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Nuclear Fuel Cycle Standard Supports Analysis of Uranium

Jun 11 2018

The contribution for standardization of nuclear analytical methods performed at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Geel, was emphasized in a news article within the journal “ASTM Standardization News” of ASTM-International.

 The standardized “double spike” test method allows the determination of the enrichment of nuclear fuel cycle uranium materials with significantly improved precision, and is becoming a powerful tool for the investigation and control of conversion and sampling processes within nuclear facilities. For example, the “double spike” test method has been applied by the JRC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the validation of the so-called "Cristallini" practice for sampling of UF6, which will make transportation of radioactive UF6 gas cheaper and safer in the future. The "Cristallini" practice has been developed by the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC). Due to the obvious practical advantages for transportation of samples for nuclear safeguards, the standardization of this sampling practice is very much awaited by industrial nuclear facility operators worldwide, as well as by the European Safeguards Organization and the IAEA. Subsequently, this need was taken up by ASTM-International, which has become a worldwide recognized standardization body over the recent years, similar to ISO (International Organization for Standardization). The standardization procedure for the "Cristallini" practice is now well under way at ASTM-International with support from JRC.

JRC, European Commssion, Joint Research CentreThe draft document will be evaluated at the upcoming ASTM June committee week and hopefully released as ASTM standard practice in 2018/2019. For the near future the Joint Research Centre will be involved in standardization of further methods for the analysis of nuclear materials, as well as in the development of joint ASTM-ISO standards within this important field, for the purpose of nuclear safety, security and safeguards.