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Title: Cosmic ray muon computed tomography of spent nuclear fuel in dry storage casks

Abstract

Radiography with cosmic ray muon scattering has proven to be a successful method of imaging nuclear material through heavy shielding. Of particular interest is monitoring dry storage casks for diversion of plutonium contained in spent reactor fuel. Using muon tracking detectors that surround a cylindrical cask, cosmic ray muon scattering can be simultaneously measured from all azimuthal angles, giving complete tomographic coverage of the cask interior. This article describes the first application of filtered back projection algorithms, typically used in medical imaging, to cosmic ray muon scattering imaging. The specific application to monitoring spent nuclear fuel in dry storage casks is investigated via GEANT4 simulations. With a cylindrical muon tracking detector surrounding a typical spent fuel cask, simulations indicate that missing fuel bundles can be detected with a statistical significance of ~18σ in less than two days exposure and a sensitivity at 1σ to a 5% missing portion of a fuel bundle. Finally, we discuss potential detector technologies and geometries.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
OSTI Identifier:
1345145
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-21971
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002; TRN: US1700514
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 842; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; Muon radiography; Tomography; Cosmic rays; Dry cask storage

Citation Formats

Poulson, Daniel Cris, Durham, J. Matthew, Guardincerri, Elena, Morris, Christopher, Bacon, Jeffrey Darnell, Plaud-Ramos, Kenie Omar, Morley, Deborah Jean, and Hecht, Adam A. Cosmic ray muon computed tomography of spent nuclear fuel in dry storage casks. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.040.
Poulson, Daniel Cris, Durham, J. Matthew, Guardincerri, Elena, Morris, Christopher, Bacon, Jeffrey Darnell, Plaud-Ramos, Kenie Omar, Morley, Deborah Jean, & Hecht, Adam A. Cosmic ray muon computed tomography of spent nuclear fuel in dry storage casks. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.040.
Poulson, Daniel Cris, Durham, J. Matthew, Guardincerri, Elena, Morris, Christopher, Bacon, Jeffrey Darnell, Plaud-Ramos, Kenie Omar, Morley, Deborah Jean, and Hecht, Adam A. 2016. "Cosmic ray muon computed tomography of spent nuclear fuel in dry storage casks". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.040. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1345145.
@article{osti_1345145,
title = {Cosmic ray muon computed tomography of spent nuclear fuel in dry storage casks},
author = {Poulson, Daniel Cris and Durham, J. Matthew and Guardincerri, Elena and Morris, Christopher and Bacon, Jeffrey Darnell and Plaud-Ramos, Kenie Omar and Morley, Deborah Jean and Hecht, Adam A.},
abstractNote = {Radiography with cosmic ray muon scattering has proven to be a successful method of imaging nuclear material through heavy shielding. Of particular interest is monitoring dry storage casks for diversion of plutonium contained in spent reactor fuel. Using muon tracking detectors that surround a cylindrical cask, cosmic ray muon scattering can be simultaneously measured from all azimuthal angles, giving complete tomographic coverage of the cask interior. This article describes the first application of filtered back projection algorithms, typically used in medical imaging, to cosmic ray muon scattering imaging. The specific application to monitoring spent nuclear fuel in dry storage casks is investigated via GEANT4 simulations. With a cylindrical muon tracking detector surrounding a typical spent fuel cask, simulations indicate that missing fuel bundles can be detected with a statistical significance of ~18σ in less than two days exposure and a sensitivity at 1σ to a 5% missing portion of a fuel bundle. Finally, we discuss potential detector technologies and geometries.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.040},
journal = {Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment},
number = ,
volume = 842,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month =
}

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  • In this paper, cosmic ray muon radiography has been used to identify the absence of spent nuclear fuel bundles inside a sealed dry storage cask. The large amounts of shielding that dry storage casks use to contain radiation from the highly radioactive contents impedes typical imaging methods, but the penetrating nature of cosmic ray muons allows them to be used as an effective radiographic probe. This technique was able to successfully identify missing fuel bundles inside a sealed Westinghouse MC-10 cask. This method of fuel cask verification may prove useful for international nuclear safeguards inspectors. Finally, muon radiography may findmore » other safety and security or safeguards applications, such as arms control verification.« less
  • Cited by 2
  • For dry storage of spent fuel casks, the restrictions imposed by the IAEA can be more rigid than for tansportation because of long operation period for storage. The spent fuel cask design development process is connected with heat computation or tests for IAEA safety regulations correspondence confirmation. For horizontal transported casks, safety ptoblems connected with temperature conditions can be resolved if correlations for heat transfer in horizontally situated heated rod bundles are available.
  • An experimental cask drop program initiated by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and conducted by AEA Technology under contract to British Nuclear Fuels, Inc., is evaluated and compared with analytical techniques. The dropped cask was a full-scale storage cask. Targets included the International Atomic Energy Agency`s unyielding surface and a specially constructed concrete pad representative of those in use at actual spent-fuel storage installations. Drop heights were 45.7, 101.6, and 152.4 cm.
  • This paper presents an evaluation of an experimental cask drop program. This is the first known time that dry storage cask deceleration time history data for near full scale size casks is available as a function of drop height.