W.S Charlton, and A.V. Goodsell “Simulation Study for Detection of Pin Diversion with the Differential Die-away Instrument Using Fresh Nuclear Fuel”, Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, 44, 3 (2016).
The purpose of the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI)-Spent Fuel (SF) Project is to strengthen the technical toolkit of safeguards inspectors and/or other interested parties. Thus the NGSI-SF team is working to achieve the following technical goals more easily and efficiently than in the past using nondestructive assay measurements of spent fuel assemblies: 1) verify the initial enrichment, burnup, and cooling time of facility declaration; 2) detect the diversion or replacement of pins; 3) estimate the plutonium mass; 4) estimate decay heat; and 5) determine the reactivity of spent fuel assemblies. The differential die-away self-interrogation (DDSI) instrument is one instrument that was assessed for years regarding its feasibility for robust, timely verification of spent fuel assemblies. The instrument was recently built and was tested using fresh fuel assemblies in a variety of configurations, including varying enrichment, neutron absorber content, and symmetry. The early die-away method, a multiplication determination method developed in simulation space, was successfully tested on the fresh fuel assembly data and determined multiplication with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of 2.9%. The experimental results were compared with MCNP simulations of the instrument as well. Low multiplication assemblies had agreement with an average RMS error of 0.2% in the singles count rate (i.e., total neutrons detected per second) and 3.4% in the doubles count rates (i.e., neutrons detected in coincidence per second). High-multiplication assemblies had agreement with an average RMS error of 4.1% in the singles and 13.3% in the doubles count rates.