Uranium from German Nuclear Power Projects of the 1940s - A Nuclear Forensic Investigation

Klaus Mayer, Maria Wallenius, Klaus Lützenkirchen, Joan Horta, Adrian Nicholl, Gert Rasmussen, Pieter Van Belle, Zsolt Varga, Razvan Buda, Nicole Erdmann, Jens Volker Kratz, Norbert Trautmann, L. Keith Fifield, Stephen G. Tims, Michaela B. Fröhlich, Peter Steier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Here we present a nuclear forensic study of uranium from German nuclear projects which used different geometries of metallic uranium fuel.3b,d, 4 Through measurement of the 230Th/234U ratio, we could determine that the material had been produced in the period from 1940 to 1943. To determine the geographical origin of the uranium, the rare-earth-element content and the 87Sr/86Sr ratio were measured. The results provide evidence that the uranium was mined in the Czech Republic. Trace amounts of 236U and 239Pu were detected at the level of their natural abundance, which indicates that the uranium fuel was not exposed to any major neutron fluence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13452-13456
    Number of pages5
    JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
    Issue number45
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


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