Development of the Method
With the objective of complying with its mission of the efficient and effective application of nuclear safeguards and to provide guarantees for the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy in Argentina and Brazil, ABACC, among other measures, collects samples of enriched uranium hexafluoride in enrichment plants in order to verify independently the inventories of nuclear material declared by the countries.
The collection of samples of uranium hexafluoride by the traditional method uses ampoules with uranium hexafluoride in a gaseous state. This creates a series of difficulties in the transportation of the samples to the laboratories.
The Technical Support sector of ABACC, with the cooperation of the Argentine chemist Osvaldo Cristallini and laboratories and researchers from Argentina and Brazil, has developed a method with advantages over the traditional technique, the “ABACC-Cristallini Method”.
The ABACC-Cristallini Method” is based on the adsorption capacity of uranium hexafluoride by alumina pellets. The pellets, impregnated with uranium hexafluoride, are easily transported to the laboratories for analysis, maintaining the original isotopic composition of the uranium.
With the confirmation of the results, ABACC can guarantee Argentina, Brazil and the international community that the two countries are complying with the mission of exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The ABACC-Cristallini method is a tangible contribution of ABACC, and of course of Argentina and Brazil towards the efficient application of safeguards.
ABACC is coordinating the validation process of the ABACC-Cristallini Method in which participates laboratories from Argentina, Brazil, the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency. With this validation, the method can be used by ABACC, by the IAEA, by facilities that process uranium hexafluoride and other control agencies.
Efficient and effective permitting simpler and quicker obtainment of conclusions
No complex transportation
Simpler laboratorial procedures
Results as accurate as the traditional method
Less quantity of collected nuclear material and less waste