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Title: Measurements of extinct fission products in nuclear bomb debris: Determination of the yield of the Trinity nuclear test 70 y later

This study describes an approach to measuring extinct fission products that would allow for the characterization of a nuclear test at any time. The isotopic composition of molybdenum in five samples of glassy debris from the 1945 Trinity nuclear test has been measured. Nonnatural molybdenum isotopic compositions were observed, reflecting an input from the decay of the short-lived fission products 95Zr and 97Zr. By measuring both the perturbation of the 95Mo/ 96Mo and 97Mo/ 96Mo isotopic ratios and the total amount of molybdenum in the Trinity nuclear debris samples, it is possible to calculate the original concentrations of the 95Zr and 97Zr isotopes formed in the nuclear detonation. Together with a determination of the amount of plutonium in the debris, these measurements of extinct fission products allow for new estimates of the efficiency and yield of the historic Trinity test.
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 29; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
Country of Publication:
United States
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; nuclear forensics; nuclear testing; treaty monitoring; stable isotope perturbation measurements
OSTI Identifier: