Determining the Isotopic Concentration of Uranium from Vector Representation of the Gamma Spectrum
DETERMINING THE ISOTOPIC CONCENTRATION OF URANIUM FROM VECTOR REPRESENTATION OF THE GAMMA SPECTRUMTristan G. WhiteGary W. PhillipsABSTRACTGamma emissions from Uranium-235 in a source of interest were compared to gamma emissions from Protactinium-234m (which is in equilibrium with Uranium-238) in order to determine the isotopic composition of the source. The 144 keV gamma ray from U-235 was compared with 1001 keV gamma ray from Pa-234m.Two analytical methods were compared: the relative activity method and the vector representation method. The relative activity method is similar to the (standard) relative intensity method, but accounts for more variables. Calculations were performed using both methods in order to evaluate precision and accuracy.Relative activity compares the number of counts under one gamma-ray peak from a reference source to the number of counts under another peak from an unknown source. This method is sensitive to systematic errors in the efficiency calibration of the detector when two different peaks with different energies are used.Vector representation compares the count ratio of two gamma-ray peaks from one source to the count ratio of the same two gamma-ray peaks from another source. Vector representation was found to be practical for analyzing depleted uranium, but not highly enriched uranium (HEU), due to different branching ratios and detector efficiency.
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