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Title: Investigation of Imaging Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Casks using Cosmic Ray Muons

Abstract

Recently, the use of cosmic ray muons for cargo scanning applications has been demonstrated and muons have been shown to have the potential to allow for nondestructive assessment of nuclear material accountancy. Relativistic muons have the ability to penetrate dense materials and monitoring the subsequent scattering of muons can provide information about the structure and composition of materials stored in cargo containers. The suitability of cosmic muons for a number of monitoring and imaging applications has been investigated over the years and includes applications to archaeology, volcano imaging, material identification and medical diagnosis. Novel applications of cosmic ray muons have been proposed for examination of comatose patients towards bone density monitoring and also for determination of the molten nuclear fuel location in nuclear reactors having suffered from the effects of a severe accident similar to the one happened in Fukushima. There is a need to develop a capability to monitor nuclear waste and investigate whether the stored content agrees with facility declarations to allow proliferation detection and international treaty verification. Monitoring nuclear waste and controlling nuclear material at its source is one of the main strategies to minimize the risks of nuclear proliferation and reduce potential homeland threats. Since themore » early 1950's, when the first nuclear power plant began to produce electricity, approximately 65,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel have been generated, 25% of which are under dry storage conditions. After the spent nuclear fuel has been placed inside the dry cask, the cask is welded, not allowing for visual inspection. During the long storage life of the cask, intermediate handling and transportation activities take place which does create concerns regarding fuel integrity. Accidents and natural disasters also contribute to this concern. Previous work on spent nuclear fuel dry cask monitoring using muons has shown that the muon scattering distributions are adequately separated and a and a decision rule derived from Bayes' Theorem rendering the classification of different dry casks feasible. Muons present significant advantages over the existing imaging techniques such as the utilization of the passive nature of muons, the lack of radiological sources and consequently the absence of any artificial radiological dose. In the present work, a methodology is developed to demonstrate the applicability of muons for imaging of spent nuclear fuel dry casks. Purpose is to use muons to differentiate between spent nuclear fuel dry casks with different amounts of loading. Monte Carlo simulations of dry casks with different spent nuclear fuel loading are performed to simulate the passage of polyenergetic muons having energies in the range of 1-60 GeV through matter. A 'Muon Generator' is developed to generate muons that follow the actual sea level energy distribution. The 'Muon Generator' is validated against a series of actual spectrum measurements and then coupled with the Monte Carlo particle transport code GEANT4. The accumulated dataset of scattering angles were processed with the Point-of- the-Closest-Approach (PoCA) imaging algorithm and the obtained images demonstrate that an empty dry cask can be clearly distinguished from a half-loaded or a fully loaded one. The apparent separation of the images demonstrates that the muon scattering can be used as a feature for imaging spent nuclear fuel dry casks. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. School of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University West Lafayette, IN, 47907 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22991850
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Transactions of the American Nuclear Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: Annual Meeting of the American Nuclear Society, New Orleans, LA (United States), 12-16 Jun 2016; Other Information: Country of input: France; 15 refs.; Available from American Nuclear Society - ANS, 555 North Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, IL 60526 United States; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-018X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CASKS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; COSMIC MUONS; DRY STORAGE; ENERGY SPECTRA; FUEL INTEGRITY; GEV RANGE; MONITORING; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NATURAL DISASTERS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; PROLIFERATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; SCATTERING; SEVERE ACCIDENTS; SPENT FUELS; STORAGE LIFE

Citation Formats

Chatzidakis, S., Choi, C. K., and Tsoukalas, L. H.. Investigation of Imaging Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Casks using Cosmic Ray Muons. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Chatzidakis, S., Choi, C. K., & Tsoukalas, L. H.. Investigation of Imaging Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Casks using Cosmic Ray Muons. United States.
Chatzidakis, S., Choi, C. K., and Tsoukalas, L. H.. Wed . "Investigation of Imaging Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Casks using Cosmic Ray Muons". United States.
@article{osti_22991850,
title = {Investigation of Imaging Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Casks using Cosmic Ray Muons},
author = {Chatzidakis, S. and Choi, C. K. and Tsoukalas, L. H.},
abstractNote = {Recently, the use of cosmic ray muons for cargo scanning applications has been demonstrated and muons have been shown to have the potential to allow for nondestructive assessment of nuclear material accountancy. Relativistic muons have the ability to penetrate dense materials and monitoring the subsequent scattering of muons can provide information about the structure and composition of materials stored in cargo containers. The suitability of cosmic muons for a number of monitoring and imaging applications has been investigated over the years and includes applications to archaeology, volcano imaging, material identification and medical diagnosis. Novel applications of cosmic ray muons have been proposed for examination of comatose patients towards bone density monitoring and also for determination of the molten nuclear fuel location in nuclear reactors having suffered from the effects of a severe accident similar to the one happened in Fukushima. There is a need to develop a capability to monitor nuclear waste and investigate whether the stored content agrees with facility declarations to allow proliferation detection and international treaty verification. Monitoring nuclear waste and controlling nuclear material at its source is one of the main strategies to minimize the risks of nuclear proliferation and reduce potential homeland threats. Since the early 1950's, when the first nuclear power plant began to produce electricity, approximately 65,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel have been generated, 25% of which are under dry storage conditions. After the spent nuclear fuel has been placed inside the dry cask, the cask is welded, not allowing for visual inspection. During the long storage life of the cask, intermediate handling and transportation activities take place which does create concerns regarding fuel integrity. Accidents and natural disasters also contribute to this concern. Previous work on spent nuclear fuel dry cask monitoring using muons has shown that the muon scattering distributions are adequately separated and a and a decision rule derived from Bayes' Theorem rendering the classification of different dry casks feasible. Muons present significant advantages over the existing imaging techniques such as the utilization of the passive nature of muons, the lack of radiological sources and consequently the absence of any artificial radiological dose. In the present work, a methodology is developed to demonstrate the applicability of muons for imaging of spent nuclear fuel dry casks. Purpose is to use muons to differentiate between spent nuclear fuel dry casks with different amounts of loading. Monte Carlo simulations of dry casks with different spent nuclear fuel loading are performed to simulate the passage of polyenergetic muons having energies in the range of 1-60 GeV through matter. A 'Muon Generator' is developed to generate muons that follow the actual sea level energy distribution. The 'Muon Generator' is validated against a series of actual spectrum measurements and then coupled with the Monte Carlo particle transport code GEANT4. The accumulated dataset of scattering angles were processed with the Point-of- the-Closest-Approach (PoCA) imaging algorithm and the obtained images demonstrate that an empty dry cask can be clearly distinguished from a half-loaded or a fully loaded one. The apparent separation of the images demonstrates that the muon scattering can be used as a feature for imaging spent nuclear fuel dry casks. (authors)},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/22991850}, journal = {Transactions of the American Nuclear Society},
issn = {0003-018X},
number = 1,
volume = 114,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {6}
}