Preparation of alpha sources using magnetohydrodynamic electrodeposition for radionuclide metrology.

Research paper by Yogendra M YM Panta, Dennis E DE Farmer, Paula P Johnson, Marcos A MA Cheney, Shizhi S Qian

Indexed on: 27 Nov '09Published on: 27 Nov '09Published in: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science


Expanded use of nuclear fuel as an energy resource and terrorist threats to public safety clearly require the development of new state-of-the-art technologies and improvement of safety measures to minimize the exposure of people to radiation and the accidental release of radiation into the environment. The precision in radionuclide metrology is currently limited by the source quality rather than the detector performance. Electrodeposition is a commonly used technique to prepare massless radioactive sources. Unfortunately, the radioactive sources prepared by the conventional electrodeposition method produce poor resolution in alpha spectrometric measurements. Preparing radioactive sources with better resolution and higher yield in the alpha spectrometric range by integrating magnetohydrodynamic convection with the conventional electrodeposition technique was proposed and tested by preparing mixed alpha sources containing uranium isotopes ((238)U, (234)U), plutonium ((239)Pu), and americium ((241)Am) for alpha spectrometric determination. The effects of various parameters such as magnetic flux density, deposition current and time, and pH of the sample solution on the formed massless radioactive sources were also experimentally investigated.