Role of nuclear data in the practical application of nondestructive nuclear assay methods Page: 2 of 21
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THE ROLE OF NUCLEAR DATA IN THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION
OF NONDESTRUCTIVE NUCLEAR ASSAY METHODS*
M. M. Thorpe
University of California
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544
United States of America
Practical nuclear nondestructive assay methods for fissionable material
gaining acceptance today are based mainly on two fundamental signatures.
First, the naturally occurring radioactivity characteristic of the nuclides
of interest and second, the ability of these same nuclides to be fissioned
either by neutrons or gamma rays. With some important exceptions, the basic
nuclear data relating to these properties has been available for a number of
years. Why then are nuclear data important? The answer lies in the diver-
sity of purpose of the assay methods. The hundred-thousand-dollar machine
designed to provide precise assay of several million dollars worth of fuel
pins is hardly comparable to the device used for the occasional measursaent
of a dozen or so waste barrels. BecAuse of this diversity of purpcae an
array of instrumentation is being developed, each making use of the basic
signatures in a different way to satisfy a different set of conditions5
Uses of nuclear data in the development of practical nuclear assay 1AS
techniques fall naturally into three categories. First, there are paran-
eters which can enter directly into the calibration of equipment, such as
decay rates, gamma intensities end attenuation coefficients, neutron yields,
etc. The second category involves the use of nuclear data in the predictive
sense as input to neutron and gamma-ray transport codes which provide calcu-
lational support and guidance to the safeguards research and development
program. This support is necessary for the detailed understanding of tech-
*Work performed under the auspices of the US Atomic Energy Commission.
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Thorpe, M.M. Role of nuclear data in the practical application of nondestructive nuclear assay methods, article, October 31, 1973; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1030175/m1/2/: accessed February 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.