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Title: Utilization of the Differential Die-Away Self-Interrogation Technique for Characterization and Verification of Spent Nuclear Fuel

New nondestructive assay techniques are sought to better characterize spent nuclear fuel. One of the NDA instruments selected for possible deployment is differential die-away self-interrogation (DDSI). The proposed DDSI approach for spent fuel assembly assay utilizes primarily the spontaneous fission and (α, n) neutrons in the assemblies as an internal interrogating radiation source. The neutrons released in spontaneous fission or (α,n) reactions are thermalized in the surrounding water and induce fission in fissile isotopes, thereby creating a measurable signal from isotopes of interest that would be otherwise difficult to measure. The DDSI instrument employs neutron coincidence counting with 3He tubes and list-mode-based data acquisition to allow for production of Rossi-alpha distributions (RADs) in post-processing. The list-mode approach to data collection and subsequent construction of RADs has expanded the analytical possibilities, as will be demonstrated throughout this thesis. One of the primary advantages is that the measured signal in the form of a RAD can be analyzed in its entirety including determination of die-away times in different time domains. This capability led to the development of the early die-away method, a novel leakage multiplication determination method which is tested throughout the thesis on different sources in simulation space and fresh fuelmore » experiments. The early die-away method is a robust, accurate, improved method of determining multiplication without the need for knowledge of the (α,n) source term. The DDSI technique and instrument are presented along with the many novel capabilities enabled by and discovered through RAD analysis. Among the new capabilities presented are the early die-away method, total plutonium content determination, and highly sensitive missing pin detection. Simulation of hundreds of different spent and fresh fuel assemblies were used to develop the analysis algorithms and the techniques were tested on a variety of spontaneous fission-driven fresh fuel assemblies at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the BeRP ball at the Nevada National Security Site. The development of the new, improved analysis and characterization methods with the DDSI instrument makes it a viable technique for implementation in a facility to meet material control and safeguards needs.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1237214
Report Number(s):
LA--UR-16-20026
TRN: US1600294
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
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; 98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; SPENT FUELS; SPONTANEOUS FISSION; ALPHA REACTIONS; NEUTRONS; DATA ACQUISITION; PLUTONIUM; COINCIDENCE METHODS; FUEL ASSEMBLIES; ALGORITHMS; FISSILE MATERIALS; NEUTRON REACTIONS; FISSION; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; VERIFICATION; WATER; ROSSI ALPHA METHOD; NUCLEAR MATERIALS MANAGEMENT; NEUTRON LEAKAGE; MULTIPLICITY; SAFEGUARDS; NUCLEAR REACTION ANALYSIS; THERMALIZATION; HE-3 COUNTERS