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Plutonium Calorimetry and SNM Holdup Measurements, Progress Report: March 1976-August 1976

Description: The calorimetric instrumentation developed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for making nondestructive measurements of the plutonium content of fuel rods is discussed. Measurements with these instruments are relatively fast (i.e., 15 to 20 minutes) when compared to the several hours usually required with more conventional calorimeters and for this reason are called ''fast-response.'' Most of the discussion concerns the One-Meter and the Four-Meter Fuel-Rod Calorimeters and the Analytical Small-Sample Calorimeter. However, to provide some background and continuity where needed, a small amount of discussion is devoted to the three earlier calorimeters which have been described previously in the literature. A brief review is presented of the literature on plutonium holdup measurements. The use of gamma-ray techniques for holdup measurements is discussed and results are given for the determination of sample thickness using the ratio of intensities of high- and low-energy gamma rays. The measurements cover the plutonium metal thickness range from 0.001 to 0.120 inches. The design of a gamma-ray collimator with 37 parallel holes is also discussed. Neutron-counting experiments using BF3 proportional counters embedded in two polyethylene slabs are described. This detector configuration is characterized for its sensitivity to sample and background plutonium, counting both coincidence (fission) and total neutrons. In addition, the use of infrared imaging devices to measure small temperature differences is considered for locating large amounts of plutonium holdup and also for performing fast attribute checks for fabricated fuel elements.
Date: February 1977
Creator: Brumbach, S. B.; Finkbeiner, A. M.; Lewis, R. N. & Perry, R. B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department