Measuring spent fuel assembly multiplication in borated water with a passive neutron albedo reactivity instrument

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Tobin , S J , Peura , P , Bélanger-Champagne , C , Moring , M , Dendooven , P & Honkamaa , T 2018 , ' Measuring spent fuel assembly multiplication in borated water with a passive neutron albedo reactivity instrument ' , Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors, and Associated Equipment , vol. 897 , pp. 32-37 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2018.04.044

Title: Measuring spent fuel assembly multiplication in borated water with a passive neutron albedo reactivity instrument
Author: Tobin, Stephen J.; Peura, Pauli; Bélanger-Champagne, Camille; Moring, Mikael; Dendooven, Peter; Honkamaa, Tapani
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Physics
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Physics
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Physics
Date: 2018-07-21
Language: eng
Number of pages: 6
Belongs to series: Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors, and Associated Equipment
ISSN: 0168-9002
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/314628
Abstract: Abstract The performance of a passive neutron albedo reactivity (PNAR) instrument to measure neutron multiplication of spent nuclear fuel in borated water is investigated as part of an integrated non-destructive assay safeguards system. To measure the PNAR Ratio, which is proportional to the neutron multiplication, the total neutron count rate is measured in high- and low-multiplying environments by the PNAR instrument. The integrated system also contains a load cell and a passive gamma emission tomograph, and as such meets all the recommendations of the IAEA’s recent ASTOR Experts Group report. A virtual spent fuel library for VVER-440 fuel was used in conjunction with MCNP simulations of the PNAR instrument to estimate the measurement uncertainties from (1) variation in the water boron content, (2) assembly positioning in the detector and (3) counting statistics. The estimated aggregate measurement uncertainty on the PNAR Ratio measurement is 0.008, to put this uncertainty in context, the difference in the PNAR Ratio between a fully irradiated assembly and this same assembly when fissile isotopes only absorb neutrons, but do not emit neutrons, is 0.106, a 13-sigma effect. The 1-sigma variation of 0.008 in the PNAR Ratio is estimated to correspond to a 3.2 GWd/tU change in assembly burnup.
Subject: Spent fuel encapsulation
Non-destructive assay
114 Physical sciences
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