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Title: Uncertainty quantification in application of the enrichment meter principle for nondestructive assay of special nuclear material

The various methods of nondestructive assay (NDA) of special nuclear material (SNM) have applications in nuclear nonproliferation, including detection and identification of illicit SNM at border crossings, and quantifying SNM at nuclear facilities for safeguards. No assay method is complete without “error bars,” which provide one way of expressing confidence in the assay result. Consequently, NDA specialists typically quantify total uncertainty in terms of “random” and “systematic” components, and then specify error bars for the total mass estimate in multiple items. Uncertainty quantification (UQ) for NDA has always been important, but it is recognized that greater rigor is needed and achievable using modern statistical methods. To this end, we describe the extent to which the guideline for expressing uncertainty in measurements (GUM) can be used for NDA. Also, we propose improvements over GUM for NDA by illustrating UQ challenges that it does not address, including calibration with errors in predictors, model error, and item-specific biases. A case study is presented using low-resolution NaI spectra and applying the enrichment meter principle to estimate the U-235 mass in an item. The case study illustrates how to update the current American Society for Testing and Materials guide for application of the enrichment metermore » principle using gamma spectra from a NaI detector.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1687-725X; NN2001000
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Sensors
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2015; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1687-725X
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION uncertainty quantification; nuclear safeguards; simulation