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Title: Verification of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Sealed Dry Storage Casks via Measurements of Cosmic-Ray Muon Scattering

Abstract

Most of the plutonium in the world resides inside spent nuclear reactor fuel rods. This high-level radioactive waste is commonly held in long-term storage within large, heavily shielded casks. Currently, international nuclear safeguards inspectors have no stand-alone method of verifying the amount of reactor fuel stored within a sealed cask. In this paper, we demonstrate experimentally that measurements of the scattering angles of cosmic-ray muons, which pass through a storage cask, can be used to determine if spent fuel assemblies are missing without opening the cask. Finally, this application of technology and methods commonly used in high-energy particle physics provides a potential solution to this long-standing problem in international nuclear safeguards.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [3];  [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation
OSTI Identifier:
1435520
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1432575
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-27060
Journal ID: ISSN 2331-7019; TRN: US1900063
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Applied
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2331-7019
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; muon radiography; muon tomography; spent fuel; safeguards

Citation Formats

Durham, J. M., Poulson, D., Bacon, J., Chichester, D. L., Guardincerri, E., Morris, C. L., Plaud-Ramos, K., Schwendiman, W., Tolman, J. D., and Winston, P. Verification of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Sealed Dry Storage Casks via Measurements of Cosmic-Ray Muon Scattering. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.044013.
Durham, J. M., Poulson, D., Bacon, J., Chichester, D. L., Guardincerri, E., Morris, C. L., Plaud-Ramos, K., Schwendiman, W., Tolman, J. D., & Winston, P. Verification of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Sealed Dry Storage Casks via Measurements of Cosmic-Ray Muon Scattering. United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.044013
Durham, J. M., Poulson, D., Bacon, J., Chichester, D. L., Guardincerri, E., Morris, C. L., Plaud-Ramos, K., Schwendiman, W., Tolman, J. D., and Winston, P. Tue . "Verification of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Sealed Dry Storage Casks via Measurements of Cosmic-Ray Muon Scattering". United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.044013. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1435520.
@article{osti_1435520,
title = {Verification of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Sealed Dry Storage Casks via Measurements of Cosmic-Ray Muon Scattering},
author = {Durham, J. M. and Poulson, D. and Bacon, J. and Chichester, D. L. and Guardincerri, E. and Morris, C. L. and Plaud-Ramos, K. and Schwendiman, W. and Tolman, J. D. and Winston, P.},
abstractNote = {Most of the plutonium in the world resides inside spent nuclear reactor fuel rods. This high-level radioactive waste is commonly held in long-term storage within large, heavily shielded casks. Currently, international nuclear safeguards inspectors have no stand-alone method of verifying the amount of reactor fuel stored within a sealed cask. In this paper, we demonstrate experimentally that measurements of the scattering angles of cosmic-ray muons, which pass through a storage cask, can be used to determine if spent fuel assemblies are missing without opening the cask. Finally, this application of technology and methods commonly used in high-energy particle physics provides a potential solution to this long-standing problem in international nuclear safeguards.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.044013},
journal = {Physical Review Applied},
number = 4,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:

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Cited by: 18 works
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Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1 FIG. 1: The two muon trackers around the MC-10 cask. One tracker is elevated by 1.2 m relative to the other to sample the muon flux at smaller zenith angles. Both are housed inside weatherproof containers. One of the lifting trunnions that is used as a reference point to alignmore » the detectors with the fuel basket is visible on the bottom left of the cask body.« less

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Works referencing / citing this record:

Application of muon tomography to fuel cask monitoring
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