W.S. Charlton, D. Strohmeyer, A. Stafford, S. Saavedra, A.S. Hoover, and C. Rudy,
"The Use of Self-Induced XRF to Quantify the Pu Content in PWR Spent Nuclear Fuel,"
Proceedings of 31st Annual Meeting of ESARDA
, May 26-28, 2009, Vilnius, Lithuania.
The development of techniques for the accurate quantification of
the plutonium content in spent nuclear fuel would provide
significant advances for shipper/receiver differences and for input
accountability at reprocessing facilities. Several techniques have
been studied previously for achieving this goal but these have met
with limited success. Due to the radioactive nature of spent fuel,
decay energy is being deposited in the fuel at a relatively
constant rate. That decay energy leads to self-induced x-ray
fluorescence of the uranium and plutonium atoms in the fuel. These
resulting x-rays are then emitted by the fuel rod and can be
measured in an appropriately designed and implemented instrument.
The presence of uranium x-rays has been observed on numerous
occasions; however, due to its dilute nature in the spent fuel and
the presence of a large background, the plutonium x-rays have only
been observed in a small number of experiments and generally with
fuel containing very large loadings of plutonium. In this work, a
feasibility study was conducted using both Monte Carlo simulations
and measurements of PWR spent fuel rods at Oak Ridge National
Laboratory as part of the Coupled End-to-End (CETE) demonstration.
This feasibility study demonstrated the measurability of the
plutonium x-rays for PWR spent fuel with burnups ranging from 35 to
70 GWd/MTU and the potential application of this technique as a
quantitative assay tool.
Associated Project(s):Development of Advanced Safeguards Measurement Techniques Using the Coupled End-to-End (CETE) Demonstration at ORNL