Actinide analysis of a depleted uranium penetrator from a 1999 target site in southern Serbia
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Following the detection of U-236 in depleted uranium (DU) ammunition used during the Balkans conflict in the 1990s, concern has been expressed about the possibility that other nuclides from the nuclear fuel cycle and, in particular, transuranium nuclides, might be present in this type of ammunition. In this paper, we report the results of uranium and plutonium analyses carried out on a depleted uranium penetrator recovered from a target site in southern Serbia. Our data show the depleted nature of the uranium and confirm the presence of trace amounts of plutonium in the penetrator. The activity concentration of Pu239+240, at 45.4+/-0.7 Bq kg(-1), is the highest reported to date for any penetrator recovered from the Balkans. This concentration, however, is comparable to that expected to be present naturally in uranium ores and, from a radiological perspective, would only give rise to a very small increase in dose to exposed persons compared to that from the DU itself. (C) 2002 Published... by Elsevier Science Ltd.