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Environmental radiological protection

Dynamic Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry was used to characterize elemental and isotopic distribution in an uranium mill tailing solid sample from a French tailing management facility. The U-rich phase (red dashed line) exhibits a radiogenic lead isotopic signature (higher 206Pb content compared to 208Pb content) which differs from the common Pb isotopic signature encountered in the geochemical background and confirms its mining origin.
a/ SEM-BSE image of an U-rich phase
b/ Ion image of 238U16O+ (0 - 1600 cps)
c/ Ion image of 206Pb+ (0 - 160 cps)*
d/ Ion image of 208Pb+ (0 - 9 cps)

Recorded on a CAMECA IMS 4f-E7 at IRSN, France. Image courtesy of David Suhard (IRSN/PSE/SANTE/SESANE/LRSI) and Aurélien Beaumais (IRSN/PSE/ENV/SEDRE/LELI).
Aurélien Beaumais et al (2022). Combined U-Pb isotopic signatures of U mill tailings from France and Gabon: A new potential tracer to assess their fingerprint on the environment. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 430, 128484.