Classification of hot particles from the Chernobyl accident and nuclear weapons detonations by non-destructive methods

V.A. Zheltonozhsky, Konrad Mück, M.D. Bondarkov

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Both after the Chernobyl accident and nuclear weapon detonations, agglomerates of radioactive material, so-called hot particles, were released or formed which show a behaviour in the environment quite different from the activity released in gaseous or aerosol form. The differences in their characteristic properties, in the radionuclide composition and the uranium and actinide contents are described in detail for these particles. While nuclear bomb hot particles (both from fission and fusion bombs) incorporate well detectable trace amounts of 60Co and 152EU, these radionuclides are absent in Chernobly hot particles. In contrast, Chernobly hot particles contain 125Sb and 144Ce which are absent in atomic bomb HPs. Obvious differences are also observable between fusion and fission bombs´ hot particles (significant differences in 152Eu/155Eu, 154Eu/155Eu, and 238Pu/239Pu ratios) which facilitate the indentification of HPs of unknown provensence. The ratio of 239Pu/240Pu in Chernobly hot particles could be determined by a non-destructive method at 1 : 1.5. A non-destructive method to determine the content of non-radioactive elements by Ka-emission measurements was developed by which inactive Zr, Nb, Fe and Ni could be verified in the particles. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Seiten (von - bis)151-166
FachzeitschriftJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2001

Research Field

  • Biosensor Technologies


  • ARCS
  • Seibersdorf
  • nuclear
  • safety
  • public
  • protection
  • particle
  • Chernobyl
  • accident
  • weapon
  • detonation
  • physics
  • hot particle
  • fallout
  • characterisation
  • analysis


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