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

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Executive Summary 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 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 ... continued below

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Warren, Glen A.; Casella, Andrew M.; Haight, R. C.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Danon, Yaron; Hatchett, D. et al. August 1, 2011.

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Executive Summary 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 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 collaboration activities. Progress made by the collaboration in FY2011 continues to indicate the promise of LSDS techniques 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 demonstrated 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. Similar results were obtained using a perturbation approach developed by LANL. Benchmark measurements have been successfully conducted at LANL and at RPI using their respective LSDS instruments. The ISU and UNLV collaborative effort is focused on the fabrication and testing of prototype fission chambers lined with ultra-depleted 238U and 232Th, and uranium deposition on a stainless steel disc using spiked U3O8 from room temperature ionic liquid was successful, with improving thickness obtained. In FY2012, the collaboration plans a broad array of activities. PNNL will focus on optimizing its empirical model and minimizing its reliance on calibration data, as well continuing efforts on developing an analytical model. Additional measurements are planned at LANL and RPI. LANL measurements will include a Pu sample, which is expected to provide more counts at longer slowing-down times to help identify discrepancies between experimental data and MCNPX simulations. RPI measurements will include the assay of an entire fresh fuel assembly for the study of self-shielding effects as well as the ability to detect diversion by detecting a missing fuel pin in the fuel assembly. The development of threshold neutron sensors will continue, and UNLV will calibrate existing ultra-depleted uranium deposits at ISU.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-20689
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1025687 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1025687
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc845295

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  • August 1, 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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Warren, Glen A.; Casella, Andrew M.; Haight, R. C.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Danon, Yaron; Hatchett, D. et al. Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometry for Spent Fuel Assay: FY11 Status Report, report, August 1, 2011; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc845295/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.