J.M. Osborn, T.M. Coles, A.R. Twaddle, S.S. Chirayath, W.S. Charlton, “Nuclear forensics signature analysis of fast and thermal reactor produced weapons-grade plutonium”, 245th American Chemical Society National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, April 7-11, 2013.
The objective of this project is to use computational and experimental methods for reliably predicting and measuring a unique intrinsic signature in separated weapons-grade plutonium produced by certain reactors, specifically fast breeder reactors and CANDU-type thermal reactors. These reactor fuels burned to low burn-ups produce weapons-grade plutonium; however the neutron energy spectrum differences shall result in variations in the plutonium isotopes produced. The computational part of the project utilizes MCNPX-2.7 radiation transport code to perform burn-up cycles for both reactors for estimating the resulting isotopics of actinides and trace elements in the discharged fuel. The simulations gave the material composition of the fuel after standard burn and decay cycles. Specific plutonium isotopes and fission products retrieved from the simulation results were investigated for correlations and will be compared with the experimental data when they become available in the latter half of this investigation.