"Simulation of Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence for the Quantification of Plutonium-239 in Spent Nuclear Fuel,"
M.S. Thesis, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2015).
There is a need for a technique that is able to timely and
accurately quantify the amount of plutonium-239 in spent nuclear
fuel. With the recent developments of mono-energetic gamma-ray
systems it is possible to use Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence for
this task. Previous gamma-ray sources for the technique were
Bremsstrahlung sources. There was a distinct disadvantage with this
technique due to the broad energy spectrum that Bremsstrahlung
sources create. However, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
a new source has been developed with uses Compton scattering of
photons off of electrons to create extremely thing energy bandwidth
gamma-rays. In this project a Monte Carlo code developed by
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, known as COG, was used to
investigate detector designs for use with mono-energetic gamma-ray
sources to quantify plutonium in spent nuclear fuel assemblies in
this research. It is shown that the technique is viable for the
quantification of plutonium in fresh and spent mixed oxide fuel.
Due to an unexplainable flattening of the number of Nuclear
Resonance Fluorescence for low plutonium-239 concentrations, <1%
atom percent, it is not clear if the technique will work for spent
nuclear fuel. Investigation into the cause of this flattening was
conducted; however, a concrete explanation of the flattening could
not be found. A more in depth analysis of COG's capabilities must
be conducted to determine what is causing this anomaly.
Associated Project(s):Simulation of Nuclear Resonance Fluoresence for the Quantification of Plutonium-239 in Spent Nuclear Fuel