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Title: Apparatus and method for quantitative assay of generic transuranic wastes from nuclear reactors

Abstract

A combination of passive and active neutron measurements which yields quantitative information about the isotopic composition of transuranic wastes from nuclear power or weapons material manufacture reactors is described. From the measurement of prompt and delayed neutron emission and the incidence of two coincidentally emitted neutrons from induced fission of fissile material in the sample, one can quantify .sup.233 U, .sup.235 U and .sup.239 Pu isotopes in waste samples. Passive coincidence counting, including neutron multiplicity measurement and determination of the overall passive neutron flux additionally enables the separate quantitative evaluation of spontaneous fission isotopes such as .sup.240 Pu, .sup.244 Cm and .sup.252 Cf, and the spontaneous alpha particle emitter .sup.241 Am. These seven isotopes are the most important constituents of wastes from nuclear power reactors and once the mass of each isotope present is determined by the apparatus and method of the instant invention, the overall alpha particle activity can be determined to better than 1 nCi/g from known radioactivity data. Therefore, in addition to the quantitative analysis of the waste sample useful for later reclamation purposes, the alpha particle activity can be determined to decide whether "permanent" low-level burial is appropriate for the waste sample.

Inventors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. (Los Alamos, NM)
  2. (Santa Fe, NM)
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM
OSTI Identifier:
865259
Patent Number(s):
4483816
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by Department of Energy (Washington, DC) LANL
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
apparatus; method; quantitative; assay; generic; transuranic; wastes; nuclear; reactors; combination; passive; active; neutron; measurements; yields; information; isotopic; composition; power; weapons; material; manufacture; described; measurement; prompt; delayed; emission; incidence; coincidentally; emitted; neutrons; induced; fission; fissile; sample; quantify; 233; 235; 239; isotopes; waste; samples; coincidence; counting; including; multiplicity; determination; overall; flux; additionally; enables; separate; evaluation; spontaneous; 240; 244; cm; 252; cf; alpha; particle; emitter; 241; seven; constituents; mass; isotope; determined; instant; activity; nci; radioactivity; data; addition; analysis; useful; reclamation; purposes; decide; permanent; low-level; burial; appropriate; power reactors; power reactor; quantitative information; quantitative analysis; nuclear reactors; nuclear power; nuclear reactor; neutron flux; fissile material; alpha particle; transuranic wastes; passive neutron; neutron emission; delayed neutron; coincidence counting; emitted neutron; transuranic waste; including neutron; induced fission; neutron measurement; coincidence count; active neutron; isotopic composition; /376/976/

Citation Formats

Caldwell, John T., Kunz, Walter E., and Atencio, James D. Apparatus and method for quantitative assay of generic transuranic wastes from nuclear reactors. United States: N. p., 1984. Web.
Caldwell, John T., Kunz, Walter E., & Atencio, James D. Apparatus and method for quantitative assay of generic transuranic wastes from nuclear reactors. United States.
Caldwell, John T., Kunz, Walter E., and Atencio, James D. Sun . "Apparatus and method for quantitative assay of generic transuranic wastes from nuclear reactors". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/865259.
@article{osti_865259,
title = {Apparatus and method for quantitative assay of generic transuranic wastes from nuclear reactors},
author = {Caldwell, John T. and Kunz, Walter E. and Atencio, James D.},
abstractNote = {A combination of passive and active neutron measurements which yields quantitative information about the isotopic composition of transuranic wastes from nuclear power or weapons material manufacture reactors is described. From the measurement of prompt and delayed neutron emission and the incidence of two coincidentally emitted neutrons from induced fission of fissile material in the sample, one can quantify .sup.233 U, .sup.235 U and .sup.239 Pu isotopes in waste samples. Passive coincidence counting, including neutron multiplicity measurement and determination of the overall passive neutron flux additionally enables the separate quantitative evaluation of spontaneous fission isotopes such as .sup.240 Pu, .sup.244 Cm and .sup.252 Cf, and the spontaneous alpha particle emitter .sup.241 Am. These seven isotopes are the most important constituents of wastes from nuclear power reactors and once the mass of each isotope present is determined by the apparatus and method of the instant invention, the overall alpha particle activity can be determined to better than 1 nCi/g from known radioactivity data. Therefore, in addition to the quantitative analysis of the waste sample useful for later reclamation purposes, the alpha particle activity can be determined to decide whether "permanent" low-level burial is appropriate for the waste sample.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1984},
month = {1}
}

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