Non-destructive assay of {sup 242}Pu by resonance neutron capture

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For the accurate assay of plutonium by neutron correlation measurements, especially for material derived from high-burnup reactor fuel, the content of {sup 242}Pu in a sample must be determined. Since {sup 242}Pu has a long half-life (387,000 yr) and decays to {sup 238}U by alpha particle emission with the accompanying emission of only weak, low-energy gamma rays, gamma-ray spectrometry methods which are ordinarily employed to determine the isotopic composition of a plutonium sample are not feasible for {sup 242}Pu. The existence of a resonance in the neutron capture cross section of {sup 242}Pu at an energy of 2.67 electron volts ... continued below

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5 p.

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Kane, W.R.; Lu, Ming-Shih; Aronson, A.; Forman, L. & Vanier, P.E. August 1, 1995.

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Description

For the accurate assay of plutonium by neutron correlation measurements, especially for material derived from high-burnup reactor fuel, the content of {sup 242}Pu in a sample must be determined. Since {sup 242}Pu has a long half-life (387,000 yr) and decays to {sup 238}U by alpha particle emission with the accompanying emission of only weak, low-energy gamma rays, gamma-ray spectrometry methods which are ordinarily employed to determine the isotopic composition of a plutonium sample are not feasible for {sup 242}Pu. The existence of a resonance in the neutron capture cross section of {sup 242}Pu at an energy of 2.67 electron volts (eV) with a large (72, 000 barn) cross section affords the possibility for the quantitative assay of this isotope by epithermal neutron capture. Essential for this purpose is an appropriately designed geometry of neutron moderators and absorbers which will provide maximum flux in the eV region while suppressing thermal neutron capture by the fissile plutonium isotopes. Signatures for neutron capture in {sup 242}Pu include the decay of {sup 243}Pu (4.9 hr), prompt capture gamma rays (total energy 5.034 MeV), and the decay of an isomeric state (330 nanosecond). Experiments to determine the feasibility of this approach are currently in progress.

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5 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE95016013

Medium: P; Size: 5 p.

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  • 36. annual meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, Palm Desert, CA (United States), 9-12 Jul 1995

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  • Other: DE95016013
  • Report No.: BNL--61357
  • Report No.: CONF-950787--33
  • Grant Number: AC02-76CH00016
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 100292
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc621664

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 13, 2017, 12:29 p.m.

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Kane, W.R.; Lu, Ming-Shih; Aronson, A.; Forman, L. & Vanier, P.E. Non-destructive assay of {sup 242}Pu by resonance neutron capture, article, August 1, 1995; Upton, New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc621664/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.