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Isotopic composition (238U/235U) of some commonly used uranium reference materials

By Daniel J. Condon, Noah McLean, Stephen R. Noble and Samuel A. Bowring


We have determined 238U/235U ratios for a suite of commonly used natural (CRM 112a, SRM 950a, and HU-1) and synthetic (IRMM 184 and CRM U500) uranium reference materials by thermal ionisation mass-spectrometry (TIMS) using the IRMM 3636 233U-236U double spike to accurately correct for mass fractionation. Total uncertainty on the 238U/235U determinations is estimated to be < 0.02% (2σ). These natural 238U/235U values are different from the widely used ‘consensus’ value (137.88), with each standard having lower 238U/235U values by up to 0.08%. The 238U/235U ratio determined for CRM U500 and IRMM 184 are within error of their certified values; however, the total uncertainty for CRM U500 is substantially reduced (from 0.1% to 0.02%). These reference materials are commonly used to assess mass spectrometer performance and accuracy, calibrate isotope tracers employed in U, U-Th and U-Pb isotopic studies, and as a reference for terrestrial and meteoritic 238U/235U variations. These new 238U/235U values will thus provide greater accuracy and reduced uncertainty for a wide variety of isotopic determinations

Topics: Earth Sciences, Chemistry
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.gca.2010.09.019
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10987

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