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Title: Californium interrogation prompt neutron (CIPN) instrument for non-destructive assay of spent nuclear fuel – design concept and experimental demonstration

Our paper presents results of the first experimental demonstration of the Californium Interrogation Prompt Neutron (CIPN) instrument developed within a multi-year effort launched by the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative Spent Fuel Project of the United States Department of Energy. The goals of this project focused on developing viable non-destructive assay techniques with capabilities to improve an independent verification of spent fuel assembly characteristics. For this purpose, the CIPN instrument combines active and passive neutron interrogation, along with passive gamma-ray measurements, to provide three independent observables. We describe the initial feasibility demonstration of the CIPN instrument, which involved measurements of four pressurized-water-reactor spent fuel assemblies with different levels of burnup and two initial enrichments. The measurements were performed at the Post-Irradiation Examination Facility at the Korea Atomic Energy Institute in the Republic of Korea. The key aim of the demonstration was to evaluate CIPN instrument performance under realistic deployment conditions, with the focus on a detailed assessment of systematic uncertainties that are best evaluated experimentally. The measurements revealed good positioning reproducibility, as well as a high degree of insensitivity of the CIPN instrument's response to irregularities in a radial burnup profile. Systematic uncertainty of individual CIPN instrument signals due to assemblymore » rotation was found to be <4.5%, even for assemblies with fairly extreme gradients in the radial burnup profile. Lastly, these features suggest that the CIPN instrument is capable of providing a good representation of assembly average characteristics, independent of assembly orientation in the instrument.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Korea Atomic Energy Research Inst. (KAERI), Daejeong (Korea)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 806; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; Spent fuel; Passive neutron; Passive gamma; Active neutron; Non-destructive assay
OSTI Identifier: