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Sample shape effect on nuclear material quantification with neutron resonance transmission analysis

Tsuchiya, Harufumi; Ma, F.; Kitatani, Fumito ; Paradella, C.*; Heyse, J.*; Kopecky, S.*; Schillebeeckx, P.*

From a viewpoint of nuclear safeguards and nuclear security, non-destructive assay (NDA) techniques are needed to quantify special nuclear materials (SNMs) in nuclear fuels such as spent fuels and fuel debris. Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA) is an NDA technique and it measures the amount of U isotopes in a U$$_{3}$$O$$_{8}$$ sample within 1% accuracy and Pu isotopes in a PuO$$_{2}$$ sample within 5% accuracy. However, NRTA measurements done so far were mainly applied to homogeneous samples with a constant thickness. Spent fuel and especially debris have irregular shapes that affect the NRTA measurements. In order to investigate the influence of irregular-shaped samples, NRTA experiments were done with a copper bar sample with different rotation angles with respect to neutron beams, at a neutron Time-Of-Flight (TOF) facility GELINA (Belgium). Analytical models for irregular shaped samples proposed by Harada et al. (JNST, 2015) were applied to the experimental data. It has been found that the experimental data can be well reproduced by the proposed models. In this presentation, we report how analytical models are applied to a real NRTA experiment with a Cu bar sample and discuss a future prospect of a compact NRTA system for SNM quantification. This research was implemented under the subsidiary for nuclear security promotion of MEXT.

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