A Portable Calorimeter System for Nondestructive Assay of Mixed-Oxide Fuels

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Description

Calorimetric assay provides a precise, nondestructive method to determine sample plutonium content based on the heat emitted by decaying radionuclides. This measurement, in combination with a gamma-spectrometer analysis of sample isotopic content, yields the total sample plutonium mass. The technique is applicable to sealed containers and is essentially independent of sample matrix configuration and elemental composition. Conventional calorimeter designs employ large water-bath heat sinks and lack the portability needed by inspection personnel. The ANL air-chamber isothermal calorimeters are low-thermal-capacitance devices which eliminate the need for large constant-temperature heat sinks. These instruments are designed to use a feedback system that applies ... continued below

Physical Description

vi, 24 p. : charts, illustrations, tables

Creation Information

Roche, C. T.; Perry, R. B.; Lewis, R. N.; Jung, E. A. & Haumann, J. R. 1978.

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  • Main Title: A Portable Calorimeter System for Nondestructive Assay of Mixed-Oxide Fuels
  • Added Title: ANL (Series)
  • Added Title: Argonne National Laboratory Report ANL-78-33
  • Series Title: Argonne National Laboratory Reports

Description

Calorimetric assay provides a precise, nondestructive method to determine sample plutonium content based on the heat emitted by decaying radionuclides. This measurement, in combination with a gamma-spectrometer analysis of sample isotopic content, yields the total sample plutonium mass. The technique is applicable to sealed containers and is essentially independent of sample matrix configuration and elemental composition. Conventional calorimeter designs employ large water-bath heat sinks and lack the portability needed by inspection personnel. The ANL air-chamber isothermal calorimeters are low-thermal-capacitance devices which eliminate the need for large constant-temperature heat sinks. These instruments are designed to use a feedback system that applies power to maintain the sample chamber at a constant electrical resistance and, therefore, at a constant temperature. The applied-power difference between a plutonium-containing sample and a blank determines the radioactive-decay power. The operating characteristics of a calorimeter designed for assaying mixed-oxide powders, fuel pellets, and plutonium-containing solutions are discussed. This device consists of the calorimeter, sample pre-heater, and a microprocessor-controlled data-acquisition system. The small-sample device weighs 18 kg and has a measurement cycle of 20 min, with a precision of 0.1% at 10 mW. A 100-min gamma-ray measurement gives the specific power with a precision of better than 1% for samples containing 1 to 2 g of plutonium.

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vi, 24 p. : charts, illustrations, tables

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  • 1978

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  • Aug. 4, 2015, 8:33 a.m.

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Roche, C. T.; Perry, R. B.; Lewis, R. N.; Jung, E. A. & Haumann, J. R. A Portable Calorimeter System for Nondestructive Assay of Mixed-Oxide Fuels, report, 1978; Argonne, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc303738/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.