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Report No.

Investigation into cause of increasing count rate on PIMS at RRP, 1; Search of potential causes

Mukai, Yasunobu ; Nakamura, Hironobu ; Nakamichi, Hideo; Kurita, Tsutomu ; Noguchi, Yoshihiko*; Tamura, Takayuki*; Ikegame, Ko*; Shimizu, Junji*

The PIMS used at Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant can quantify plutonium amount in each process vessel located inside glovebox by means of neutron measurement. Since the PIMS is not used for the neutron coincidence counting, it is very important to maintain that those constants meet the actual process condition. PIMS was calibrated in 2006, and then JNFL has been started to measure the Pu amount directly in each glovebox for the purpose of facility NMA. However, it was found that PIMS counting was unexpectedly and continuously increased during long time of inter-campaign. In order to find out the main cause, JAEA and JNFL jointly conducted several investigations. In the investigations, correctness of system parameters and relevant constants, behavior of the neutron generation when MOX powder is stored in actual glovebox for a long time (to see O/M and moisture change) and the behavior focused on the relation between MOX powder and light element using inside glovebox (fluorine is included in the PTFE which is used in many gloveboxes as packing of instruments) were experimentally confirmed using MOX powder in PCDF. As a result, since the same behavior happened in the actual PIMS was confirmed in the testing environment in which MOX powder coexists with fluorine, it is concluded that the main potential cause of PIMS is the increasing of the probability of ($$alpha$$, $$n$$) reactions by a contact between PTFE and MOX powder.



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