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Report No.

Feasibility study of neutron multiplicity assay for a heterogeneous sludge sample containing Na, Pu and other impurities

Nakamura, Hironobu ; Beddingfield, D. H.*; Nakamichi, Hideo; Mukai, Yasunobu ; Yoshimoto, Katsunobu

In order to reduce radioactivity of liquid waste generated at PCDF, a neutralization precipitation processes by sodium hydroxide precipitation is used. We call the precipitate after calcining as Sludge. The Pu amount in the sludge sample is normally determined by sampling and DA. The sludge contains many chemical components. For example, Pu, U, Am, SUS components, halogens, NaNO$$_{3}$$ (main component), residual NaOH, and moisture. They are mixed together as an impure heterogeneous sludge sample. As a result, there is a large uncertainty in the sampling and DA that is currently used at PCDF. In order to improve the material accounting in PCDF, we performed a feasibility study using neutron multiplicity assay for impure sludge samples. We have measured selected sludge samples using a commercial multiplicity counter which is called FCAS (Fast Carton Assay System) which was designed by JAEA and Canberra. For unknown samples, using 14-hour measurements, we could obtain quite low statistical uncertainty on Doublesand Triples count rate although the alpha value is extremely high and FCAS efficiency is relatively low for typical multiplicity counters. Despite the detector efficiency challenges and the material challenges, we have been able to obtain assay results that greatly exceed the accountancy requirements for retained waste materials.



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