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Title: A feasibility and optimization study to determine cooling time and burnup of advanced test reactor fuels using a nondestructive technique

The goal of this study presented is to determine the best available non-destructive technique necessary to collect validation data as well as to determine burn-up and cooling time of the fuel elements onsite at the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) canal. This study makes a recommendation of the viability of implementing a permanent fuel scanning system at the ATR canal and leads3 to the full design of a permanent fuel scan system. The study consisted at first in determining if it was possible and which equipment was necessary to collect useful spectra from ATR fuel elements at the canal adjacent to the reactor. Once it was establish that useful spectra can be obtained at the ATR canal the next step was to determine which detector and which configuration was better suited to predict burnup and cooling time of fuel elements non-destructively. Three different detectors of High Purity Germanium (HPGe), Lanthanum Bromide (LaBr3), and High Pressure Xenon (HPXe) in two system configurations of above and below the water pool were used during the study. The data collected and analyzed was used to create burnup and cooling time calibration prediction curves for ATR fuel. The next stage of the study was to determinemore » which of the three detectors tested was better suited for the permanent system. From spectra taken and the calibration curves obtained, it was determined that although the HPGe detector yielded better results, a detector that could better withstand the harsh environment of the ATR canal was needed. The in-situ nature of the measurements required a rugged fuel scanning system, low in maintenance and easy to control system. Based on the ATR canal feasibility measurements and calibration results it was determined that the LaBr3 detector was the best alternative for canal in-situ measurements; however in order to enhance the quality of the spectra collected using this scintillator a deconvolution method was developed. Following the development of the deconvolution method for ATR applications the technique was tested using one-isotope, multi-isotope and fuel simulated sources. Burnup calibrations were perfomed using convoluted and deconvoluted data. The calibrations results showed burnup prediction by this method improves using deconvolution. The final stage of the deconvolution method development was to perform an irradiation experiment in order to create a surrogate fuel source to test the deconvolution method using experimental data. A conceptual design of the fuel scan system is path forward using the rugged LaBr3 detector in an above the water configuration and deconvolution algorithms.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1115608
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT--13-29997
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS Bunrup prediction; HPGe; HPXE; LaBr3; Deconvolution