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Title: An Unattended Verification Station for UF6 Cylinders: Implementation Concepts and Development Status

In recent years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has pursued innovative techniques and an integrated suite of safeguards measures to address the verification challenges posed by advanced centrifuge technologies and the growth in separative work unit capacity at modern centrifuge enrichment plants. These measures would include permanently installed, unattended instruments capable of performing the routine and repetitive measurements previously performed by inspectors. Among the unattended instruments currently being explored by the IAEA is an Unattended Cylinder Verification Stations (UCVS) that could provide independent verification of the declared relative enrichment, 235U mass and total uranium mass of 100% of the declared cylinders moving through the plant, as well as the application and verification of an ‘Non-destructive Assay Fingerprint’ to preserve verification knowledge on the contents of each cylinder throughout its life in the facility. As the IAEA’s vision for a UCVS has evolved, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been developing and testing candidate nondestructive assay (NDA) methods for inclusion in a UCVS. Modeling and multiple field campaigns have indicated that these methods are capable of assaying relative cylinder enrichment with a precision comparable to or perhaps better than today’s high-resolution handheld devices, withoutmore » the need for manual wall-thickness corrections. In addition, the methods interrogate the full volume of the cylinder, thereby offering the IAEA a new capability to assay the absolute 235U mass in the cylinder and much-improved sensitivity to substituted or removed material. Building on this prior work a UCVS field prototype is being developed and tested. This paper describes potential implementation concepts, a preliminary UCVS prototype design and functional description, and preparations for upcoming field trials.« less
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Conference: IAEA Symposium on International Safeguards: Linking Strategy, Implementation and People, October 20-24, 2014, Vienna, Austria
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States