Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometry Time Spectral Analysis for Spent Fuel Assay: FY11 Status Report

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Developing a method for the accurate, direct, and independent assay of the fissile isotopes in bulk materials (such as used fuel) from next-generation domestic nuclear fuel cycles is a goal of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Fuel Cycle R&D, Material Protection and Control Technology (MPACT) Campaign. To meet this goal, MPACT supports a multi-institutional collaboration, of which PNNL is a part, to study the feasibility of Lead Slowing Down Spectroscopy (LSDS). This technique is an active nondestructive assay method that has the potential to provide independent, direct measurement of Pu and U isotopic masses in used fuel with an uncertainty ... continued below

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Kulisek, Jonathan A.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Bowyer, Sonya M.; Casella, Andrew M.; Gesh, Christopher J. & Warren, Glen A. September 30, 2011.

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Developing a method for the accurate, direct, and independent assay of the fissile isotopes in bulk materials (such as used fuel) from next-generation domestic nuclear fuel cycles is a goal of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Fuel Cycle R&D, Material Protection and Control Technology (MPACT) Campaign. To meet this goal, MPACT supports a multi-institutional collaboration, of which PNNL is a part, to study the feasibility of Lead Slowing Down Spectroscopy (LSDS). This technique is an active nondestructive assay method that has the potential to provide independent, direct measurement of Pu and U isotopic masses in used fuel with an uncertainty considerably lower than the approximately 10% typical of today's confirmatory assay methods. This document is a progress report for FY2011 PNNL analysis and algorithm development. Progress made by PNNL in FY2011 continues to indicate the promise of LSDS analysis and algorithms applied to used fuel. PNNL developed an empirical model based on calibration of the LSDS to responses generated from well-characterized used fuel. The empirical model, which accounts for self-shielding effects using empirical basis vectors calculated from the singular value decomposition (SVD) of a matrix containing the true self-shielding functions of the used fuel assembly models. The potential for the direct and independent assay of the sum of the masses of 239Pu and 241Pu to within approximately 3% over a wide used fuel parameter space was demonstrated. Also, in FY2011, PNNL continued to develop an analytical model. Such efforts included the addition of six more non-fissile absorbers in the analytical shielding function and the non-uniformity of the neutron flux across the LSDS assay chamber. A hybrid analytical-empirical approach was developed to determine the mass of total Pu (sum of the masses of 239Pu, 240Pu, and 241Pu), which is an important quantity in safeguards. Results using this hybrid method were of approximately the same accuracy as the pure empirical approach. In addition, total Pu with much better accuracy with the hybrid approach than the pure analytical approach. In FY2012, PNNL will continue efforts to optimize its empirical model and minimize its reliance on calibration data. In addition, PNNL will continue to develop an analytical model, considering effects such as neutron-scattering in the fuel and cladding, as well as neutrons streaming through gaps between fuel pins in the fuel assembly.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-20769
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1027699 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1027699
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837786

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  • September 30, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 11:01 p.m.

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Kulisek, Jonathan A.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Bowyer, Sonya M.; Casella, Andrew M.; Gesh, Christopher J. & Warren, Glen A. Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometry Time Spectral Analysis for Spent Fuel Assay: FY11 Status Report, report, September 30, 2011; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837786/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.