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The Spectrographic Determination of Uranium 235. Part III. Use of a Multiple Hollow Cathode Source Assembly and a 22 Foot Direct Reading Eagle Spectrograph

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This report, the third of a series dealing with the isotopic analysis of uranium, describes the work done with a 22-ft Eagle mounted, direct-reading spectrograph using 5 in. of a 15,000 lines/in. concave grating in the second order. The samples were excited in a multiple source assembly consisting of 4 hollow cathode source lamps and an automatically positioned selector mirror. This arrangement allowed close comparison of unknown and standard, minimized the effect of exit slit misalignment, and allowed large number of routine samples to be handled economically. A complete analysis in duplicate, including comparison standards, was made in less than 20 min.

Measurements on 4 standards having U235 concentrations between 10 and 51% showed average external and internal precisions of ±0.23% and ±0.048% U235 for a single cathode determination. Analyses of 32 unknown samples containing 10-85% U235 determined independently on the optical spectrograph and the mass spectrometer, showed good agreement. Comparative measurements on 65 unknown samples in the range of 30-40% U235 showed an agreement of ±0.17% U235 with no significant bias. All precisions were expressed at the 95% confidence level. The factor limiting the precision—a weak line interfering with the U235 measurement, and the effect of U234 and U236 on the analysis are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Technical Division, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Union Carbide Nuclear Company, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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