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Title: Non-destructive Assay Measurements Using the RPI Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer

The use of a Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometer (LSDS) is consid- ered as a possible option for non-destructive assay of fissile material of used nuclear fuel. The primary objective is to quantify the 239Pu and 235U fissile content via a direct measurement, distinguishing them through their characteristic fission spectra in the LSDS. In this pa- per, we present several assay measurements performed at the Rensse- laer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to demonstrate the feasibility of such a method and to provide benchmark experiments for Monte Carlo cal- culations of the assay system. A fresh UOX fuel rod from the RPI Criticality Research Facility, a 239PuBe source and several highly en- riched 235U discs were assayed in the LSDS. The characteristic fission spectra were measured with 238U and 232Th threshold fission cham- bers, which are only sensitive to fission neutron with energy above the threshold. Despite the constant neutron and gamma background from the PuBe source and the intense interrogation neutron flux, the LSDS system was able to measure the characteristic 235U and 239Pu responses. All measurements were compared to Monte Carlo simula- tions. It was shown that the available simulation tools and models are well suited to simulate the assay, and thatmore » it is possible to calculate the absolute count rate in all investigated cases.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Science and Engineering, 175(2):124-134
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer; non-destructive assay