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1 Introduction Nuclear forensics is an analytical discipline that emerged in the early 1990s as a consequence of illicit trafficking incidents of nuclear materials. In Central Europe, especially in Germany, many such cases were detected in a short time period [ 1 ]. Some of the incidents included even weapons grade plutonium and uranium [ 2 ], [ 3 ], thus it caused serious concern on the security of nuclear materials. As the name “forensic” stipulates, nuclear forensics is applied when a crime has been committed or is at least suspected. The aim of the nuclear

Radiochim. Acta 97, 261–264 (2009) / DOI 10.1524/ract.2009.1608 © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, München Unveiling the history of seized plutonium through nuclear forensic investigations By K. Mayer∗, M. Wallenius, M. Hedberg and K. Lützenkirchen European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P.O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany (Received July 14, 2008; accepted in revised form September 17, 2008) Nuclear forensics / Illicit trafficking / Uranium / Plutonium Summary. Illicit incidents involving nuclear or other ra

Proc. Radiochim. Acta 1, 145–149 (2011) / DOI 10.1524/rcpr.2011.0027 © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, München Investigative radiochemistry – a key element in nuclear forensics By K. Mayer∗, M. Wallenius, Z. Varga, T. Wiss and Th. Fanghänel European Commission, Joint Research Center, Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe, Germany (Received December 22, 2009; accepted in revised form November 12, 2010) Nuclear forensics / Uranium / Age dating / Heisenberg Summary. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive

Radiochim. Acta 101, 779–784 (2013) / DOI 10.1524/ract.2013.2110 © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, München Applicability of Raman spectroscopy as a tool in nuclear forensics for analysis of uranium ore concentrates By D. Ho Mer Lin1,2,∗, D. Manara1, Zs. Varga1, A. Berlizov3, Th. Fanghänel1,4 and K. Mayer1 1 European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P.O.Box 23 40, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany 2 DSO National Laboratories, 20 Science Park Drive Singapore 118230 3 International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna International Centre, P

elements can be obtained by these methods as well [ 4 ], [ 5 ], [ 6 ], [ 7 ], [ 8 ], [ 17 ], [ 18 ], [ 19 ]. Surface analysis techniques provide valuable information and could identify information rich fragments of the starting material. However, the high surface area of collected samples and the total mass of debris limit the utility of surface analysis techniques for rapid nuclear forensic analysis of heterogeneous nuclear detonation debris. Bulk analysis is an alternative technique for sample analysis of nuclear detonation debris in which the total elemental or

Radiochim. Acta 95, 601–605 (2007) / DOI 10.1524/ract.2007.95.10.601 © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, München Investigation of the isotopic composition of lead and of trace elements concentrations in natural uranium materials as a signature in nuclear forensics By J. Švedkauskaitė-LeGore1,2, K. Mayer1,∗, S. Millet1, A. Nicholl1, G. Rasmussen1 and D. Baltrūnas2 1 European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, Postfach 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany 2 Institute of Physics, Savanoriu ave. 231, 02300 Vilnius, Lithuania


In analysis of complex nuclear forensic samples containing lanthanides, actinides and matrix elements, rapid selective extraction of Am/Cm for quantification is challenging, in particular due the difficult separation of Am/Cm from lanthanides. Here we present a separation process for Am/Cm(III) which is achieved using a combination of AG1-X8 chromatography followed by Am/Cm extraction with a triazine ligand. The ligands tested in our process were CyMe4-BTPhen, CyMe4-BTBP, CA-BTP and CA-BTPhen. Our process allows for purification and quantification of Am and Cm (recoveries 80% – 100%) and other major actinides in < 2 d without the use of multiple columns or thiocyanate. The process is unaffected by high level Ca(II)/Fe(III)/Al(III) (10 mg mL1) and thus requires little pre-treatment of samples.


Nuclear forensic analysis was conducted on two uranium samples confiscated during a police investigation in Victoria, Australia. The first sample, designated NSR-F-270409-1, was a depleted uranium powder of moderate purity (∼ 1000 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was a compound similar to K2(UO2)3O4 · 4H2O. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-1 for analysis, the body and head of a Tineid moth was discovered in the sample. The second sample, designated NSR-F-270409-2, was also a depleted uranium powder. It was of reasonably high purity (∼ 380 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was primarily UO3 · 2H2O, with minor phases of U3O8 and UO2. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-2 for analysis, a metal staple of unknown origin was discovered in the sample. The presence of 236U and 232U in both samples indicates that the uranium feed stocks for these samples experienced a neutron flux at some point in their history. The reactor burn-up calculated from the isotopic composition of the uranium is consistent with that of spent fuel from natural uranium (NU) fueled Pu production. These nuclear forensic conclusions allow us to categorically exclude Australia as the origin of the material and greatly reduce the number of candidate sources.

Proc. Radiochim. Acta 1, 7–11 (2011) / DOI 10.1524/rcpr.2011.0001 © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, München Measuring fluorine in uranium oxyfluoride particles using secondary ion mass spectrometry for nuclear forensics By R. Kips1,∗, M. J. Kristo1, I. D. Hutcheon1, Z. Wang2, T. J. Johnson2, D. C. Gerlach2, J. E. Amonette2, K. B. Olsen2 and E. Stefaniak3 1 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Glenn T. Seaborg Institute, P.O. Box 808, L-231, Livermore, CA 94551, USA 2 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352, USA 3 European

Radiochim. Acta 2016; 104(7): 471–479 Judit Krajkó*, Zsolt Varga, Maria Wallenius, and Klaus Mayer Pre-concentration of trace levels of rare-earth elements in high purity uranium samples for nuclear forensic purposes DOI 10.1515/ract-2015-2470 Received June 26, 2015; accepted January 29, 2016; published online February 26, 2016 Abstract: This paper describes the development of a method for the pre-concentration and analysis of trace-level amounts of rare-earth elements (REE) in high purity uranium (U) samples. The method comprises pre- concentration and