Attempt to develop a chemical fingerprint of uranium
In a rare attempt to make the exploration of the rarest radioactive material uranium more effective, economical and feasible, the scientists of Allahabad University (AU) Earth and Planetary Science Department — for perhaps the first time in the world — are attempting to develop chemical fingerprint of uranium.
The effort will be aiming to analyse uranium and single out traces of unique compounds found in the ore that are trademark of the presence of uranium in a particular ore sample.
The move, if successful, could prove to be a boon for a country like India requiring the precious radioactive material for carrying out advance researches and to meet its power generation needs through atomic power stations.
“It would be perhaps for the first time in the world that such an attempt is being made. Though it would be premature to make tall claims, we are confident that if successful then our findings could revolutionise the entire uranium exploration methods by making it more reliable and economical,” said Head of AU Earth and Planetary Science Department Dr Jayant K Pati.
Dr Pati said that the department has received four samples of uranium exhumed from the world’s second deepest mine of Jadugoda in India through the Uranium Corporation of India.
“We plan to carry out intensive analysis of the samples through a high-tech equipment called Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS).
This equipment is available at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee and we would be collaborating with Assistant Professor at IIT-Roorkee’s Institute Instrumentation Centre Dr KL Pruseth for the purpose,” he explained.