Unique Signatures from Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle Samples Interrogated with Epithermal Neutrons

N. Grenci, B. Nethercutt, M. Flaska

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A simulation package has been developed to holistically identify and assess unique signatures for nuclear material and nuclear processing verification. Specifically, this simulation effort is used to predict material response and identify nuclear signatures unique to industrial processing. A systematic approach has been developed for analyzing nuclear resonance structures within the epithermal energy range of the mechanical neutron time-of-flight (TOF) system that has been proposed for the Pennsylvania State Breazeale Reactor (PSBR). This comprehensive data analysis approach is based on identifying and optimizing a library of composition data for hypothetical nuclear samples (such as uranium minerals, ore concentrates, and industrial process waste material) based on existing results of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) experiments from literature and ASTM standards. These data are used to determine the macroscopic cross-sections of all isotopes in all theoretical samples. In addition, a series of verification tests are being developed to determine the level of element/isotope uniqueness amongst the theoretical samples. These tests include the presence or absence of elements and isotopes in the samples, the presence or absence of combinations of elements and isotopes in the samples, resonance peak ratio tests normalized to a comparator isotope, and the number of rare earth elements that can be observed in the samples. This data analysis methodology, along with the development of a data library, will allow for the identification of the most unique signatures for given nuclear material definitions with reference to ICP-MS. These signatures can then be used to make inferences on sample provenance or industrial processing from time-correlated prompt gamma activation analysis by being selectively sensitive to isotopic composition, while reducing the "noise"signal through reduced thermal activation and gated-detection of prompt gammas. Finally, this data analysis methodology will also be used to compare thermal- and epithermal-neutron sensitivities to assess performance of the PSBR neutron chopper system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2022 IEEE NSS/MIC RTSD - IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference and Room Temperature Semiconductor Detector Conference
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665488723
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference, and Room Temperature Semiconductor Detector Conference, IEEE NSS MIC RTSD 2022 - Milano, Italy
Duration: Nov 5 2022Nov 12 2022

Publication series

Name2022 IEEE NSS/MIC RTSD - IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference and Room Temperature Semiconductor Detector Conference

Conference

Conference2022 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference, and Room Temperature Semiconductor Detector Conference, IEEE NSS MIC RTSD 2022
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityMilano
Period11/5/2211/12/22

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Instrumentation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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