Automated UF6 Cylinder Enrichment Assay: Status of the Hybrid Enrichment Verification Array (HEVA) Project: POTAS Phase II

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) intends to automate the UF6 cylinder nondestructive assay (NDA) verification currently performed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at enrichment plants. PNNL is proposing the installation of a portal monitor at a key measurement point to positively identify each cylinder, measure its mass and enrichment, store the data along with operator inputs in a secure database, and maintain continuity of knowledge on measured cylinders until inspector arrival. This report summarizes the status of the research and development of an enrichment assay methodology supporting the cylinder verification concept. The enrichment assay approach exploits a hybrid ... continued below

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Jordan, David V.; Orton, Christopher R.; Mace, Emily K.; McDonald, Benjamin S.; Kulisek, Jonathan A. & Smith, Leon E. June 1, 2012.

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) intends to automate the UF6 cylinder nondestructive assay (NDA) verification currently performed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at enrichment plants. PNNL is proposing the installation of a portal monitor at a key measurement point to positively identify each cylinder, measure its mass and enrichment, store the data along with operator inputs in a secure database, and maintain continuity of knowledge on measured cylinders until inspector arrival. This report summarizes the status of the research and development of an enrichment assay methodology supporting the cylinder verification concept. The enrichment assay approach exploits a hybrid of two passively-detected ionizing-radiation signatures: the traditional enrichment meter signature (186-keV photon peak area) and a non-traditional signature, manifested in the high-energy (3 to 8 MeV) gamma-ray continuum, generated by neutron emission from UF6. PNNL has designed, fabricated, and field-tested several prototype assay sensor packages in an effort to demonstrate proof-of-principle for the hybrid assay approach, quantify the expected assay precision for various categories of cylinder contents, and assess the potential for unsupervised deployment of the technology in a portal-monitor form factor. We refer to recent sensor-package prototypes as the Hybrid Enrichment Verification Array (HEVA). The report provides an overview of the assay signatures and summarizes the results of several HEVA field measurement campaigns on populations of Type 30B UF6 cylinders containing low-enriched uranium (LEU), natural uranium (NU), and depleted uranium (DU). Approaches to performance optimization of the assay technique via radiation transport modeling are briefly described, as are spectroscopic and data-analysis algorithms.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-21263
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1051991 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1051991
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc832719

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  • June 1, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 8:17 p.m.

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Jordan, David V.; Orton, Christopher R.; Mace, Emily K.; McDonald, Benjamin S.; Kulisek, Jonathan A. & Smith, Leon E. Automated UF6 Cylinder Enrichment Assay: Status of the Hybrid Enrichment Verification Array (HEVA) Project: POTAS Phase II, report, June 1, 2012; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832719/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.