"Computational Nuclear Forensics Analysis of Weapons-Grade Plutonium Separated from Fuel Irradiated in a Thermal Reactor,"
M.S. Thesis, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2014).
The objective of this thesis work is to utilize computational
models to reliably predict the unique intrinsic signature of the
weapons-grade plutonium separated from a PHWR, specifically an
Indian 220 MWe PHWR. The PHWR will produce weapons-grade plutonium
due to the low-burnup seen by the fuel in the computational model.
MCNPX-2.7 will perform burnup calculations for the PHWR in able to
determine the resulting isotopic makeup of actinides and trace
elements found in the discharged fuel. The discharged fuel of
interest was a single bundle of natural uranium fuel which saw a
burnup of about 1 GWd/tU.
The specific fission products and actinides selected for this
analysis were chosen based upon five parameters; the amount of
production, half-life, activity, probability of detection, and the
PUREX decontamination factor. An uncertainty analysis associated
with Monte Carlo methodology was completed to predict the mean and
standard deviation of the amount of production from the PHWR.
Ratios of the selected isotopes concentrations and activities per 1
Kg of total plutonium with a decontamination factor of 106 were
calculated for the PHWR. A ratio of the PHWR results to FBR results
was completed to determine if noticeable differences could be seen
between the two reactor types, hence, proving the existence of
unique intrinsic physical signatures in separated weapons-grade
plutonium produced by differing reactor types.
Associated Project(s):Plutonium Fingerprinting for Forensics (PuFF) Project