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Performance evaluation of a resonance ionization mass spectrometer developed for the FFDL system of fast reactors

Iwata, Yoshihiro  ; Ito, Chikara  ; Harano, Hideki*; Iguchi, Tetsuo*

To prevent a fuel failure event from becoming a serious radiation accident, sodium-cooled fast reactors are equipped with a system for failed fuel detection and location (FFDL). The FFDL instrument employed in the prototype fast breeder reactor Monju is based on the gas tagging method, in which precise and accurate measurements of krypton and xenon isotope ratios ($$^{78}$$Kr/$$^{80}$$Kr, $$^{82}$$Kr/$$^{80}$$Kr and $$^{126}$$Xe/$$^{129}$$Xe) must be performed in a short time. Burnup measurements also contribute to accurate determination of $$^{82}$$Kr/$$^{80}$$Kr. We have developed a highly sensitive resonance ionization mass spectrometer for the isotopic analyses, which uses resonance ionization of Kr and Xe atoms by a pulsed laser at wavelengths of 216.7 nm and 249.6 nm, respectively. In evaluating the performance of our spectrometer, we find that systematic errors caused by isotope shifts can be reduced to negligible levels, and that statistical errors of 3% at a nuclide concentration of 7 ppt can be achieved with a single measurement time of about 40 minutes for each Kr and Xe isotope ratio. This means that, within one hour, about 200 fuel assemblies can be individually identified with a probability of 99%, verifying the applicability of our spectrometer to the FFDL system of fast reactors.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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