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Final evaluation of characterizing pipe-over-pack containers using high efficiency neutron counters

Description: Nondestructive assay (NDA) measurements of Transuranic (TRU) waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) packed in Pipe-over-Pack Containers (POC) contain a number of complexities. The POC is highly attenuating to both gamma rays and neutrons which presents a difficult waste matrix for correct quantification of material in the container. Currently there are a number ofPOC containers at LANL that require evaluation for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM. Updated data has been evaluated that finalizes the evaluation of characterizing Pipe-Over-Pack Containers. Currently at LANL, a single instrument has been used to explore the appropriateness of both passive neutron and quantitative gamma ray methods for measuring POC's. The passive neutron approach uses the Reals coincidence count rate to establish plutonium mass and other parameters of interest for TRU waste. The quantitative gamma ray method assumes a homogeneous distribution of radioactive source material with the surrounding material throughout the drum volume. Drums are assayed with a calibration based on the known density of the matrix. Both methods are supplemented by a simultaneous isotopic measurement using Multi-Group Analysis (MGA) to determine the plutonium isotopic composition. If MGA fails to provide a viable isotopic result Fixed Energy Response function Analysis with Multiple efficiencies (FRAM) has been used to replace the MGA results. Acceptable Knowledge (AK) may also be used in certain instances. This report will discuss the two methods in detail. Included in the discussion will be descriptions of the setup parameters and calibration techniques for the instrument. A number of test measurements have been performed to compare HENC data with certified historical data. Empty POCs loaded with known sources have also been measured to determine the viability of the technique. A comparison between calorimetry data, historical measurements and HENC data will also be performed. The conclusion will show ...
Date: January 1, 2009
Creator: Carson, Pete; Stanfield, Sean B; Wachter, Joe; Cramer, Doug & Harvill, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department