skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Guidance on Radiochronometry

Radiochronometry is the measurement of radioactive materials and their decay products to determine the “age” of the material. It differs from the practice of geochronology in that the materials (samples) are man-made, and in that the timespan of interest is confined to the nuclear era, i.e., since the discovery of fission in 1939. In radiochronometry, the “age” of the material ideally records the time when the sample was manufactured, or produced in the final form that is analyzed in the laboratory. It is an important predictive signature in a nuclear forensic investigation which can help in the attribution to a source. The calculation of this “age” can only be made if a model is invoked that allows simplification of the parent radionuclide to daughter isotope decay equation. The simplification required for this model is that the parent was purified completely from all traces of its daughter product at the time of sample preparation. Then, this “age” should be described as the “model age” from which a “model date” in the past can then be calculated. For this model date to represent the date of sample preparation, two other assumptions are required to be true. The first is that the materialmore » has remained a closed system since that time (i.e., that there has been no loss or gain of either parent or daughter), and the second is that the analyses are accurate.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1321436
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR--701379
TRN: US1700266
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
38 RADIATION CHEMISTRY, RADIOCHEMISTRY, AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY; 98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; DAUGHTER PRODUCTS; NUCLEAR FORENSICS; SAMPLE PREPARATION; DECAY; AGE ESTIMATION; EQUATIONS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; RECOMMENDATIONS