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Report No.

Improving the assay of $$^{239}$$Pu in spent and melted fuel using the nuclear resonance fluorescence integral resonance transmission method

Angell, C.; Hayakawa, Takehito; Shizuma, Toshiyuki; Hajima, Ryoichi; Quiter, B. J.*; Ludewigt, B. L.*; Karwowski, H.*; Rich, G.*

Non-destructive assay (NDA) of $$^{239}$$Pu in spent nuclear fuel is possible using the isotope-specific nuclear resonance fluorescence (NRF) integral resonance transmission (IRT) method. The IRT method measures the absorption of photons from a quasi-monoenergetic $$gamma$$-ray beam due to all resonances in the energy width of the beam. According to calculations the IRT method could greatly improve assay times for $$^{239}$$Pu in nuclear fuel. To demonstrate and verify the IRT method, we first measured the IRT signature in $$^{181}$$Ta, and subsequently made IRT measurements in $$^{239}$$Pu. These measurements were done using the quasi-monoenergetic beam at the High Intensity $$gamma$$-ray Source (HI$$gamma$$S) in Durham, NC, USA. The IRT signature was observed as a decrease in scattering strength when the same isotope material was placed in the beam line upstream of the scattering target. The results confirm the validity of the IRT method in both $$^{181}$$Ta and $$^{239}$$Pu.



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