3 years ago

Nuclear forensics investigation of morphological signatures in the thermal decomposition of uranyl peroxide

Nuclear forensics investigation of morphological signatures in the thermal decomposition of uranyl peroxide
The analytical techniques typically utilized in a nuclear forensic investigation often provide limited information regarding the process history and production conditions of interdicted nuclear material. In this study, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of the surface morphology of amorphous-UO3 samples calcined at 250, 300, 350, 400, and 450°C from uranyl peroxide was performed to determine if the morphology was indicative of the synthesis route and thermal history for the samples. Thermogravimetic analysis-mass spectrometry (TGA-MS) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to correlate transitions in the calcined material to morphological transformations. The high-resolution SEM images were processed using the Morphological Analysis for Material Attribution (MAMA) software. Morphological attributes, particle area and circularity, indicated significant trends as a result of calcination temperature. The quantitative morphological analysis was able to track the process of particle fragmentation and subsequent sintering as calcination temperature was increased. At the 90% confidence interval, with 1000 segmented particles, the use of Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistical comparisons allowed discernment between all calcination temperatures for the uranyl peroxide route.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0039914017308391

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