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Journal Articles

Nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security in Japan, 3; Challenges on technologies for nuclear non-proliferation/nuclear security and progressing credibility

Mochiji, Toshiro; Senzaki, Masao*; Tamai, Hiroshi; Iwamoto, Tomonori*; Ishiguro, Yuzuru*; Kitade, Yuta; Sato, Heigo*; Suehiro, Rie*; Taniguchi, Tomihiro*; Fukasawa, Tetsuo*; et al.

Enerugi Rebyu, 40(8), p.56 - 57, 2020/07

Strict application of IAEA safeguards and nuclear security should be implemented for Japan's full-scale nuclear fuel cycle. Based on the knowledge and experience of research and development in the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear material management, the effective and efficient promotion of new technologies should be promoted with scientific and demonstrative measures to strengthen the world's nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security. Development or sophistication of new technologies, human resource development, and reinforcement of the international framework are future challenge in the international community.

Journal Articles

Nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security in Japan, 2; Significance of sustainable progress in plutonium-thermal policy and R&D of fast reactor

Mochiji, Toshiro; Senzaki, Masao*; Tamai, Hiroshi; Iwamoto, Tomonori*; Ishiguro, Yuzuru*; Kitade, Yuta; Sato, Heigo*; Suehiro, Rie*; Taniguchi, Tomihiro*; Fukasawa, Tetsuo*; et al.

Enerugi Rebyu, 40(7), p.58 - 59, 2020/06

Japan have promoted the peaceful use of plutonium with the nuclear non-proliferation commitment based on IAEA safeguards agreement and Japan-US nuclear cooperation agreement, as well as ensuring transparency of the policy that Japan has no plutonium without purpose of use. In promoting the nuclear fuel cycle, adherence to those measures and maintaining plutonium utilization by means of plutonium-thermal, and a fast reactor cycle to achieve large-scale and long-term energy supply and environmental improvement, therefore, further research and development is essential.

Journal Articles

Chapter 2, Peaceful use of nuclear energy and international relations, 2.3 Multi-national approach of nuclear material management / Chapter 5, Peaceful use of Plutonium and Nuclear Non-Proliferation, 5.1 Japan's policy on plutonium usage

Tamai, Hiroshi

Genshiryoku Heiwa Riyo To Kakufukakusan, Kakusekyuriti; NSA/Commentaries, No.25, p.62 - 68, 2020/06

On the viewpoint of strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security, historical background and future issues in multi-national approach of nuclear material management are described.

Journal Articles

Nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security in Japan, 1; Peaceful nuclear use and nuclear non-proliferation

Mochiji, Toshiro; Senzaki, Masao*; Tamai, Hiroshi; Iwamoto, Tomonori*; Ishiguro, Yuzuru*; Kitade, Yuta; Sato, Heigo*; Suehiro, Rie*; Taniguchi, Tomihiro*; Fukasawa, Tetsuo*; et al.

Enerugi Rebyu, 40(6), p.58 - 59, 2020/05

In order to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, it is important not only to ensure safety but also to ensure nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security. Japan has contributed to the international community through strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security capabilities with technical and human resource development. However, in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, Japan's nuclear power plants have not restarted or plutonium use has not progressed smoothly. Concerns have been shown. Towards appropriate steps of Japan's nuclear fuel cycle policy, such concerns are examined and future efforts are summarized.

JAEA Reports

Measurement of plutonium spectrum using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy; High resolution spectroscopy (350-670nm)

Akaoka, Katsuaki; Oba, Masaki; Miyabe, Masabumi; Otobe, Haruyoshi; Wakaida, Ikuo

JAEA-Research 2020-001, 142 Pages, 2020/03


Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) method is an attractive technique because real-time, in-situ and remote elemental analysis is possible without any sample preparation. The LIBS technique can be applied for analyzing elemental composition of samples under severe environments such as the estimation of impurities in the next generation nuclear fuel material containing minor actinide (MA) and the detection of fuel debris in the post-accident nuclear core reactor of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. For applying LIBS to the analysis of nuclear fuel materials, it is indispensable to identify the emission spectrum and its intensity on impurities intermingled within complex emission spectra of matrix elements such as uranium (U) and plutonium (Pu). In the present study, an echelle spectrometer with a resolving power of 50,000 was employed to identify spectra of plutonium of wavelength ranging from 350 to 670nm. The 465 atomic spectra and 341 ionic spectra can be identified. We have confirmed that the measured wavelength of spectra is consistent with published values.

Journal Articles

Outline of the R&D plan for the fast reactor cycle system development in JAEA

Hayafune, Hiroki; Maeda, Seiichiro; Ohshima, Hiroyuki

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai-Shi, 61(11), p.798 - 803, 2019/11

In the "Strategic Roadmap" of Fast Reactor Development decided at the Inter-Ministerial Council for Nuclear Power in December 2018, the development works for the around next 10 years were identified, and the role of JAEA was presented. In response, JAEA has prepared a framework for R&D plans for about 5 years on the fast reactor technology and the fuel cycle technology (reprocessing, fuel manufacturing, fuel and material development). In the future, JAEA will promote independent R&D works based on these plans, and provide the obtained R&D results together with various testing functions of JAEA to the activities of the private sector, etc. Through these actions, JAEA will actively contribute to the future fast reactor development. This article outlines JAEA's policy and the R&D items (development of ARKADIA; Advanced Reactor Knowledge- and AI-Aided Design Integration Approach through the whole Plant Life Cycle, development of standards and standards system, development of safety improvement technology, research in the fuel cycle technology), the policy of international cooperation, the human resource development, and the future perspective were explained.

Journal Articles

Development of an online measurement system using an alpha liquid scintillation counter and a glass-based microfluidic solvent extraction device for plutonium analysis

Yamamoto, Masahiko; Taguchi, Shigeo; Do, V. K.; Kuno, Takehiko; Surugaya, Naoki

Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 152, p.37 - 44, 2019/10

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:53.3(Chemistry, Inorganic & Nuclear)

An online measurement system using an alpha liquid scintillation counter ($$alpha$$-LSC) coupled to microchip solvent extraction has been developed. A flow-through cell of $$alpha$$-LSC has been prepared by packing PTFE tube into glass tube to combine microchip. Two-phase flow in microchannel has been stabilized by using coiled tube. The Pu in organic phase has been mixed with scintillation cocktail by T-junction connectors. The system separates and detects Pu by online with detection limit of 6.5 Bq/mL, generating only $$mu$$L-level wastes.

Journal Articles

Nagasaki sediments reveal that long-term fate of plutonium is controlled by select organic matter moieties

Lin, P.*; Xu, C.*; Kaplan, D. I.*; Chen, H.*; Yeager, C. M.*; Xing, W.*; Sun, L.*; Schwehr, K. A.*; Yamazaki, Hideo*; Kokubu, Yoko; et al.

Science of the Total Environment, 678, p.409 - 418, 2019/08

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:100(Environmental Sciences)

Nagasaki sediments containing bomb-derived Pu provided a unique opportunity to explore the long term geochemical behavior of Pu. Through a combination of selective extractions and molecular characterization via electrospray ionization Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry, we determined that 55 $$pm$$ 3% of the $$^{239,240}$$Pu was preferentially associated with more persistent organic matter compounds in Nagasaki sediments, particularly those natural organic matter (NOM) stabilized by Fe oxides. Other organic matter compounds served as a secondary sink of these $$^{239,240}$$Pu (31 $$pm$$ 2% on average), and less than 20% of the $$^{239,240}$$Pu was immobilized by inorganic mineral particles. While present long-term disposal and environmental remediation modeling assume that solubility limits and sorption to mineral surfaces control Pu subsurface mobility, our observations suggest that NOM undoubtedly plays an important role in sequestering Pu. Ignoring the role of NOM in controlling Pu fate and transport is not justified in most environmental systems.

Journal Articles

The Effects of plutonium content and self-irradiation on thermal conductivity of mixed oxide fuel

Ikusawa, Yoshihisa; Morimoto, Kyoichi; Kato, Masato; Saito, Kosuke; Uno, Masayoshi*

Nuclear Technology, 205(3), p.474 - 485, 2019/03

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

This study evaluated the effects of plutonium content and self-irradiation on the thermal conductivity of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel. Samples of UO$$_{2}$$ fuel and various MOX fuels were tested. The MOX fuels had a range of plutonium contents, and some samples were stored for 20 years. The thermal conductivity of these samples was determined from thermal diffusivity measurements taken via laser flash analysis. Although the thermal conductivity decreased with increasing plutonium content, this effect was slight. The effect of self-irradiation was investigated using the stored samples. The reduction in thermal conductivity caused by self-irradiation depended on the plutonium content, its isotopic composition, and storage time. The reduction in thermal conductivity over 20 years' storage can be predicted from the change of lattice parameter. In addition, the decrease in thermal conductivity caused by self-irradiation was recovered with heat treatment, and recovered almost completely at temperatures over 1200 K. From these evaluation results, we formulated an equation for thermal conductivity that is based on the classical phonon-transport model. This equation can predict the thermal conductivity of MOX fuel thermal conductivity by accounting for the influences of plutonium content and self-irradiation.

Journal Articles

Separation technique using column chromatography for safeguards verification analysis of uranium and plutonium in highly-active liquid waste by isotope dilution mass spectrometry

Yamamoto, Masahiko; Taguchi, Shigeo; Horigome, Kazushi; Kuno, Takehiko

Proceeding IAEA Symposium on International Safeguards; Building Future Safeguards Capabilities (Internet), 8 Pages, 2018/11

In this study, the single-column extraction chromatographic separation has been developed for analysis of U and Pu in highly active liquid waste by isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). The commercially available TEVA$$^{textregistered}$$ resin is selected as an extraction chromatography resin. The U is chromatographically separated from fission products (FP) elements by nitric acid while Pu(IV) is adsorbed on the resin. After that, Pu is eluted by reducing to Pu(III). The method has been successfully achieved the separation with yielding the enough recovery and sufficient decontamination factors for subsequent IDMS analysis. The column dose rate after the FP removal is decreased to the background. The analytical results obtained by the developed method are in a good agreement with those of the conventional method. It provides simple and rapid separation and expected that the method can be applied to join IAEA/Japan on-site analytical laboratory.

Journal Articles

Trace analysis for nuclear non-proliferation and security

Esaka, Fumitaka

Bunseki, 2018(10), p.408 - 411, 2018/10

Recent development of analytical techniques for identification of particles containing nuclear materials, isotope ratio analysis of uranium and plutonium using mass spectrometry, and age determination is described in this paper. These techniques are successfully applied to the trace analysis for nuclear non-proliferation.

JAEA Reports

Development of separation technique of Pu, Am, Np using solid phase extraction resin for the determination of impurity metal elements in plutonium nitrate solution by inductivity coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry

Taguchi, Shigeo; Yamamoto, Masahiko; Furuse, Takahiro*; Masaki, Yuji*; Kuno, Takehiko

JAEA-Technology 2018-005, 14 Pages, 2018/06


The method to remove Pu, Am and Np from plutonium nitrate solution recovered from spent nuclear fuel prior to ICP-OES measurement has been developed for the determination of 18 impurity metal elements (Fe, Cr, Ni, Mn, Al, Cd, V, Cu, Si, Zn, Mo, Sn, Ca, Mg, Na, Ag, Pb, B). In this method, two TRU resin packed columns were used for separation. In the first column, Pu and Am were mainly removed by adsorption. The recovered solution from the fist column was added to the second column after reduction of Np, and Am(III) and Np(IV) were removed by adsorption. The Pu nitrate solution (22g/L) of 2mL were treated by proposed method. The alpha emission nuclide was decreased to $$<$$5.8 Bq/mL in a solution diluted to 100mL. As a result of ICP-OES measurement, the recoveries of impurity metals separated by proposed method were almost 100%. This separation scheme can apply to the metal impurity elemental analysis in Pu nitrate solution recovered from spent nuclear fuel.

Journal Articles

Safety and economics of uranium utilization for nuclear power generation

Fukaya, Yuji

Uranium; Safety, Resources, Separation and Thermodynamic Calculation, p.22 - 48, 2018/05

Safety and economics of uranium utilization for nuclear power generation were investigated and discussed. In order to sustain energy supply with nuclear power generation, uranium resources should be abundant. From the viewpoint of depletion of the resources, FBR, which is breeder reactor of plutonium, has been developed, but that has been not diffused as a commercial reactor yet. Instead of obtaining inexhaustible resources by breeding plutonium, it is known that the inherent safety feature becomes weak in the fast neutron spectrum. As the result of the investigation, it is confirmed with concrete FBR designs that the inherent safety feature and breeding ability are related to the transactions. The amount of uranium resources and electricity generation cost with the resources were investigated. It is concluded that the semi-permanently sustainable energy supply can be established with reasonable cost by using seawater uranium. In addition, the significance of P&T, which is one of the advantages of FBR, was also discussed from the viewpoint of environmental burden from radioactive waste.

JAEA Reports

Investigative report on the PVC bag burst in the contamination incident at Plutonium Fuel Research Facility; Radiolysis of organic materials and raising of internal pressure

Cause Investigation Team for the PFRF Contamination Incident

JAEA-Review 2017-038, 83 Pages, 2018/03


The contaminated accident occurred at Plutonium Fuel Research Facility on June, 2017. The PVC bag packaging in a fuel storage container burst when a worker opened the lid, and a part of contents (uranium and plutonium) was spattered over the room. In order to clarify the cause of the burst, the Cause Unfolding Team collected information concerning characteristics of the contents from any past records and interview. And then we observed and analyzed the contents in a glove box. We also performed experiments on radiolysis of organic materials, degradation of PVC bag by $$gamma$$ radiation, and PVC bag burst. Based on fault tree analysis, finally we concluded that the main gas generation source was alpha radiolysis of the epoxy resin mixed with the fuel powder. We hope that the calculation procedures for the gas generation and the inner pressure transition described in this report can be useful reference for the management of fuel storage in other facilities.

Journal Articles

Laser ablation absorption spectroscopy for isotopic analysis of plutonium; Spectroscopic properties and analytical performance

Miyabe, Masabumi; Oba, Masaki; Jung, K.; Iimura, Hideki; Akaoka, Katsuaki; Kato, Masaaki; Otobe, Haruyoshi; Khumaeni, A.*; Wakaida, Ikuo

Spectrochimica Acta, Part B, 134, p.42 - 51, 2017/08

 Times Cited Count:10 Percentile:20.41(Spectroscopy)

Spectroscopic properties of atomic species of plutonium were investigated by combining laser ablation and resonance absorption techniques for the analysis of a plutonium oxide sample. For 17 transitions of Pu atoms and ions, the absorbance, isotope shift, and hyperfine splitting were determined via Voigt profile fitting of the recorded absorption spectra. Three transitions were selected as candidates for analytical use. Using these transitions, we investigated the analytical performance that was attainable and determined a correlation coefficient R2 between the absorbance and plutonium concentration of 0.9999, a limit of detection of 30-130 ppm, and a relative standard deviation of approximately 6% for an abundance of $$^{240}$$Pu of 2.4%. These results demonstrate that laser ablation absorption spectroscopy is applicable to the remote isotopic analysis of highly radioactive nuclear fuels and waste materials containing multiple actinide elements.

JAEA Reports

Application of controlled-potential coulometry as a primary method for the characterization of plutonium nitrate solutions being used for reference materials (Joint research)

Yamamoto, Masahiko; Holland, M. K.*; Cordaro, J. V.*; Kuno, Takehiko; Surugaya, Naoki

JAEA-Technology 2017-014, 63 Pages, 2017/06


In this study, the controlled-potential coulometry has been applied as a primary method for characterizing the Pu master solutions being used as alternative source material for IDMS spikes. The coulometry system compliance with ISO12183 has been used for measurement. It has been calibrated using equipment traceable to the SI units. Plutonium standard samples have been measured to confirm the accuracy. The relative standard deviation is below 0.05%. The results agree with the reference value within $$pm$$0.05%. It is found that the Pu can be precisely analyzed by the coulometry system. Then, the Pu nitrate solution, which has been purified from mixed oxide powder containing relatively high $$^{239}$$Pu, has been measured. The relative standard deviation is below 0.05%. The relative expanded uncertainty is less than 0.074% at the 95% confidence interval (k=2). It is indicated that coulometric assay of Pu is fit for the purpose of characterizing reference materials.

JAEA Reports

Report on analytical activities in potentially hazardous materials mitigation measures at the Plutonium Conversion Development Facility; 2015.12 $$sim$$ 2016.10

Horigome, Kazushi; Taguchi, Shigeo; Ishibashi, Atsushi; Inada, Satoshi; Kuno, Takehiko; Surugaya, Naoki

JAEA-Technology 2017-008, 14 Pages, 2017/05


The plutonium solution had been converted into MOX powder to mitigate the potential hazards of storage plutonium solution such as hydrogen generation at the Plutonium Conversion Development Facility. The plutonium conversion operations had been started in April, 2014, and had been finished in July, 2016. With respect to the samples taken from the conversion process, about 2,200 items of plutonium/uranium solutions and MOX powders had been analyzed for the operation control in the related analytical laboratories at the Tokai Reprocessing Plant. This paper describes the reports on analytical activities and related maintenance works in the analytical laboratories conducted from December, 2015 to October, 2016.

Journal Articles

Analysis of plutonium isotope ratios including $$^{238}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu in individual U-Pu mixed oxide particles by means of a combination of alpha spectrometry and ICP-MS

Esaka, Fumitaka; Yasuda, Kenichiro; Suzuki, Daisuke; Miyamoto, Yutaka; Magara, Masaaki

Talanta, 165, p.122 - 127, 2017/04

 Times Cited Count:8 Percentile:49.19(Chemistry, Analytical)

The isotope ratios of $$^{238}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu, $$^{240}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu, $$^{241}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu, and $$^{242}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu were measured for individual Pu and U-Pu mixed oxide particles by a combination of alpha spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). As a consequence, we were able to determine the $$^{240}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu, $$^{241}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu, and $$^{242}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu isotope ratios with ICP-MS after particle dissolution and chemical separation of uranium, plutonium and americium with UTEVA resins. Furthermore, $$^{238}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu isotope ratios were able to be calculated by using both the $$^{238}$$Pu/( $$^{239}$$Pu+$$^{240}$$Pu) activity ratios that had been measured through alpha spectrometry and the $$^{240}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu isotope ratios determined through ICP-MS. Therefore, the combined use of alpha spectrometry and ICP-MS is useful in determining plutonium isotope ratios, including $$^{238}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu, in individual U-Pu mixed oxide particles.

JAEA Reports

Preliminary missions for the decommissioning of the laboratory building No.1 for the plutonium research program

Segawa, Yukari; Horita, Takuma; Kitatsuji, Yoshihiro; Kumagai, Yuta; Aoyagi, Noboru; Nakada, Masami; Otobe, Haruyoshi; Tamura, Yukito*; Okamoto, Hisato; Otomo, Takashi; et al.

JAEA-Technology 2016-039, 64 Pages, 2017/03


The laboratory building No.1 for the plutonium research program (Bldg. Pu1) was chosen as one of the facilities to decommission by Japan Atomic Energy Agency Reform in September, 2013. The research groups, users of Bldg. Pu1, were driven by necessity to remove used equipment and transport nuclear fuel to other facilities from Bldg. Pu1. Research Group for Radiochemistry proactively established the Used Equipment Removal Team for the smooth operation of the removal in April, 2015. The team classified six types of work into the nature of the operation, removal of used equipment, disposal of chemicals, stabilization of mercury, stabilization of nuclear fuel, transportation of nuclear fuel and radioisotope, and survey of contamination status inside the glove boxes. These works were completed in December, 2015. This report circumstantially shows six works process, with the exception of the approval of the changes on the usage of nuclear fuel in Bldg. Pu1 to help prospective decommission.

Journal Articles

Application of controlled-potential coulometry for the characterization of plutonium nitrate solutions being used for reference materials

Yamamoto, Masahiko; Holland, M. K.*; Cordaro, J. V.*; Kuno, Takehiko; Surugaya, Naoki

Dai-37-Kai Kaku Busshitsu Kanri Gakkai Nippon Shibu Nenji Taikai Rombunshu (CD-ROM), 9 Pages, 2017/02

Precise and accurate determination of plutonium is necessary. The high reliability is required for standard materials used in the plutonium determination. In this study, JAEA and SRNL have collaborated on a mission to apply controlled-potential coulometry as a primary method for characterizing the plutonium master solution being used for reference materials of isotope dilution mass spectrometry. The measurement cell and electrodes were upgraded and optimized compliance with ISO12183. The instruments were calibrated traceable to the SI. The samples of plutonium standard solution were measured to confirm the accuracy of the method. The results have been in good agreement with the reference values. Therefore, the plutonium solution which were purified from MOX powder have been characterized. The total measurement uncertainty was less than 0.07%. The results indicated that coulometry assay of plutonium are fit for the purpose of characterizing reference material.

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