Continuous Material Balance Reconciliation for a Modern Plutonium Processing Facility

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This paper describes a safeguards approach that can be deployed at any modern plutonium processing facility to increase the level of safeguards assurance and significantly reduce the impact of safeguards on process operations. One of the most perplexing problems facing the designers of plutonium processing facilities is the constraint placed upon the limit of error of the inventory difference (LEID). The current DOE manual constrains the LEID for Category I and II material balance areas to 2 per cent of active inventory up to a Category II quantity of the material being processed. For 239Pu a Category II quantity is ... continued below

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CLARK, THOMAS G. July 2, 2004.

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This paper describes a safeguards approach that can be deployed at any modern plutonium processing facility to increase the level of safeguards assurance and significantly reduce the impact of safeguards on process operations. One of the most perplexing problems facing the designers of plutonium processing facilities is the constraint placed upon the limit of error of the inventory difference (LEID). The current DOE manual constrains the LEID for Category I and II material balance areas to 2 per cent of active inventory up to a Category II quantity of the material being processed. For 239Pu a Category II quantity is two kilograms. Due to the large material throughput anticipated for some of the modern plutonium facilities, the required LEID cannot be achieved reliably during a nominal two month inventory period, even by using state-of-the-science non-destructive assay (NDA) methods. The most cost-effective and least disruptive solution appears to be increasing the frequency of material balance closure and thus reducing the throughput being measured during each inventory period. Current inventory accounting practices and systems can already provide the book inventory values at any point in time. However, closing the material balance with measured values has typically required the process to be cleaned out, and in-process materials packaged and measured. This process requires one to two weeks of facility down time every two months for each inventory, thus significantly reducing productivity. To provide a solution to this problem, a non-traditional approach is proposed that will include using in-line instruments to provide measurement of the process materials on a near real-time basis. A new software component will be developed that will operate with the standard LANMAS application to provide the running material balance reconciliation, including the calculation of the inventory difference and variance propagation. The combined measurement system and software implementation will make it possible for a facility to close material balances on a measured basis in a time period as short as one day.

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  • Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (US), 07/18/2004--07/22/2004; Other Information: PBD: 2 Jul 2004

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2004-00034
  • Grant Number: AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 828470
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc788818

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  • July 2, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • May 4, 2016, 11:35 p.m.

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CLARK, THOMAS G. Continuous Material Balance Reconciliation for a Modern Plutonium Processing Facility, article, July 2, 2004; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc788818/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.