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Title: Radionuclide observables of underwater nuclear explosive tests

Abstract

There remain technical challenges for an On-site Inspection (OSI) in the high seas environment, which gathers evidence of a violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). For terrestrial nuclear explosions, the radionuclide observables are well defined and States Parties have chosen 17 particulate radionuclides that allow discrimination from other nuclear events. However, an underwater nuclear explosion generates induced radionuclides from the neutron activation of seawater, which has the potential to interfere with the measurement of the radionuclide observables using gamma-spectrometry techniques. To understand these effects the inventory of OSI relevant (4.6 x 1018 Bq) and activation (1.6 x 1019 Bq) radionuclides has been calculated for a 1 kT underwater nuclear explosion. The activation products consist predominantly of 38Cl and 24Na, which decay to 5.56% and 0.0007% of their initial activity within 1 and 14 days. Monte Carlo techniques have been used to assess spectral interferences within this timeframe. It is demonstrated that during this period they do not interfere with the measurement of the existing radionuclide observables. Additionally, 24Na has been identified as useful for inspection purposes.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1489237
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-131144
Journal ID: ISSN 0265-931X
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 192; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0265-931X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Underwater nuclear explosion, OSI, CTBT, CTBT

Citation Formats

Burnett, Jonathan L., and Milbrath, Brian D. Radionuclide observables of underwater nuclear explosive tests. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.06.007.
Burnett, Jonathan L., & Milbrath, Brian D. Radionuclide observables of underwater nuclear explosive tests. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.06.007.
Burnett, Jonathan L., and Milbrath, Brian D. Sat . "Radionuclide observables of underwater nuclear explosive tests". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.06.007.
@article{osti_1489237,
title = {Radionuclide observables of underwater nuclear explosive tests},
author = {Burnett, Jonathan L. and Milbrath, Brian D.},
abstractNote = {There remain technical challenges for an On-site Inspection (OSI) in the high seas environment, which gathers evidence of a violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). For terrestrial nuclear explosions, the radionuclide observables are well defined and States Parties have chosen 17 particulate radionuclides that allow discrimination from other nuclear events. However, an underwater nuclear explosion generates induced radionuclides from the neutron activation of seawater, which has the potential to interfere with the measurement of the radionuclide observables using gamma-spectrometry techniques. To understand these effects the inventory of OSI relevant (4.6 x 1018 Bq) and activation (1.6 x 1019 Bq) radionuclides has been calculated for a 1 kT underwater nuclear explosion. The activation products consist predominantly of 38Cl and 24Na, which decay to 5.56% and 0.0007% of their initial activity within 1 and 14 days. Monte Carlo techniques have been used to assess spectral interferences within this timeframe. It is demonstrated that during this period they do not interfere with the measurement of the existing radionuclide observables. Additionally, 24Na has been identified as useful for inspection purposes.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.06.007},
journal = {Journal of Environmental Radioactivity},
issn = {0265-931X},
number = C,
volume = 192,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}