A. Hoover, W. S. Charlton, M.L. Fensin, A. Rajasingam, C. Rudy, S. Saavedra A. Stafford, D. Strohmeyer, S. Tobin,
"Measurement of Plutonium in Spent Nuclear Fuel by Self-Induced X-ray Fluorescence,"
Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management
, Tucson, AZ, July 12-15, 2009.
Direct measurement of the plutonium content
in spent nuclear fuel is a challenging problem
in non-destructive assay. The very high gamma-ray flux from
fission product isotopes overwhelms the weaker
gamma-ray emissions from plutonium and uranium,
making passive gamma-ray measurements impossible.
However, the intense fission product radiation is effective at
excitingplutonium and uranium atoms, resulting in
subsequent fluorescence X-ray emission.
K-shell X-rays in the 100 keV energy range can escape
the fuel and cladding, providing a direct signal from
uranium and plutonium that can be measured with a
standard germanium detector. The measured plutonium to
uranium elemental ratio can be used to compute
the plutoniumcontent of the fuel. The technique can
potentially provide a passive, non-destructive assay tool for
determining plutonium content in spent fuel. In
this paper, we discuss recent
non-destructive measurements of plutonium X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
signatures from pressurized water
reactor spent fuel rods. We also discuss how
emerging new technologies, like very-high energy resolution
microcalorimeter detectors, might be applied to
Associated Project(s):Development of Advanced Safeguards Measurement Techniques Using the Coupled End-to-End (CETE) Demonstration at ORNL