Nd and Sm isotopic composition of spent nuclear fuels from three material test reactors

Nicholas Sharp, Brian W. Ticknor, Michael Bronikowski, Theodore Nichols, William F. McDonough, Alice Mignerey, Donna Beals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Rare earth elements such as neodymium and samarium are ideal for probing the neutron environment that spent nuclear fuels are exposed to in nuclear reactors. The large number of stable isotopes can provide distinct isotopic signatures for differentiating the source material for nuclear forensic investigations. The rare-earth elements were isolated from the high activity fuel matrix via ion exchange chromatography in a shielded cell. The individual elements were then separated using cation exchange chromatography. The neodymium and samarium aliquots were analyzed via MC–ICP–MS, resulting in isotopic compositions with a precision of 0.01–0.3%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromatography
  • Multi-collector inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Nd and Sm isotopic ratios
  • Nuclear forensics
  • Spent nuclear fuel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pollution
  • Spectroscopy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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