First direct determination of the 93Mo half-life

Ivan Kajan, Stephan Heinitz, Karsten Kossert, Peter Sprung, Rugard Dressler, Dorothea Schumann

Research outputpeer-review


This work presents the first direct measurement of the 93Mo half-life. The measurement is a combination of high-resolution mass spectrometry for the determination of the 93Mo concentration and liquid scintillation counting for determining the specific activity. A 93Mo sample of high purity was obtained from proton irradiated niobium by chemical separation of molybdenum with a decontamination factor larger than 1.6 × 1014 with respect to Nb. The half-life of 93Mo was deduced to be 4839(63) years, which is more than 20% longer than the currently adopted value, whereas the relative uncertainty could be reduced by a factor of 15. The probability that the 93Mo decays to the metastable state 93mNb was determined to be 95.7(16)%. This value is a factor of 8 more precise than previous estimations. Due to the man-made production of 93Mo in nuclear facilities, the result leads to significantly increased precision for modelling the low-level nuclear waste composition. The presented work demonstrates the importance of chemical separations in combination with state-of-the-art analysis techniques, which are inevitable for precise and accurate determinations of nuclear decay data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19788
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2021

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