Production and characterization of plutonium dioxide particles as a quality control material for safeguards purposes

Taeko Shinonaha (Corresponding Author), David Donohue (Corresponding Author), Helmut Aigner, Stefan Bürger, Dilani Klose, Teemu Kärkelä, Riitta Zilliacus, Ari Auvinen, Olivier Marie, Fabien Pointurier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Plutonium (Pu) dioxide particles were produced from certified reference material (CRM) 136 solution (CRM 136—plutonium isotopic standard, New Brunswick Laboratory, Argonne, IL, U.S.A., 1987) using an atomizer system on December 3, 2009 after chemical separation of americium (Am) on October 27, 2009. The highest density of the size distribution of the particles obtained from 312 particles on a selected impactor stage was in the range of 0.7–0.8 μm. The flattening degree of 312 particles was also estimated. The isotopic composition of Pu and uranium (U) and the amount of Am were estimated by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), and α-spectrometry. Within uncertainties the isotopic composition of the produced particles is in agreement with the expected values, which were derived from the decay correction of the Pu isotopes in the CRM 136. The elemental ratio of Am to Pu in the produced particles was determined on the 317th and 674th day after Am separation, and the residual amount of Am in the solution was estimated. The analytical results of single particles by micro-Raman–scanning electron microscopy (SEM)–energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) indicate that the produced particles are Pu dioxide. Our initial attempts to measure the density of two single particles gave results with a spread value accompanied by a large uncertainty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2638-2646
    JournalAnalytical Chemistry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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