A.A. Solodov, W.S. Charlton, C. Romano, M. Ehinger, “Evaluation of NDA Techniques for Quantification of the Plutonium Content in Mixed-Oxide Spent Nuclear Fuel by Destructive Analysis”, 52nd Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), Palm Desert, CA, July 17-21, 2011.
A number of nondestructive analysis (NDA) techniques are being evaluated and developed to characterize spent nuclear fuel (SNF), including its burn-up, fissile content, cooling time, and initial enrichment, to verify reactor operator declarations. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Texas A&M University are jointly investigating measurements of the self-induced uranium and plutonium X-ray fluorescence for quantification of fissile content in SNF. Gamma and beta radiation in the SNF leads to self-induced X-ray fluorescence of the uranium and plutonium atoms. The resulting X-ray spectra can then be measured by an appropriately designed and implemented instrument. During a previous study, measurements and data analysis were performed on spent mixed-oxide lead test assembly rods irradiated at the Catawba Nuclear Power Plant. The declared burn-up of these rods is 45 GWd/MT. The gamma and X-ray spectra of the fuel rods were measured using two high-purity germanium detectors (coaxial and planar) for characterization of fission product peak area ratios and uranium and plutonium X-ray fluorescence peak ratios. This paper compares the NDA measurement data and MCNPX simulations with the results of destructive analysis performed on the measured sections of the fuel.