Rapid Nuclear Forensics Analysis via Laser Based Microphotonic Techniques Coupled with Chemometrics
Kalambuka, Husdon A
Alix, Dehayem- Kamadjeua
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Nuclear forensics (NF) is an important tool for analysis and attribution of nuclear and radiological materials (NRM) in support of nuclear security. The critical challenge in NF currently is the lack of suitable microanalytical methodologies for direct, rapid and minimally-invasive detection and quantification of NF signatures. Microphotonic techniques can achieve this task particularly when the materials are of limited size and under concealed condition. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the combined potential of chemometrics enabled LIBS and laser Raman spectromicroscopy (LRS) for rapid NF analysis and attribution. Using LIBS, uranium lines at 385.464 nm, 385.957 nm and 386.592 nm were identified as NF signatures in uranium ore surrogates. A multivariate calibration strategy using artificial neural network was developed for quantification of trace uranium. Principal component analysis (PCA) of LIBS spectra achieved source attribution of the ores. LRS studies on UCl3, UO3(NO3)2.6H2O, UO2SO4.3H2O and UO3 in pellet state identified the bands associated with different uranium molecules as varying in the range of (840 to 867) ± 15 cm-1. Using this signature, we have demonstrated spectral imaging of uranium under concealed conditions.
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