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A. Stafford, W, S. Charlton, J. White, A. Hoover, and S. Saavedra, "Spent Nuclear Fuel Self-Induced X-ray Fluorescence Simulations for North Anna and TMI," Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Tucson, AZ, July 12-15, 2009.


The challenge of accurately quantifying the plutonium content in spent nuclear fuel through passive methods at reprocessing facilities has been a continuing dilemma. A recent promising technique being developed is the measurement of self-induced x-ray fluorescence (XRF) by uranium and plutonium in spent nuclear fuel. XRF measurements were performed on North Annaand Three-Mile-Island-1 (TMI-1) fuel rod segments in a hot cell at the Coupled-End-To-End (CETE) demonstration facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In order to verify the plutonium and uranium x-ray measurement results, simulations of the fuel and detector configurations were conducted using TransLAT (a 3-D nuclear fuel depletion software system), Origen2 and MCNP. As an initial step, TransLAT simulations were conducted to determine the radial distribution of materials and activities in the spentfuel rod as a function of fuel burn-up. The uranium to plutonium activity ratios were then translated to source strength for the plutonium and uranium x-rays via Origen2 simulations. These simulations established a radial activity bias for each fuel case, which were considered during MCNP analysis. The MCNP simulations were used to predict detector pulse height spectra for theNorth Anna and TMI measurements at ORNL. Results showed good agreement between the simulated and experimental data. 


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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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