Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Radiochemistry

Advisor 1

Kenneth R. Czerwinski, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Kenton J. Moody

Second Committee Member

Gary Cerefice

Graduate Faculty Representative

Ralf Sudowe

Number of Pages



In this work, physical and chemical parameters associated with extraction chromatography separation procedures were investigated for rapid actinide analysis. A vacuum box system was designed in-house and was characterized in terms of flow rate reproducibility, matrix effects on flow rate for sequential elution, and actinide separation efficiency using different types of resin (TEVA, DGA and TRU). Results indicated that the columnar kinetics of the resins were sufficiently rapid to run high purity samples through the unit over a wide range of flow rates for all resin types. Single matrix interferences at a metal ion ratio of 1:10 6 relative to the actinide of interest affected separation efficiency with some resins and a flow rate dependency was observed. After parameter optimization, the system was used to isolate Pu for isotopic analysis from dissolved particles from a nuclear warhead that was destroyed in a fire 50 years ago. Isotopic analysis was obtained by a combination of radiometric and mass-based methods using cerium fluoride (CeF 3 ) micro-precipitation for sample preparation. The results of these experiments were compared to historical record surrounding the source of the particles.


Actinides; Americium (Am); Bomarc; Extraction chromatography; DGA; Nuclear forensic analysis; Plutonium (Pu); Radiochemistry; Resins; TEVA; TRU


Chemistry | Nuclear | Radiochemistry

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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