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Nuclear Forensics of a Non-Traditional Sample: Neptunium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 May 2016

Jamie L. Doyle
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663, Los Alamos, NM 87545
Daniel Schwartz
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663, Los Alamos, NM 87545
Lav Tandon
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663, Los Alamos, NM 87545
Corresponding
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Abstract

Recent nuclear forensics cases have focused primarily on plutonium (Pu) and uranium (U) materials. By definition however, nuclear forensics can apply to any diverted nuclear material. This includes neptunium (Np), an internationally safeguarded material like Pu and U, that could offer a nuclear security concern if significant quantities were found outside of regulatory control. This case study couples scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with quantitative analysis using newly developed specialized software, to evaluate a non-traditional nuclear forensic sample of Np. The results of the morphological analyses were compared with another Np sample of known pedigree, as well as other traditional actinide materials in order to determine potential processing and point-of-origin.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2016 

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