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

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:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-27060
Journal ID: ISSN 2331-7019
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
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)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
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
OSTI Identifier:
1435520
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1432575

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., 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. 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., and Winston, P.. 2018. "Verification of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Sealed Dry Storage Casks via Measurements of Cosmic-Ray Muon Scattering". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.044013.
@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}
}