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Report No.
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Neutron resonance analysis for nuclear safeguards and security applications

Paradela, C.*; Heyse, J.*; Kopecky, S.*; Schillebeeckx, P.*; Harada, Hideo ; Kitatani, Fumito; Koizumi, Mitsuo; Tsuchiya, Harufumi

Neutron-induced reactions can be used to study the properties of nuclear materials in the field of nuclear safeguards and security. The elemental and isotopic composition of these materials can be determined by using the presence of resonance structures in the reaction cross sections as fingerprints. This idea is the basis of two non-destructive analytical techniques which have been developed at the GELINA neutron time-of-flight facility of the JRC-IRMM: Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis (NRCA) and Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA). A full quantitative validation of the NRTA technique was obtained by determining the areal densities of enriched reference samples used for safeguards applications with an accuracy better than 1%. Moreover, a combination of NRTA and NRCA has been proposed for the characterisation of particle-like debris of melted fuel formed in severe nuclear accidents. In order to deal with the problems due to the diversity in shape and size of these samples and the presence of strong absorbing matrix materials, new capabilities have been implemented in the resonance shape analysis code REFIT. They have been validated by performing a blind test in which the elemental abundance of a combined sample composed of unknown quantities of materials such as cobalt, tungsten, rhodium or gold was determined with accuracies better than 2%.

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