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Analysis of International Commodity Shipping Data and the Shipment of NORM to the United States

Description: As part of the Spreader Bar Radiation Detector project, PNNL analyzed US import data shipped through US ports collected over the 12 months of 2006 (over 4.5 million containers). Using these data, we extracted a variety of distributions that are of interest to modelers and developers of active and passive detection systems used to 'scan' IMCCs for potential contraband. This report expands on some of the analysis presented in an earlier report from LLNL, by investigation the foreign port distribution of commodities shipped to the US. The majority of containers shipped to the United States are 40 ft containers ({approx}70%); about 25% are 20 ft; and about 3.6% are 45 ft containers. A small fraction (<1%) of containers are of other more specialized sizes, and very few ports actually ship these unique size containers (a full distribution for all foreign ports is shown in Appendix A below). The primary foreign ports that ship the largest fraction of each container are shown in the table below. Given that 45 ft containers comprise 1 of out every 27 containers shipped to the US, and given the foreign ports from which they are shipped, they should not be ignored in screening; further testing and analysis of radiation measurements for national security with this size container is warranted. While a large amount of NORM is shipped in IMCCs, only a few specific commodities are shipped with enough frequency to present potential issues in screening IMCCs at ports. The majority of containers with NORM will contain fertilizers (5,700 containers), granite (59,000 containers), or ceramic (225,000 containers) materials. Fertilizers were generally shipping in either 20- or 40 ft containers with equal frequency. While granite is mostly shipped in 20 ft containers, ceramic materials can be shipped in either 20- or 40 ft containers. The size of ...
Date: October 1, 2011
Creator: Baciak, James E.; Ely, James H.; Schweppe, John E.; Sandness, Gerald A. & Robinson, Sean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Algorithms Performance Investigation of a Generalized Spreader-Bar Detection System

Description: A “generic” gantry-crane-mounted spreader bar detector has been simulated in the Monte-Carlo radiation transport code MCNP [1]. This model is intended to represent the largest realistically feasible number of detector crystals in a single gantry-crane model intended to sit atop an InterModal Cargo Container (IMCC). Detectors were chosen from among large commonly-available sodium iodide (NaI) crystal scintillators and spaced as evenly as is thought possible with a detector apparatus attached to a gantry crane. Several scenarios were simulated with this model, based on a single IMCC being moved between a ship’s deck or cargo hold and the dock. During measurement, the gantry crane will carry that IMCC through the air and lower it onto a receiving vehicle (e.g. a chassis or a bomb cart). The case of an IMCC being moved through the air from an unknown radiological environment to the ground is somewhat complex; for this initial study a single location was picked at which to simulate background. An HEU source based on earlier validated models was used, and placed at varying depths in a wood cargo. Many statistical realizations of these scenarios are constructed from simulations of the component spectra, simulated to have high statistics. The resultant data are analyzed with several different algorithms. The simulated data were evaluated by each algorithm, with a threshold set to a statistical-only false alarm probability of 0.001 and the resultant Minimum Detectable Amounts were generated for each Cargo depth possible within the IMCC. Using GADRAS as an anomaly detector provided the greatest detection sensitivity, and it is expected that an algorithm similar to this will be of great use to the detection of highly shielded sources.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Robinson, Sean M.; Ashbaker, Eric D.; Hensley, Walter K.; Schweppe, John E.; Sandness, Gerald A.; Erikson, Luke E. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Energy Research Initiative Project No. 02 103 Innovative Low Cost Approaches to Automating QA/QC of Fuel Particle Production Using On Line Nondestructive Methods for Higher Reliability Final Project Report

Description: This Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) project was tasked with exploring, adapting, developing and demonstrating innovative nondestructive test methods to automate nuclear coated particle fuel inspection so as to provide the United States (US) with necessary improved and economical Quality Assurance and Control (QA/QC) that is needed for the fuels for several reactor concepts being proposed for both near term deployment [DOE NE & NERAC, 2001] and Generation IV nuclear systems. Replacing present day QA/QC methods, done manually and in many cases destructively, with higher speed automated nondestructive methods will make fuel production for advanced reactors economically feasible. For successful deployment of next generation reactors that employ particle fuels, or fuels in the form of pebbles based on particles, extremely large numbers of fuel particles will require inspection at throughput rates that do not significantly impact the proposed manufacturing processes. The focus of the project is nondestructive examination (NDE) technologies that can be automated for production speeds and make either: (I) On Process Measurements or (II) In Line Measurements. The inspection technologies selected will enable particle “quality” qualification as a particle or group of particles passes a sensor. A multiple attribute dependent signature will be measured and used for qualification or process control decisions. A primary task for achieving this objective is to establish standard signatures for both good/acceptable particles and the most problematic types of defects using several nondestructive methods.
Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Ahmed, Salahuddin; Batishko, Charles R.; Flake, Matthew; Good, Morris S.; Mathews, Royce; Morra, Marino et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department