A joint JRC-IAEA research project on the determination of picogram amounts of uranium in micrometre-sized particles for nuclear safeguards and security purposes was recently published.
The JRC – in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency-Safeguards Analytical Service (IAEA-SGAS, Seibersdorf/Austria) quantified by Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry picogram amounts (i.e. 10-12 g) of uranium in monodispersed micrometre-sized particles in a candidate particle reference material, to improve the analytical methods used in the field of particle analysis in nuclear safeguards and security.
Uranium particles were transferred from a substrate to an instrument for isotope dilution analysis, using optical microscopy. The uranium amount per particle was determined using Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) and Multi Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). This was the first application of combining optical microscopy, TIMS and MC-ICP-MS in particle analysis.
This collaborative work between the JRC and the IAEA-SGAS is showcased as a full article in the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, Issue 3, 2021.
Both mass spectrometry techniques were shown to be highly suitable for quantification of picogram amounts of uranium in particle analysis. Consequently, the candidate particle reference material was certified for uranium mass per particle and is now commercially available as IRMM-2329P.
It was as well, successfully used as test sample in the proficiency test NUSIMEP-9 organised for the IAEA Network of Analytical Laboratories.
- Publication date
- 24 March 2021