Uncertainty assessment in gamma spectrometric measurements of plutonium isotope ratios and age
Journal article, 2012
A method for the assessment of the combined uncertainty in gamma spectrometric measurements of plutonium composition and age was evaluated. Two materials were measured. Isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ID-ICP-SFMS) was used as a reference method for comparing the results obtained with the gamma spectrometric method for one of the materials. For this material (weapons grade plutonium) the measurement results were in agreement between the two methods for all measurands. Moreover, the combined uncertainty in all isotope ratios considered in this material (R-Pu238/Pu239, R-Pu240/Pu239, R-Pu241/Pu239, and R-Am241/Pu241 for age determination) were limited by counting statistics. However, the combined uncertainty for the other material (fuel grade plutonium) were limited by the response fit, which shows that the uncertainty in the response function is important to include in the combined measurement uncertainty of gamma spectrometric measurements of plutonium.