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Title: Assess How Changes in Fuel Cycle Operation Impact Safeguards

In this report two research topics of interest to Concepts and Approaches are investigated. The motivation of joining them into one project is that both require (1) the simulation of fuel irradiation in a reactor and (2) the transport of gamma and neutron irradiation from the fuel to safeguards detectors. In the next two subsections the merits of each of the two safeguards applications are further introduced. Given the cumulative impact of the enhancements listed above, it is not surprising that both fuel assembly design and fuel assembly irradiation optimization have improved over the past 50+ years. The purpose of the research summarized in this sub-­section is to investigate what, if any, consequence this evolution in reactor operation might have for nuclear safeguards. It is anticipated that the burnup and isotopics of the spent fuel should exhibit less variation over the decades as reactor operators irradiate each assembly to the optimum amount. In contrast, older spent fuel is anticipated to vary more in burnup and resulting isotopics for a given initial enrichment. Continuing with this thesis, modern fuel should be more uniform in composition, and thus, measured safeguards results should be easier to interpret than results from older spent fuel.more » With spent fuel ponds filling up, interim and long-­term storage of spent fuel will need to be addressed. Additionally after long periods of storage, spent fuel is no longer self-­protecting and as such the IAEA will categorize it as more attractive; in approximately 20 years many of the assemblies from early commercial cores will no longer be considered self-­protecting. This study will assess how more recent changes in the reactor operation could impact the interpretation of safeguards measurements.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Nuclear Engineering and Nonproliferation Division
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Dismantlement and Transparency (NA-241)
Country of Publication:
United States