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Report No.

Development of three-dimensional distribution visualization technology for boron using energy resolved neutron-imaging system (RADEN)

Abe, Yuta ; Tsuchikawa, Yusuke; Kai, Tetsuya  ; Matsumoto, Yoshihiro*; Parker, J. D.*; Shinohara, Takenao; Oishi, Yuji*; Kamiyama, Takashi*; Nagae, Yuji; Sato, Ikken

Boron carbide is used as a neutron-absorbing material in Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (1F), producing borides that are twice as hard as oxides (such as UO$$_{2}$$ and ZrO$$_{2}$$). The high neutron absorption of boron affects the evaluation of re-criticality during the process of debris retrieval. Therefore, it is important not only to determine the presence of boron but also to investigate the distribution of boron inside the material in a non-destructive manner during decommissioning. To address the uncertainties in the core material relocation behavior of boiling water reactor (BWR) during a severe accident (SA), solidified melt specimens of a simulated fuel assembly were prepared by plasma heating. If core material melting and relocation (CMMR) specimens can be used to estimate the B distribution in 1F Unit-3, that will provide valuable information in the decommissioning of 1F. To address this, the authors focused on the energy-resolved neutron imaging system, RADEN, which utilizes a wide energy range, from meV to keV. This is an innovative three-dimensional analysis technology for boride distribution that affects the evaluation of hardness and re-criticality. In the calibration standard samples (Zr$$_{x}$$B$$_{1-x}$$ and Fe$$_{x}$$B$$_{1-x}$$), there was a good correlation between boron concentration and the energy-dependence of the cross sections of cold and epi-thermal neutrons. In the CMMR specimens, boron distribution was confirmed from the contrast difference between cold and epi-thermal neutrons. In the future, the results of calibration standard samples will be applied to the results of CMMR specimens. With this method, three-dimensional boron distribution will be measured, and the understanding of boride distribution 1F Unit-3 will be improved, which may be reflected in an improved SA code.



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