Characterization of an orphan Ra–Be neutron source

Eyal Elish, Michal Brandis, Gustavo Haquin, Itzhak Hershko, Zohar Yungrais, Ofer Aviv, Amiram Moyal, Maor Assulin, Yehuda Nawi, Oren Solomon, Yevgeni Zakon, Arnon Rubinshtein, Boaz Astrachan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An orphan radium-beryllium (Ra–Be) neutron source (Nuclear Chicago Corporation) detected inside a scrap metal shipping container, was seized and subjected to nuclear forensic analysis. Physical and chemical characterization methods were used before and after source dismantling. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) proved to be most useful for initial analysis of the source. Dissolution of the Ra-Be capsule was followed with elemental analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (AES) and Mass Spectrometry (MS). Model age determination by ICP-MS (81.6 y ± 4.08) was found to be sensitive to insufficient accuracy in measuring daughters present in the parent solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Neutron radiography
  • Nuclear forensics
  • Ra-Be neutron source
  • Radio-chronometry
  • X-ray radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pollution
  • Spectroscopy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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