Description: Nondestructive assay (NDA) refers to techniques and instruments developed to measure nuclear materials in the many forms in which they occur throughout the fuel cycle. These techniques were first developed to support nuclear safeguards inspections and nuclear material accountability; they are also used extensively for process and quality control. Most accountability measurements are based on analytical chemistry and require that a sample be drawn and analyzed destructively. Destructive analysis can not be applied to many of the product materials found in the fuel cycle, such as fuel rods and assemblies, because of their high monetary value. Also, many waste and scrap materials can not be adequately sampled for destructive analysis because of their heterogenous nature. This situation led to the development of nondestructive analysis techniques. This paper presents an overview of the major NDA techniques and instrumentation in use today. The instrumentation described below is now used frequently by safeguards inspectors and facility operators alike. 19 refs., 18 figs., 4 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1988
Creator: Reilly, T.D.
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