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Report No.
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Development of neutron resonance transmission analysis as a non-destructive assay technique for nuclear nonproliferation

Tsuchiya, Harufumi; Kitatani, Fumito; Maeda, Makoto; Toh, Yosuke  ; Kureta, Masatoshi

Recently, it has become important in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security to quantify nuclear materials (NMs) of uranium and plutonium in nuclear fuel using a non-destructive assay (NDA) technique. Currently, there is no reliable NDA system to apply to nuclear fuels such as spent fuel, fuel debris and next generation fuel for nuclear transmutation. Accordingly, development of NDA techniques for quantification of NMs in those fuels is an urgent issue. Neutron resonance transmission analysis (NRTA) is one candidate that is applicable to the quantification of NMs. Utilizing pulsed neutron beams, NRTA analyzes the content of a sample by measuring neutron beams that are transmitted from the sample. It is one of the reliable NDA methods that are based on a neutron time-of-flight technique for accurately evaluating nuclear data such as total cross sections and resonance parameters. A present NRTA system generally requires a large electron linear accelerator to produce intense neutron beams. Therefore this is not so easy to apply to various facilities that are used to measure NMs. Given this situation, a compact NRTA system would be required for practical applications of a method to quantify NMs in various samples. In order to realize a compact NRTA system, we consider two types of system: one uses a D-T neutron generator with pulse width of 10 $$mu$$sec and the other a small electron linac with pulse width of 1 $$mu$$sec Assuming each system is applied to measurements of NMs in spent fuel, numerical calculations were carried out and the results showed that the pulse widths of neutron beam largely affect the NRTA measurements. In this presentation, we will talk about the NRTA technique and give a schematic design of a compact NRTA system. Then, comparing calculation results for a D-T tube with those for a small electron linac, we especially discuss how the pulse widths of neutron beams to be used for NRTA affect the measurement of NMs in nuclear fuel.

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