Measurement of the 231 Pa/ 235 U ratio for the age determination of uranium materials
The paper describes the age (production date) determination of uranium reference materials using the 231Pa/235U ratio. Direct addition of 237Np in secular equilibrium with its 233Pa daughter was chosen instead of the regular milking of 237Np to avoid possible loss of Pa. Sample preparation consists of a fast, one-step procedure. The developed method using ICP-MS for the measurement of 231Pa is more precise than alpha spectrometry and is applicable for freshly produced low-enriched uranium materials. The measured ages are in good agreement with the reported production dates, thus the 231Pa/235U chronometer can be applied for validation of 230Th/234U in nuclear forensics and safeguards.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10967-018-6247-9