Abstract

A new approach to the dating of uranium minerals using the spontaneous fission of uranium is proposed. The method involves thermal neutron irradiation of samples followed by mass spectrometric analysis of the xenon fractions released from them during stepwise heating. The potential advantages of the technique are the following: no separate explicit measurement of uranium is required, the error in age measurement due to inhomogeneous uranium distribution in samples is eliminated, and any diffusive loss of spontaneous fission xenon from less retentive sites is allowed for.

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