"Reactor Power History from Fission Product Signatures,"
M.S. Thesis, Texas A & M University, December 2008.
The purpose of this research was to identify fission product
signatures that could be used to uniquely identify a specific spent
fuel assembly in order to improve international safeguards. This
capability would help prevent and deter potential diversion of
spent fuel for a nuclear weapons program. The power history
experienced by a fuel assembly is distinct and could serve as the
basis of a method for unique identification. Using fission product
concentrations to characterize the assembly power history would
limit the ability of a proliferator to deceive the identification
method. As part of the work completed, the TransLat lattice physics
code was successfully benchmarked for fuel depletion. By developing
analytical models for potential monitor isotopes an understanding
was built of how specific isotope characteristics affect the
production and destruction mechanisms that determine fission
product concentration. With this knowledge potential monitor
isotopes were selected and tested for concentration differences as
a result of power history variations. Signature ratios were found
to have significant concentration differences as a result of power
history variations while maintaining a constant final burnup. A
conceptual method for implementation of a fission product
identification system was proposed in conclusion.
Associated Project(s):Transparency Methods Development using Fission Product Signatures