evaporation method using tetraethylene glycol /TEG/ as a spreading agent and electropolished stainless steel discs as the backing material. Precision and accuracy of about 1% is demonstrated in the determination of244Cm/239Pu,241Am/239Pu,244Cm/233U,241Am/233U and239Pu/233U alpha activity ratios using a 450 mm2 silicon surface barrier detector.
234U of high isotopic purity (>99 atom%) as well as of high radiochemical, purity was separated from aged238Pu prepared by neutron irradiation of237Np. Methodologies based on ion exchange and solvent extraction procedures were used to achieve high decontamination factor
from238Pu owing to the very high α-specific activity of238Pu (2800 times) in comparison to that of234U. Isotopic composition of purified234U was determined by thermal ionisation mass spectrometry. Alpha spectrometry was used for checking the radiochemical purity
of234U with respect to concomitant α-emitting nuclides. The separated234U will be useful for different investigations using mass spectrometry and alpha spectrometry.
The glass-forming tendency and specific heat in ice cold water-quenched Ge1−xSnxSe2.5 glassy alloys with 0<x<0.6 were investigated by means of differential scanning calorimetry. The heat of fusion ΔHf, the heat ΔHc associated with the crystallization of an amorphous phase and the glass transition temperatureTg were deduced from the DSC curves. The composition dependence of glass forming ability,Tg and crystallization behavior has been discussed.