Russian nuclear experts are creating a unique tool which will help the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to detect undeclared development of nuclear weapon. It a reference sample of an isotope of plutonium 244.
This reference sample will enable experts to define the composition of the substances which were collected by the inspectors of the agency on the sites they inspected. These can be dust particles in the equipment or ground samples taken on the site of a facility which is suspected of developing nuclear weapon.
The isotope tool will be produced by the Federal nuclear center in Sarov. The IAEA will send it the initial material (plutonium) for enrichment. After that the Khloponin radium institute will certify the samples and send them to the analytical laboratories of the IAEA, which are in charge for checking the samples of substances inspectors collect when visiting nuclear objects in different countries.
It is not for the first time when Russian nuclear experts provide their advanced developments to the IAEA, chief of the laboratory of analytical radiation chemistry of the Khloponin radium institute Yury Panteleev says.
"The problem of this material is its high production costs. It is very difficult to produce it. But Russia has the technology for it. It is an expensive process. But the material is very convenient for the analysis of samples. With the help of this material it is possible to determine any type of plutonium."
According to Russia’s nuclear agency corporation Rosatom, which is reliable partner of the IAEA, the agency is very interested in that material. According to the international experts it is the best material for the analysis of samples. The matter is that the products which are developed by nuclear reactors lack plutonium 244. That means that like a usual thermometer, it can serve as an ideal material for spectrometric analysis.
Today the IAEA laboratories are using less expensive samples of plutonium and uranium as tools for detection of sites of illegal nuclear weapons development. Some of these samples are also produced in Russia.