Noble gas isotope measurements for spent nuclear fuel reprocessing. IAEA Task 90/0A211 interim report
Description: The nuclear fission of actinides in reactor fuel produces large quantities of Kr and Xe as fission products. Because of the high levels of fission Kr and Xe, sample collection and analysis of noble gases for spent fuel diagnostic measurements is a simple, straight-forward technique. In modern reprocessing plants with continuous dissolvers, it will not be possible to use traditional methods for isolating input batches of fuel. This study investigates the feasibility of using noble gas isotope abundance measurements (isotope correlation techniques - ICT) to solve safeguards requirements. Noble gas measurements might be able to provide an independent analysis of Pu contained within dissolves fuel, on an individual fuel assembly basis. The isotopic composition of Kr and Xe in spent fuel reflects both the composition (isotope abundance ratios) of the fission products and the effects of neutron capture on those fission products. We have reviewed the available literature for noble gas analyses of spent reactor fuel. While references are made to noble gas isotope correlations over the last 20 years, we have found little if any detailed analysis of large data sets. The literature search did find several useful reports. Of these papers, one is particularly useful for evaluating noble gas isotopic compositions. The ``Benchmark-paper`` (1) contains 54 Kr and 56 Xe isotopic composition analyses for 4 different reactors with a variety of fuel enrichment factors. Burnup ranges from 8000 to 37000 MWd/tU. Besides the noble gas measurements, a variety of other measurements are reported (actinides and fission products).
Date: February 17, 1993
Creator: Hudson, G. B.
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