J.S. Feener, W.S. Charlton, “Safeguards for the Uranium Extraction (UREX) +1a Process”, 2009 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Tucson, AZ, July 12-15, 2009.
A detailed safeguards approach for a UREX +1a reprocessing facility is given. The approach includes the use of traditional safeguard measures, such as nuclear material accountancy using conventional detection systems, and innovative measures, such as solution monitoring and state-of-the-art detection systems. Facility information was developed for a hypothesized UREX+1a plant with a throughput of 1000 MTHM/yr. Safeguard goals and safeguard measures to be implemented were established. Diversion and acquisition pathways were considered; however the analysis focuses mainly on diversion paths. The detection systems used in the design have the ability to provide near real-time measurement of special fissionable material in feed, process and product streams. Advanced detection systems incorporated in the design include the Tensioned Meta-stable Fluid Detector for online alpha spectroscopy. Advanced front-end techniques such as Self-Interrogation Neutron Resonance Densitometry for the quantification of fissile material in spent nuclear fuel were also considered. The economic and operator costs of these systems were not considered. The analysis shows that the implementation of these techniques results in significant improvements in the ability of thesafeguards system to achieve the objective of timely detection of the diversion of a significant quantity of nuclear material from theUREX +1a reprocessing facility and to provide deterrence against such diversion by early detection.