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Title: Passive Tomography for Spent Fuel Verification: Analysis Framework and Instrument Design Study

The potential for gamma emission tomography (GET) to detect partial defects within a spent nuclear fuel assembly is being assessed through a collaboration of Support Programs to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In the first phase of this study, two safeguards verification objectives have been identified. The first is the independent determination of the number of active pins that are present in the assembly, in the absence of a priori information. The second objective is to provide quantitative measures of pin-by-pin properties, e.g. activity of key isotopes or pin attributes such as cooling time and relative burnup, for the detection of anomalies and/or verification of operator-declared data. The efficacy of GET to meet these two verification objectives will be evaluated across a range of fuel types, burnups, and cooling times, and with a target interrogation time of less than 60 minutes. The evaluation of GET viability for safeguards applications is founded on a modelling and analysis framework applied to existing and emerging GET instrument designs. Monte Carlo models of different fuel types are used to produce simulated tomographer responses to large populations of “virtual” fuel assemblies. Instrument response data are processed by a variety of tomographic-reconstruction and image-processing methods,more » and scoring metrics specific to each of the verification objectives are defined and used to evaluate the performance of the methods. This paper will provide a description of the analysis framework and evaluation metrics, example performance-prediction results, and describe the design of a “universal” GET instrument intended to support the full range of verification scenarios envisioned by the IAEA.« less
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Conference: Proceedings of 37th ESARDA Symposium on Safeguards and Nuclear Non-Proliferation, May 19-21, 2015, Manchester, United Kingdom
European Safeguards Research & Development Association, Ispra, Italy.
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
spent nuclear fuel assemblies, partial defect verification, gamma-ray emission tomography