The conceptional background for this work is the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 10th, 1996. This treaty will come into force after ratification by the member states mentioned in Annex II of the treaty. Radionuclide systems were installed since the compliance with the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty can only be verified by radionuclides. Every earthquake or explosions in mines can be detected by the other (seismic, infrasound and hydroacoustic) systems, but the radionuclide station can confirm whether a nuclear detonation has happened.
During a nuclear explosion radioactive elements are formed and can be detected both as solid particles and as noble gases. These nuclides are generated during fission from uranium- or plutoniumnuclides.
The aim of this work was the development of a measurement system for noble gas archive samples. In order to have a calibrated system, the production of relevant xenon isotopes was performed. Finally the exact isotopic composition could be prepared, as is vented during a nuclear explosion.
For this purpose a gaschromatographical method was developed by which the amount of stable xenon can be determined. Possible contaminations (radon and krypton) present in the sample can be eliminated in order to ensure that only xenon is measured in the following radiometric measurements. A transfer line from an archive bottle to the gaschromatograph was constructed and had to be optimized. This optimization lead to a substantial reduce of losses from 30% in the beginning to 2% in the final stage.
A concept for radionuclide production was elaborated and 90% enriched uranium was irradiated at the TRIGA Mark II Reactor in Vienna at the Atomic Institute of the Austrian Universities. A theoretical calculation was performed first, the results of which afterwards were verified by using the program ORIGEN 2.2 developed especially for burn-up calculation.
The comparisons between calculation and experiments have shown that in this way the simulation of radionuclides released by nuclear explosions is possible.