Isotopic Analysis of Spent Nuclear Fuel with an Ultra-High Rate HPGe Spectrometer
A longstanding challenge is the assay of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). Determining the isotopic content of SNF requires gamma-ray spectroscopy. PNNL has developed new digital filtering and analysis techniques to produce an ultra high-rate gamma-ray spectrometer from a standard coaxial high-purity germanium (HPGe) crystal. This ~40% efficient detector has been operated for SNF measurements at a throughput of about 400k gamma-ray counts per second (kcps) at an input rate of 1.3 Mcps. Optimized filtering algorithms preserve the spectroscopic capability of the system even at these high rates. This talk will present the results of a SNF measurement with aged SNF pellets at PNNL’s Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, first results with a FPGA front end processor capable of processing the data in real time, and the development path toward a multi-element system to assay fuel assemblies.
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- Conference: 55th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM 2014), July 20-24, 2014, Atlanta, Georgia, 3:2128-2137
- Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Deerfield, IL, United States(US).
- Research Org:
- Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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- United States