A New Tool For The Evaluation Of Environmental Samples: Development Of Software For Morphological And Elemental Data Evaluation

Kenneth Vilece - International Atomic Energy Agency
Michael Schoeppner - International Atomic Energy Agency
Amy Larson - International Atomic Energy Agency
Mika Nikkinen - International Atomic Energy Agency
Claude F. Norman - International Atomic Energy Agency
Marc Lafitte - International Atomic Energy Agency
Jacques G Baute - International Atomic Energy Agency
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The collection of environmental swipe samples by nuclear safeguards inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), sample analysis by the IAEA Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL), and subsequent evaluation by IAEA evaluators are vital to providing assurances regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and/or activities. The evaluation of such environmental swipe samples includes the assessment of key signatures measured by a variety of instruments and techniques. Particle and bulk isotopic analysis results via mass spectrometry are most commonly used but for many samples morphological and elemental data via the scanning electron microscope (SEM) is also available and useful. This supplementary data can help provide important information about the materials and activities at locations sampled and includes elemental composition, compound identification, as well as morphological images indicating the form, surface characteristics, size, etc., of particulate. The IAEA has designed a simple but effective particle library format and populated the library with images and data for various types of nuclear material (NM) and relevant materials from the nuclear fuel cycle (NFC). A new software tool has been created which is compatible with the new library and allows for effective comparison, search, and more effective evaluation of historical and new particle signatures. The new particle library and software tool will help IAEA evaluators make better use of SEM data in the future.