Characterization of Low Level Wastes: a new design for calorimetric measurement
KEP Nuclear, ZA de l’Euze 2, 453 Chemin vieux de Chusclan, 30200 Bagnols sur Cèze, France firstname.lastname@example.org
KTHTP, 7 rue de l'Oratoire, 69300 Caluire, France email@example.com
Published online: 10 January 2018
Calorimetry is one of the best solutions to estimate the overall quantity of nuclear material on a wide range of masses, from a few milligrams up to kilograms of radionuclides, by measuring the overall thermal power due to the radioactive decay coming from the waste contained in a metallic drum or a different type of container. It has many advantages as it features a non-destructive method which remains independent of matrix effect or the chemical composition. Until now, calorimetry allows to measure at the lowest 0.5 to 1 mW for samples up to 385 liters. But nowadays, thanks to new technological breakthroughs, KEP-Technologies calorimeters are able to measure as low as 50 μW for 40 liters samples. The μLVC is based on a new design with twin cells, a new temperature regulation loop and a heat-flow measurement system inside a vacuum chamber (Patent deposit P005299 LA/VL). The μLVC is a differential heat-flow calorimeter for precise measurement independent of the residual fluctuations caused by environmental changes. The new calorimeter is an industrial product able to work in environmental conditions with wide temperature variations. The first results have shown a great improvement in the detection of very low thermal effect thanks to the thermal noise reduction. The paper presents the developments in Large Volume Calorimetry as a new tool for quantification of nuclear material to characterize Pu-Am samples, i-graphite, and low tritium samples with high precision and reliability.
Key words: calorimetry / tritium / carbone14 / chlorine36 / nuclear waste
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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