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J. White, W.S. Charlton, and A. Solodov, "Applications of X-ray Fluorescence Fission Product Correlations for Nuclear Forensics," Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting for the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Baltimore, Maryland, July 11-15, 2010.


X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and broad range fission product gamma-raymeasurements are two promising nondestructive analysis (NDA) techniques for rapid attribution for mixtures of uranium, plutonium, andfission products, including spent fuel, reprocessing waste solutions, and dirty weapon materials. The XRF technique measures self-induced x-rayfluorescence from uranium and plutonium and compares pulse heights of uranium and plutonium peaks to quantify elemental uranium and plutonium. If unknown nuclear material needed to be identified rapidly, XRF could be used as a relatively portable measurement technique to obtain initial information about a sample, which could drastically reduce identification time by narrowing the range of further tests to be performed. Analysis of the presence of various fission products and their ratios can provide valuable information about a number of parameters for SNF or material extracted from it, such as age, burnup, initial enrichment, reactor type, etc. This paper investigatesapplications of XRF and broad range fission product measurements for nuclear forensics. A variety of data sets were collected during several measurement campaigns at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Spent fuel rods measured cover a large spectrum of age (one to thirty two years), burn-up (18 to 67 GWd/tU), and plutonium content (0.3% to 5%). This data will be used to develop nuclear forensics algorithms for identification of material origins, fissile contents and historical data associated with it. 

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Associated Project(s):

  • Development of Advanced Safeguards Measurement Techniques Using the Coupled End-to-End (CETE) Demonstration at ORNL

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