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Integrated nondestructive assay solutions for plutonium measurement problems of the 21st century

Description: The authors describe automated and integrated nondestructive assay (NDA) systems configured to measure many of the materials that will be found in the Department of Energy complex in the dismantlement, disposition, residue stabilization, immobilization, and mixed oxide fuel programs. These systems are typified by the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System NDA system which is under construction at Los Alamos National Laboratory to measure the outputs of a weapon component dismantlement system.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Sampson, T.E. & Cremers, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Concentration of (236)Pu Daughters in Plutonium for Application to MOX Production from Plutonium from Dismantled US Nuclear Weapons

Description: The isotope {sup 236}Pu in the weapons-grade plutonium to be used in the US MOX (mixed-oxide) plant is of concern because the daughter products of {sup 236}Pu are sources of high-energy gamma rays. The {sup 208}Tl daughter of {sup 236}Pu emits intense, high-energy gamma rays that are important for radiation exposure calculations for plant design. It is generally thought that the concentrations of {sup 236}Pu and its daughters are well below 10{sup {minus}10}, but these concentrations are generally below the detection limits of most analytical techniques. One technique that can be used to determine the concentration {sup 208}Tl is the direct measurement of the intensity of the {sup 208}Tl gamma rays in the gamma-ray spectrum from plutonium. Thallium-208 will be in equilibrium with {sup 228}Th, and may very well be in equilibrium with {sup 232}U for most aged plutonium samples. We have used the FRAM isotopic analysis software to analyze dozens of archived high-resolution gamma ray spectra from various samples of US and foreign plutonium. We are able to quantify the ratio of minor isotopes with measurable gamma-ray emissions to the major isotope of plutonium and hence, through the measurement of the plutonium isotopic distribution of the sample, to elemental plutonium itself. Excluding items packaged in fluoropolymer vials, all samples analyzed with {sup 240}Pu < 9% gave {sup 228}Th/Pu ratios < 3.4 e-012 and all samples of US-produced plutonium, including {sup 240}Pu values up to 16.4%, gave {sup 228}Th/Pu ratios < 9.4 e-012. None of these values is significant from a radiation dose standpoint.
Date: May 1, 2001
Creator: Sampson, T.E. & Cremers, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integrated nondestructive assay solutions for plutonium measurement problems of the 21st century

Description: The authors describe automated and integrated NDA systems configured to measure many of the materials that will be found in the DOE complex in the dismantlement, disposition, residue stabilization, immobilization, and MOX fuel programs. These systems are typified by the ARIES (Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System) nondestructive assay system which is under construction at Los Alamos to measure the outputs of a weapon component dismantlement system.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Sampson, T.E. & Cremers, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Calorimetric assay of minor actinides

Description: This paper reviews the principles of calorimetric assay and evaluates its potential application to the minor actinides (U-232-4, Am-241, Am- 243, Cm-245, Np-237). We conclude that calorimetry and high- resolution gamma-ray isotopic analysis can be used for the assay of minor actinides by adapting existing methodologies for Pu/Am-241 mixtures. In some cases, mixtures of special nuclear materials and minor actinides may require the development of new methodologies that involve a combination of destructive and nondestructive assay techniques.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Rudy, C.; Bracken, D.; Cremers, T.; Foster, L.A. & Ensslin, N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ARIES NDA Suite: Fully-integrated and automated nuclear material assay system for measurement of special nuclear materials

Description: The Advanced Retirement and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) mission the demonstration of advanced technologies for the integrated dismantlement of surplus nuclear weapon components (pits) and the packaging of the recovered plutonium into long-term storage containers. The unclassified plutonium product is suitable for traditional international safeguards, as well as other potential inspection regimes. As indicated in the recent Secretary of Energy`s Record of Decision (ROD), this unclassified excess material is anticipated to be offered for international safeguards under the US Voluntary Offer (INFCIRC/288) performed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (TAEA). The ARIES nondestructive assay (NDA) suite offers state-of-the-art capabilities that provide highly accurate, precise material assay meeting IAEA bias defect measurement levels. Because of these levels of performance, the requirement of destructive analysis is largely removed. The unique combination of automation and high accuracy suggests the possibility of dual-use operator-owned IAEA authenticated instrumentation. Finally, the concept of continuous unattended monitoring for international safeguards applications with the ARIES NDA suite is intriguing and may encourage additional deployments of similar NDA systems internationally or elsewhere within the DOE complex.
Date: April 1, 1997
Creator: Fearey, B.L.; Sampson, T.E. & Cremers, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) program plan. Rev. 1

Description: The Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) demonstration combines various technologies, some of which were/are being developed under previous/other Department of Energy (DOE) funded programs. ARIES is an overall processing system for the dismantlement of nuclear weapon primaries. The program will demonstrate dismantlement of nuclear weapons and retrieval of the plutonium into a form that is compatible with long term storage and that is inspectable in an unclassified form appropriate for the application of traditional international safeguards. The success of the ARIES demonstration would lead to the development of a transportable modular or other facility type systems for weapons dismantlement to be used at other DOE sites as well as in other countries.
Date: February 2, 1996
Creator: Nelson, T.O.; Massey, P.W. & Cremers, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Calorimeter in the ARIES recovery system

Description: The Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System is an automated weapons component recovery system that includes four state-of-the-art nondestructive assay (NDA) instruments to analyze all outputs and the final product. The instruments are integrated with robotics sample handling to provide the analytical data and are controlled by a central computer. The NDA instruments are a plutonium isotopic composition system, neutron coincidence counter, segmented gamma scanner, and a calorimeter. This paper will describe the calorimeter system which uses the new Windows environment software package to communicate between the calorimeter and the control computer. Storage, retrieval, database, and operations with other software packages, such as Excel, are provided to allow the operator to analyze the calorimeter system. The host computer assumes control of all functions of the calorimeter system in the remote operations and retrieves the data upon completion of the calorimeter sample run allowing the robotics system to change samples at the earliest possible time for maximum sample throughput. The calorimeter Windows operating system allows viewing of the calorimeter, room, and bath data during the sample run. 1 ref., 2 figs., 1 tab.
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: Wetzel, J.R.; Sampson, T.E. & Cremers, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of three new technolgies for international safeguards

Description: Los Alamos National Laboratory is examining a number of promising technologies that could increase the effectiveness and efficiency of international nuclear safeguards. The techniques described in this paper include video image processing, infrared imaging, and acoustic resonance spectroscopy. Each of these techniques offers unique advantages in the implementation of an inspection regime.
Date: January 1, 1993
Creator: Stanbro, W.D.; Rodriguez, C.A.; Olinger, C.T. & Cremers, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PC/FRAM: New capabilities for the gamma-ray spectrometry measurement of plutonium isotopic composition

Description: We describe the new capability of and.present measurement results from the PC/FRAM plutonium isotopic analysis code. This new code allows data acquisition from a single coaxial germanium detector and analysis over an energy range from 120 keV to above I MeV. For the first time we demonstrate a complete isotopic analysis using only gamma rays greater than 200 keV in energy. This new capability allows the measurement of the plutonium isotopic composition of items inside shielded or heavy-walled containers without having to remove the items from the container. This greatly enhances worker safety by reducing handling and the resultant radiation exposure. Another application allows international inspectors to verify the contents of items inside sealed, long-term storage containers that may not be opened for national security or treaty compliance reasons. We present measurement results for traditional planar germanium detectors as well as coaxial detectors measuring shielded and unshielded samples.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: Sampson, T.E.; Kelley, T.A.; Cremers, T.L.; Konkel, T.R. & Friar, R.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Isotopic ratios and effective power determined by gamma-ray spectroscopy vs mass spectroscopy for molten salt extraction residues

Description: Impure plutonium metal is routinely processed by molten salt extraction (MSE) to reduce the amount of americium in the metal product. Throughput at various facilities where similar processes are performed has made it essential to evaluate uncertainties and possible discrepancies in the analyses of these difficult MSE materials. In an effort to evaluate the plutonium isotopic ratios and americium concentrations obtained from gamma-ray spectral data analyzed by the computer code GRPAUT, measurements were made on ten MSE salts as received and after pulverization and blending. These results were then compared to the specific powers obtained from isotopic ratios determined by mass spectrometry on these same ten samples. Americium values ranged from a few thousand parts-per-million of total plutonium to greater than 50,000 ppM. Our results indicate a small discrepancy between specific powers as determined by GRPAUT on as received'' vs pulverized and blended MSE salts. The specific powers obtained via GRPAUT on the pulverized salts agree somewhat better with specific powers obtained from the mass spectroscopy data. This work may indicate that a small discrepancy exists in the specific powers by using GRPAUT on heterogeneous, high americium samples. 5 refs., 6 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Longmire, V.L.; Cremers, T.L.; Sedlacek, W.A.; Long, S.M.; Scarborough, A.M. & Hurd, J.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Calorimetry measurements in less than 20 minutes

Description: Argonne National Laboratory has developed a new series of 10 watt Bulk Plutonium Assay Calorimeters (BPAC10). The calorimeter measures bulk samples of plutonium bearing material in containers up to 5in. in diameter and 7in. high. The average measurement time is 19.7 minutes compared to 2--9 hours for the same sample measured in a water bath calorimeter. Measurement precision in the range of 1--10 watts is 1% to 0.1% and it is 0.010 watt for sample power less than 1 watt. BPAC10 series calorimeters are in use in two plutonium facilities at the EG G Rocky Flats Plant and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory TA55 Plutonium Facility. The paper presents a description of the calorimeter, discusses operating experience at Los Alamos, and presents a comparison of data on typical samples measured with both types of calorimeters. 5 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.
Date: January 1, 1991
Creator: Perry, R.B. (Argonne National Lab., IL (United States)) & Cremers, T. (Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Neutron-based measurements for nondestructive assay of minor actinides produced in nuclear power reactors

Description: Because of their impacts on long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste and their value as nuclear fuels, measurement and accounting of the minor actinides produced in nuclear power reactors are becoming significant issues. This paper briefly reviews the commercial nuclear fuel cycle with emphasis on reprocessing plants and key measurement points therein. Neutron signatures and characteristics are compared and contrasted for special nuclear materials (SNMs) and minor actinides (MAs). The paper focuses on application of neutron-based nondestructive analysis (NDA) methods that can be extended for verification of MAs. We describe current IAEA methods for NDA of SNMs and extension of these methods to satisfy accounting requirements for MAs in reprocessing plant dissolver solutions, separated products, and high-level waste. Recommendations for further systems studies and development of measurement methods are also included.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Stewart, J.E.; Eccleston, G.W.; Ensslin, N.; Cremers, T.L.; Foster, L.A.; Menlove, H.O. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LANL/Green Star Tests of the Green Star SBS-60 Spectrometer

Description: We report on joint testing of the Russian-designed and manufactured single board spectrometer SBS-60 from Green Star Ltd. of Moscow. The SBS-60 will be used to make material control and accountability measurements on plutonium in the Russian plutonium disposition program. We compared three SBS-60 units of two different designs with three commonly used commercial US data acquisition systems by making measurements with three different HPGe detector systems. The measurements were performed to test if the gamma-ray spectral data of plutonium samples from the SBS-60 was suitable for analysis for the isotopic composition of plutonium using the Los Alamos FRAM isotopic analysis software. Each detector fed its signal to two data acquisition systems, one SBS-60 and one commercial US system. The data from the two systems were analyzed by FRAM and compared. In addition, we characterized the throughput, resolution, and stability of the SBS-60 data acquisition system in comparison with the commercial US systems. This report presents detailed results of all the tests performed.
Date: June 2001
Creator: Sampson, T. E.; Vo, D. T.; Cremers, T. L.; Hypes, P. A.; Seldiakov, Y. P.; Dorin, A. B. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LANL/Green Star spectrometer tests

Description: The US and Russia have agreed to the joint development of a nondestructive assay system for use to support the dismantlement of nuclear weapons in Russia. This nondestructive assay system will be used to measure plutonium produced by the conversion of Russian nuclear weapons. The NDA system for Russia will be patterned after the ARIES NDA system being constructed at Los Alamos. One goal of the program is to produce an NDA system for use in Russia that maximizes the use of Russian resources to facilitate maintenance and future upgrades. The Green Star SBS50 Single Board Spectrometer system (Green Star Ltd., Moscow, Russia) has been suggested for use as the data acquisition component for gamma ray instruments in the system. Possible uses are for plutonium isotopic analysis and also segmented gamma scanning. Green Star has also developed analysis software for the SBS50. This software, both plutonium isotopic analysis and uranium enrichment analysis, was developed specifically for customs/border inspection applications (low counting rate applications and identification as opposed to quantification) and was not intended for MC and A applications. Because of the relative immaturity of the Green Star plutonium isotopic analysis software (it has been under development for only one year and is patterned after US development circa 1980), it was tentatively agreed, before the tests, that the Russian NDA system would use the Los Alamos PC/FRAM software for plutonium isotopic analysis. However, it was also decided to include the Green Star plutonium isotopic software in the testing, both to quantify its performance for MC and A applications and also to provide additional data to Green Star for further development of their software. The main purpose of the testing was to evaluate the SBS-50 spectrometer as a data acquisition device for use with LANL software.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Sampson, T.E.; Cremers, T.L.; Vo, D.T.; Seldiakov, Y.P.; Dorin, A.B.; Kondrashov, M.V. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Test and evaluation of the Argonne BPAC10 Series air chamber calorimeter designed for 20 minute measurements

Description: This paper is the final report on DOE-OSS Task ANLE88002 Fast Air Chamber Calorimetry.'' The task objective was to design, construct, and test an isothermal air chamber calorimeter for plutonium assay of bulk samples that would meet the following requirements for sample power measurement: average sample measurement time less than 20 minutes. Measurement of samples with power output up to 10 W. Precision of better than 1% RSD for sample power greater than 1 W. Precision better than 0.010 watt SD, for sample power less than 1 W. This report gives a description of the calorimeter hardware and software and discusses the test results. The instrument operating procedure, included as an appendix, gives examples of typical input/output and explains the menu driven software. Sample measurement time of less than 20 minutes was attained by pre-equilibration of the samples in low cost precision preheaters and by prediction of equilibrium measurements. Tests at the TA55 Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, on typical samples, indicates that the instrument meets all the measurement requirements.
Date: October 1, 1990
Creator: Perry, R.B.; Fiarman, S.; Jung, E.A. (Argonne National Lab., IL (USA)) & Cremers, T. (Los Alamos National Lab., NM (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department