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Conceptual design of neutron measurement system for input accountancy in pyroprocessing

  • Lee, Chaehun (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Seo, Hee (Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Menlove, Spencer H. (Safeguards Technical Solutions) ;
  • Menlove, Howard O. (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
  • Received : 2018.11.14
  • Accepted : 2019.11.05
  • Published : 2020.05.25

Abstract

One of the possible options for spent-fuel management in Korea is pyroprocessing, which is a process for electrochemical recycling of spent nuclear fuel. Nuclear material accountancy is considered to be a safeguards measure of fundamental importance, for the purposes of which, the amount of nuclear material in the input and output materials should be measured as accurately as possible by means of chemical analysis and/or non-destructive assay. In the present study, a neutron measurement system based on the fast-neutron energy multiplication (FNEM) and passive neutron albedo reactivity (PNAR) techniques was designed for nuclear material accountancy of a spent-fuel assembly (i.e., the input accountancy of a pyroprocessing facility). Various parameters including inter-detector distance, source-to-detector distance, neutron-reflector material, the structure of a cadmium sleeve around the close detectors, and an air cavity in the moderator were investigated by MCNP6 Monte Carlo simulations in order to maximize its performance. Then, the detector responses with the optimized geometry were estimated for the fresh-fuel assemblies with different 235U enrichments and a spent-fuel assembly. It was found that the measurement technique investigated here has the potential to measure changes in neutron multiplication and, in turn, amount of fissile material.