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Title: Characterization of a New Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer

Abstract

There is considerable interest in developing direct measurement methods to determine the plutonium content of spent nuclear fuel within a fuel assembly. One technique that may prove successful is lead slowing-down spectroscopy. Lead Slowing Down Spectroscopy (LSDS) has been used for decades to make cross-section measurements on relatively small isotopic samples of well know masses. For spent fuel assembly measurements, LSDS will be applied in reverse; unknown masses will be determined using well-know cross-sections. In the LSDS, a pulse of neutrons (on the order of 10-100 MeV) is injected into a large lead stack (~ 1m3). The neutrons quickly down-scatter but exhibit little spread in energy about the average, continually-decreasing neutron energy making for a strong correlation between the elapsed time from the initial pulse and the average energy of the neutron. By measuring this elapsed time, it is possible to measure interactions of the neutrons with the fuel in the 0.1 to 1,000 eV range. Many of the actinides have strong resonances in this region, making it possible, through careful measurements and analysis, to extract isotopic masses from LSDS measurements. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is actively conducting research on both LSDS measurement and data analysis techniques. This paper willmore » present results of the effort to construct and characterize a new lead slowing down spectrometer. The spectrometer was designed to begin testing both experimental measurement and data analysis techniques for determining the plutonium content of spent fuel. To characterize the spectrometer, a series of (n,γ) experiments were conducted to measure the correlation between the time after the neutrons enter the lead and the energy of the interaction. Results from these measurements as well as plans for future development of the spectrometer will be discussed.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1048002
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-80569
TRN: US1204069
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, July 17-21, 2011, Palm Desert, California
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ACTINIDES; CROSS SECTIONS; DATA ANALYSIS; EV RANGE; NEUTRONS; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR MATERIALS MANAGEMENT; PLUTONIUM; SLOWING-DOWN; SPECTROMETERS; SPECTROSCOPY; SPENT FUELS; TESTING; Lead slowing down spectrometer; lead slowing down spectrometry; LSDS; characterization

Citation Formats

Casella, Andrew M., Warren, Glen A., Cantaloub, Michael G., Mace, Emily K., McDonald, Benjamin S., Overman, Cory T., Pratt, Sharon L., Smith, Leon E., Stave, Sean C., and Wittman, Richard S. Characterization of a New Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer. United States: N. p., 2011. Web.
Casella, Andrew M., Warren, Glen A., Cantaloub, Michael G., Mace, Emily K., McDonald, Benjamin S., Overman, Cory T., Pratt, Sharon L., Smith, Leon E., Stave, Sean C., & Wittman, Richard S. Characterization of a New Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer. United States.
Casella, Andrew M., Warren, Glen A., Cantaloub, Michael G., Mace, Emily K., McDonald, Benjamin S., Overman, Cory T., Pratt, Sharon L., Smith, Leon E., Stave, Sean C., and Wittman, Richard S. Sat . "Characterization of a New Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer". United States.
@article{osti_1048002,
title = {Characterization of a New Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer},
author = {Casella, Andrew M. and Warren, Glen A. and Cantaloub, Michael G. and Mace, Emily K. and McDonald, Benjamin S. and Overman, Cory T. and Pratt, Sharon L. and Smith, Leon E. and Stave, Sean C. and Wittman, Richard S.},
abstractNote = {There is considerable interest in developing direct measurement methods to determine the plutonium content of spent nuclear fuel within a fuel assembly. One technique that may prove successful is lead slowing-down spectroscopy. Lead Slowing Down Spectroscopy (LSDS) has been used for decades to make cross-section measurements on relatively small isotopic samples of well know masses. For spent fuel assembly measurements, LSDS will be applied in reverse; unknown masses will be determined using well-know cross-sections. In the LSDS, a pulse of neutrons (on the order of 10-100 MeV) is injected into a large lead stack (~ 1m3). The neutrons quickly down-scatter but exhibit little spread in energy about the average, continually-decreasing neutron energy making for a strong correlation between the elapsed time from the initial pulse and the average energy of the neutron. By measuring this elapsed time, it is possible to measure interactions of the neutrons with the fuel in the 0.1 to 1,000 eV range. Many of the actinides have strong resonances in this region, making it possible, through careful measurements and analysis, to extract isotopic masses from LSDS measurements. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is actively conducting research on both LSDS measurement and data analysis techniques. This paper will present results of the effort to construct and characterize a new lead slowing down spectrometer. The spectrometer was designed to begin testing both experimental measurement and data analysis techniques for determining the plutonium content of spent fuel. To characterize the spectrometer, a series of (n,γ) experiments were conducted to measure the correlation between the time after the neutrons enter the lead and the energy of the interaction. Results from these measurements as well as plans for future development of the spectrometer will be discussed.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {10}
}

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