Application of mass spectrometric analysis for nuclear safeguards
In close collaboration with scientists from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Stephan Richter from the JRC-Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements examined the merits and limitations of available mass spectrometric instrumentations for nuclear safeguards applications.
The development of nuclear safeguards is closely related to the field of "peace research", representing a specific application area for analytical sciences in general and mass spectrometry in particular. Mass spectrometric techniques such as thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) belong to the most powerful methods for the analysis of nuclear material and environmental samples collected during safeguards' inspections. Besides the merits and limitations, the article describes the further needs for reference materials for nuclear materials analysis. Also, the paper underlines the role of the JRC as IAEA's (prime) partner in the areas of nuclear mass spectrometry and reference materials.