MPACT Fast Neutron Multiplicity System Design Concepts

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This report documents work performed by Idaho National Laboratory and the University of Michigan in fiscal year (FY) 2012 to examine design parameters related to the use of fast-neutron multiplicity counting for assaying plutonium for materials protection, accountancy, and control purposes. This project seeks to develop a new type of neutron-measurement-based plutonium assay instrument suited for assaying advanced fuel cycle materials. Some current-concept advanced fuels contain high concentrations of plutonium; some of these concept fuels also contain other fissionable actinides besides plutonium. Because of these attributes the neutron emission rates of these new fuels may be much higher, and more ... continued below

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Chichester, D. L.; Pozzi, S. A.; Dolan, J. L.; Kinlaw, M. T.; Kaplan, A. C.; Flaska, M. et al. October 1, 2012.

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Description

This report documents work performed by Idaho National Laboratory and the University of Michigan in fiscal year (FY) 2012 to examine design parameters related to the use of fast-neutron multiplicity counting for assaying plutonium for materials protection, accountancy, and control purposes. This project seeks to develop a new type of neutron-measurement-based plutonium assay instrument suited for assaying advanced fuel cycle materials. Some current-concept advanced fuels contain high concentrations of plutonium; some of these concept fuels also contain other fissionable actinides besides plutonium. Because of these attributes the neutron emission rates of these new fuels may be much higher, and more difficult to interpret, than measurements made of plutonium-only materials. Fast neutron multiplicity analysis is one approach for assaying these advanced nuclear fuels. Studies have been performed to assess the conceptual performance capabilities of a fast-neutron multiplicity counter for assaying plutonium. Comparisons have been made to evaluate the potential improvements and benefits of fast-neutron multiplicity analyses versus traditional thermal-neutron counting systems. Fast-neutron instrumentation, using for example an array of liquid scintillators such as EJ-309, have the potential to either a) significantly reduce assay measurement times versus traditional approaches, for comparable measurement precision values, b) significantly improve assay precision values, for measurement durations comparable to current-generation technology, or c) moderating improve both measurement precision and measurement durations versus current-generation technology. Using the MCNPX-PoliMi Monte Carlo simulation code, studies have been performed to assess the doubles-detection efficiency for a variety of counter layouts of cylindrical liquid scintillator detector cells over one, two, and three rows. Ignoring other considerations, the best detector design is the one with the most detecting volume. However, operational limitations guide a) the maximum acceptable size of each detector cell (due to PSD performance and maximum-acceptable per-channel data throughput rates, limited by pulse pile-up and the processing rate of the electronics components of the system) and b) the affordability of a system due to the number of total channels of data to be collected and processed. As a first estimate, it appears that a system comprised of two rows of detectors 5" Ø ? 3" would yield a working prototype system with excellent performance capabilities for assaying Pu-containing items and capable of handling high signal rates likely when measuring items with Pu and other actinides. However, it is still likely that gamma-ray shielding will be needed to reduce the total signal rate in the detectors. As a first step prior to working with these larger-sized detectors, it may be practical to perform scoping studies using small detectors, such as already-on-hand 3" Ø ? 3" detectors.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-12-27619
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • DOI: 10.2172/1057209 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1057209
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831154

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  • October 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 3:44 p.m.

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Chichester, D. L.; Pozzi, S. A.; Dolan, J. L.; Kinlaw, M. T.; Kaplan, A. C.; Flaska, M. et al. MPACT Fast Neutron Multiplicity System Design Concepts, report, October 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831154/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.