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This content will become publicly available on May 20, 2019

Title: Application of modern autoradiography to nuclear forensic analysis

Modern autoradiography techniques based on phosphorimaging technology using image plates (IPs) and digital scanning can identify heterogeneities in activity distributions and reveal material properties, serving to inform subsequent analyses. Here, we have adopted these advantages for applications in nuclear forensics, the technical analysis of radioactive or nuclear materials found outside of legal control to provide data related to provenance, production history, and trafficking route for the materials. IP autoradiography is a relatively simple, non-destructive method for sample characterization that records an image reflecting the relative intensity of alpha and beta emissions from a two-dimensional surface. Such data are complementary to information gathered from radiochemical characterization via bulk counting techniques, and can guide the application of other spatially resolved techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). IP autoradiography can image large 2-dimenstional areas (up to 20 × 40 cm), with relatively low detection limits for actinides and other radioactive nuclides, and sensitivity to a wide dynamic range (10 5) of activity density in a single image. Distributions of radioactivity in nuclear materials can be generated with a spatial resolution of approximately 50 μm using IP autoradiography and digital scanning. While the finest grain silver halidemore » films still provide the best possible resolution (down to ~10 μm), IP autoradiography has distinct practical advantages such as shorter exposure times, no chemical post-processing, reusability, rapid plate scanning, and automated image digitization. Sample preparation requirements are minimal, and the analytical method does not consume or alter the sample. These advantages make IP autoradiography ideal for routine screening of nuclear materials, and for the identification of areas of interest for subsequent micro-characterization methods. Here in this article we present a summary of our setup, as modified for nuclear forensic sample analysis and related research, and provide examples of data from select samples from the nuclear fuel cycle and historical nuclear test debris.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-735865
Journal ID: ISSN 0379-0738
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Forensic Science International
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 286; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0379-0738
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDHS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 38 RADIATION CHEMISTRY, RADIOCHEMISTRY, AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY; Nuclear forensics; Autoradiography; Radioactivity; Imaging
OSTI Identifier:
1438774