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Title: Performance test results of noninvasive characterization of RCRA surrogate waste by prompt gamma neutron activation analysis

Abstract

A performance evaluation to determine the feasibility of using prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) for noninvasive, quantitative assay of mixed waste containers was sponsored by DOE`s Office of Technology Development (OTD), the Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA), and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). The evaluation was conducted using a surrogate waste, based on Portland cement, that was spiked with three RCRA metals, mercury, cadmium, and lead. The results indicate that PGNAA has potential as a process monitor. However, further development is required to improve its sensitivity to meet regulatory requirements for determination of these RCRA metals.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Co., Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
676970
Report Number(s):
INEEL/EXT-97-01164
ON: DE98056053; TRN: 99:002074
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-94ID13223
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Nov 1997
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; 40 CHEMISTRY; WASTE FORMS; PROMPT GAMMA RADIATION; NEUTRON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS; PERFORMANCE; HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; MERCURY; CADMIUM; LEAD; NONDESTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS; ALPHA-BEARING WASTES

Citation Formats

Gehrke, R.J., and Propp, W.A. Performance test results of noninvasive characterization of RCRA surrogate waste by prompt gamma neutron activation analysis. United States: N. p., 1997. Web. doi:10.2172/676970.
Gehrke, R.J., & Propp, W.A. Performance test results of noninvasive characterization of RCRA surrogate waste by prompt gamma neutron activation analysis. United States. doi:10.2172/676970.
Gehrke, R.J., and Propp, W.A. Sat . "Performance test results of noninvasive characterization of RCRA surrogate waste by prompt gamma neutron activation analysis". United States. doi:10.2172/676970. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/676970.
@article{osti_676970,
title = {Performance test results of noninvasive characterization of RCRA surrogate waste by prompt gamma neutron activation analysis},
author = {Gehrke, R.J. and Propp, W.A.},
abstractNote = {A performance evaluation to determine the feasibility of using prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) for noninvasive, quantitative assay of mixed waste containers was sponsored by DOE`s Office of Technology Development (OTD), the Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA), and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). The evaluation was conducted using a surrogate waste, based on Portland cement, that was spiked with three RCRA metals, mercury, cadmium, and lead. The results indicate that PGNAA has potential as a process monitor. However, further development is required to improve its sensitivity to meet regulatory requirements for determination of these RCRA metals.},
doi = {10.2172/676970},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 1997},
month = {Sat Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 1997}
}

Technical Report:

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  • During FY-96, a performance test was carried out with funding from the Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) of the Department of Energy (DOE) to determine the noninvasive elemental assay capabilities of commercial companies for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) metals present in 8-gal drums containing surrogate waste. Commercial companies were required to be experienced in the use of prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) techniques and to have a prototype assay system with which to conduct the test assays. Potential participants were identified through responses to a call for proposals advertised in the Commerce Business Daily and through personalmore » contacts. Six companies were originally identified. Two of these six were willing and able to participate in the performance test, as described in the test plan, with some subsidizing from the DOE MWFA. The tests were conducted with surrogate sludge waste because (1) a large volume of this type of waste awaits final disposition and (2) sludge tends to be somewhat homogeneous. The surrogate concentrations of the above RCRA metals ranged from {approximately} 300 ppm to {approximately} 20,000 ppm. The lower limit was chosen as an estimate of the expected sensitivity of detection required by noninvasive, pretreatment elemental assay systems to be of value for operational and compliance purposes and to still be achievable with state-of-the-art methods of analysis. The upper limit of {approximately} 20,000 ppm was chosen because it is the opinion of the author that assay above this concentration level is within current state-of-the-art methods for most RCRA constituents. This report is organized into three parts: Part 1, Test Plan to Evaluate the Technical Status of Noninvasive Elemental Assay Techniques for Hazardous Waste; Part 2, Participants` Results; and Part 3, Evaluation of and Comments on Participants` Results.« less
  • This feasibility study has identified and evaluated the influence of important matrix effects which arise in the commercial application of prompt gamma/neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) methods to bulk-coal analysis as follows: neutron moderation and absorption changes; gamma-ray attenuation in the sample; sample density and volume changes. The neutron-induced capture gamma spectra were found to vary in a similar, predictable manner for all neutron absorbers found in coal such as hydrogen, boron, nitrogen, chlorine, and sulfur. Three different models have been proposed from this study to analyze coal by PGNAA methods and account for the significant matrix effects arising from hydrogenmore » variation and other system perturbations.« less
  • This research project was to improve the prompt gamma-ray neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) measurement approach for bulk analysis, oil well logging, and small sample thermal enutron bean applications.
  • This report reviews the progress accomplished during Phase I of a two-phase project intended to demonstrate the use of Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) as a technology for the characterization of hazardous and radioactive contaminants in concrete floors. A comprehensive experimental program was undertaken using the N-SCAN{trademark} PGNAA system, which was initially developed by Westinghouse for soil characterization, to determine the sensitivity of PGNAA for several contaminants in concrete. The experiments were performed in a test facility specially designed and constructed for this project. The lower limits of detection derived from the experimental data were encouraging for mercury, cadmium,more » uranium-238, thorium-232, technetium-99, chlorine, uranium-235 and chromium. These limits were achieved after modifications made to the original N-SCAN system significantly improved its sensitivity for elements located at or near the surface of concrete. With the implementation of additional performance-enhancing modifications scheduled in Phase II, the detection sensitivity of N-SCAN at the end of this project is expected to be at least one order of magnitude higher, allowing N-SCAN to become an effective characterization tool. N-SCAN has several important advantages over current characterization methods and technologies.« less
  • The normal prompt gamma-ray neutron activation analysis for either bulk or small beam samples inherently has a small signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio due primarily to the neutron source being present while the sample signal is being obtained. Coincidence counting offers the possibility of greatly reducing or eliminating the noise generated by the neutron source. The present report presents our results to date on implementing the coincidence counting PGNAA approach. We conclude that coincidence PGNAA yields: (1) a larger signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, (2) more information (and therefore better accuracy) from essentially the same experiment when sophisticated coincidence electronics are used that canmore » yield singles and coincidences simultaneously, and (3) a reduced (one or two orders of magnitude) signal from essentially the same experiment. In future work we will concentrate on: (1) modifying the existing CEARPGS Monte Carlo code to incorporate coincidence counting, (2) obtaining coincidence schemes for 18 or 20 of the common elements in coal and cement, and (3) optimizing the design of a PGNAA coincidence system for the bulk analysis of coal.« less