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Title: Delayed Gamma-ray Assay for Nuclear Materials Safeguards. Comprehensive Technology Readiness Assessment

Abstract

Spectroscopic analysis of beta-delayed gamma-rays emitted from fission products following active interrogation was investigated as a non-destructive assay technique for detection and characterization of nuclear materials in shielded and complex configurations. This measurement technique is expected to be applicable to a variety of applications within the nuclear material safeguards, arms control, and emergency response areas, where active neutron interrogation is acceptable. Potential applications of the delayed gamma-ray assay in the nuclear material safeguards area include characterization of U and Pu isotopic content in spent and unirradiated nuclear fuel, enrichment measurements, verification of bulk material in containers, and the characterization of nuclear wastes. In the arms control area, this method can be used as a part of warhead dismantlement measurements to confirm separation of components, and may be applicable in warhead confirmation. In the context of emergency response, it can be used for detailed diagnostics of an unknown item. At present, the delayed gamma-ray assay technology reliably qualifies for the Technical Readiness Level 3 (TRL 3). The R&D work completed under this project has successfully demonstrated the empirical proof-of-concept for this active interrogation technology for a variety of measurement configurations, neutron sources, and nuclear material samples. A robust first-principles analytical signaturemore » modeling methodology was developed, experimentally validated, and can be easily extrapolated to a range of realistic measurement scenarios. Several response analysis methodologies have been implemented and deemed reliable for a variety of active interrogation applications in the areas of nuclear material safeguards, arms control, and emergency response. The initial readiness level before the start of this project was assessed at TRL 0, since only fragmentary records of the signature observations and speculative statements of the relevant non-destructive assay applications existed at that time. The delayed gamma-ray technology readiness can be easily advanced to TRL 4 in a short period, if a certain measurement application is specified and set for a demonstration in a laboratory environment. The critical hardware components of the delayed gamma-ray measurement technology (neutron generators, gamma-ray spectrometers) are readily available as COTS and can be configured for a specific deployment configuration. The primary risk of the delayed gamma-ray assay methodology is defined by the applicationspecific uncertainties. Evaluation of the system performance can be effectively completed once the expected measurement purpose, nuclear material characteristics, dimensions, and radiation exposure constraints are specified. A minor risk can be associated with the delayed gamma-ray response analysis techniques. Several approaches were proposed and demonstrated primarily using the modeled signatures. The observed performance may not be easily transferrable to the conditions of a real measurement setup, and some additional R&D may be required. Overall, the delayed gamma-ray assay technology can be recommended for follow-up demonstrations addressing relevant measurement applications in the areas of nuclear material safeguards, arms control, and emergency response.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1491960
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR-764918
955022
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Nuclear science and engineering - Nuclear disarmament, safeguards, and physical protection

Citation Formats

Mozin, Vladimir. Delayed Gamma-ray Assay for Nuclear Materials Safeguards. Comprehensive Technology Readiness Assessment. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1491960.
Mozin, Vladimir. Delayed Gamma-ray Assay for Nuclear Materials Safeguards. Comprehensive Technology Readiness Assessment. United States. doi:10.2172/1491960.
Mozin, Vladimir. Wed . "Delayed Gamma-ray Assay for Nuclear Materials Safeguards. Comprehensive Technology Readiness Assessment". United States. doi:10.2172/1491960. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1491960.
@article{osti_1491960,
title = {Delayed Gamma-ray Assay for Nuclear Materials Safeguards. Comprehensive Technology Readiness Assessment},
author = {Mozin, Vladimir},
abstractNote = {Spectroscopic analysis of beta-delayed gamma-rays emitted from fission products following active interrogation was investigated as a non-destructive assay technique for detection and characterization of nuclear materials in shielded and complex configurations. This measurement technique is expected to be applicable to a variety of applications within the nuclear material safeguards, arms control, and emergency response areas, where active neutron interrogation is acceptable. Potential applications of the delayed gamma-ray assay in the nuclear material safeguards area include characterization of U and Pu isotopic content in spent and unirradiated nuclear fuel, enrichment measurements, verification of bulk material in containers, and the characterization of nuclear wastes. In the arms control area, this method can be used as a part of warhead dismantlement measurements to confirm separation of components, and may be applicable in warhead confirmation. In the context of emergency response, it can be used for detailed diagnostics of an unknown item. At present, the delayed gamma-ray assay technology reliably qualifies for the Technical Readiness Level 3 (TRL 3). The R&D work completed under this project has successfully demonstrated the empirical proof-of-concept for this active interrogation technology for a variety of measurement configurations, neutron sources, and nuclear material samples. A robust first-principles analytical signature modeling methodology was developed, experimentally validated, and can be easily extrapolated to a range of realistic measurement scenarios. Several response analysis methodologies have been implemented and deemed reliable for a variety of active interrogation applications in the areas of nuclear material safeguards, arms control, and emergency response. The initial readiness level before the start of this project was assessed at TRL 0, since only fragmentary records of the signature observations and speculative statements of the relevant non-destructive assay applications existed at that time. The delayed gamma-ray technology readiness can be easily advanced to TRL 4 in a short period, if a certain measurement application is specified and set for a demonstration in a laboratory environment. The critical hardware components of the delayed gamma-ray measurement technology (neutron generators, gamma-ray spectrometers) are readily available as COTS and can be configured for a specific deployment configuration. The primary risk of the delayed gamma-ray assay methodology is defined by the applicationspecific uncertainties. Evaluation of the system performance can be effectively completed once the expected measurement purpose, nuclear material characteristics, dimensions, and radiation exposure constraints are specified. A minor risk can be associated with the delayed gamma-ray response analysis techniques. Several approaches were proposed and demonstrated primarily using the modeled signatures. The observed performance may not be easily transferrable to the conditions of a real measurement setup, and some additional R&D may be required. Overall, the delayed gamma-ray assay technology can be recommended for follow-up demonstrations addressing relevant measurement applications in the areas of nuclear material safeguards, arms control, and emergency response.},
doi = {10.2172/1491960},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}