Active Neutron Monitoring of Nuclear Fuel Cycle Fissile Materials
Dukhov Research Institute of Automatics (VNIIA),
Published online: 20 January 2020
A decommissioning of nuclear fuel cycle facilities is inseparable from the problems of radioactive waste disposal. One of these problems is the categorization of a waste according to the content of beta- and alpha-emitters. Beta-emitters can be identified by existing technologies; however, the trouble arises when detecting alpha-emitting elements, primarily the long-lived members of the actinium chain with the specific activity of kBq/kg when they are spread inside a structural material. The report considers an application of an active neutron method-a differential die-away technology for reliable control of small quantities of FM.
The essence of this method consists in sounding the interrogated item by pulsed thermal neutrons and recording the induced fission neutrons. The ratio of the number of fission neutrons to the number of source neutrons gives the normalized number of fission neutrons that is linked to the FM mass in the interrogated object. The work presents the scheme and principle of operation of an experimental device, as well as the results of measurement of concrete structures that contain internal traces of fissile materials. Analysis of the results shows that the proposed method allows the detection of ~ 6 mg of fissile material per kg of concrete with possible localization (cartogram) of the contaminated area.
Key words: Fissile materials / Neutron generator / radioactive wastes / neutron detector
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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