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Journal Articles

Introduction and implementation of physical protection measures including trustworthiness program at Tokai Reprocessing Facilities

Nakamura, Hironobu; Kimura, Takashi; Yamazaki, Katsuyuki; Kitao, Takahiko; Tasaki, Takashi; Iida, Toru

Proceedings of International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities (Internet), 9 Pages, 2018/09

After the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, to develop effective security measures based on the lesson learned from such crisis and to meet the IAEA Nuclear Security Recommendations (INFCIRC/225/Rev.5), NRA in Japan made a partial amendment of the regulations concerning the reprocessing activity in 2012. The Tokai reprocessing facility implemented all of those security measures by the end of March 2014. Those new measures help us to keep high degree of security level and contributed to our planned operations to reduce the potential risk of the plant. On the other hand, the trustworthiness program was newly introduced in 2016, based on the trustworthiness policy determined by NRA. The implementing entity of the program is JAEA for the Tokai Reprocessing Facility and is required for both the persons afford unescorted access to Category I and II, CAS/SAS, and the persons afford access to the sensitive information. Those who are involved this program will be judged before engaging the work whether they might act as insider to cause or assist radiological sabotage or unauthorized removal of nuclear material, or leak sensitive information. The program is expected as a measure against insider at reprocessing facilities, and is expected to be enforced around the autumn of 2017. As well as the establishment of security measures, the promoting nuclear security culture for all employees was a big challenge. The Tokai reprocessing facility have introduced several security culture activities, such as case study education of security events done by a small group and putting up the security culture poster and so on. This paper presents introduction and implementation with effectiveness of security measures in the Tokai reprocessing facilities and the future security measures applied to the reprocessing facilities are discussed.

Journal Articles

Demonstration of $$gamma$$-ray pipe-monitoring capabilities for real-time process monitoring safeguards applications in reprocessing facilities

Rodriguez, D.; Tanigawa, Masafumi; Nishimura, Kazuaki; Mukai, Yasunobu; Nakamura, Hironobu; Kurita, Tsutomu; Takamine, Jun; Suzuki, Satoshi*; Sekine, Megumi; Rossi, F.; et al.

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 55(7), p.792 - 804, 2018/07

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

Nuclear material in reprocessing facilities is safeguarded by random sample verification with additional continuous monitoring applied to solution masses and volume in important tanks to maintain continuity-of-knowledge of process operation. Measuring the unique $$gamma$$ rays of each solution as the material flows through pipes connecting all tanks and process apparatuses could potentially improve process monitoring by verifying the compositions in real time. We tested this $$gamma$$ ray pipe-monitoring method using plutonium-nitrate solution transferred between tanks at the PCDF-TRP. The $$gamma$$ rays were measured using a lanthanum-bromide detector with a list-mode data acquisition system to obtain both time and energy of $$gamma$$-ray. The analysis and results of this measurement demonstrate an ability to determine isotopic composition, process timing, flow rate, and volume of solution flowing through pipes, introducing a viable capability for process monitoring safeguards verification.

Journal Articles

Improvement of INVS measurement uncertainty for Pu and U-Pu nitrate solution

Swinhoe, M. T.*; Menlove, H. O.*; Marlow, J. B.*; Makino, Risa; Nakamura, Hironobu

LA-UR-17-23474, 28 Pages, 2017/04

The Inventory Verification Sample system (INVS) has been used for IAEA verification measurement at the Plutonium Conversion Development Facility for MOX powder and Pu solution samples (measurement uncertainty: about 3-5%). If the measurement uncertainty can be improved (to $$sim$$1%), it is expected that the range of usage can be extended and it could reduce the number of destructive analyses. In order to improve the measurement uncertainty for solution samples, we conducted three different types of calibration method that are passive calibration curve method, known-$$alpha$$ method and multiplicity method after optimization of detector parameter and sample position. In the range of concentration of typical solution samples, a good correlation was found between measured doubles and $$^{240}$$Pu effective mass in the three methods. Especially, the result of the conventional calibration curve method and known-$$alpha$$ method met our target uncertainty within 1% (22 hours measurement). Since it is thought that background singles change may affect measurement uncertainty, an additional shielding was installed around the INVS to reduce those effects. This shielding improved measurement uncertainty in known-$$alpha$$ method. The results with this shielding suggests passive calibration method and known-$$alpha$$ method could achieve the target uncertainty within 1% less than 1 hour measurement time.

Journal Articles

Completion of solidification and stabilization for Pu nitrate solution to reduce potential risks at Tokai Reprocessing Plant

Mukai, Yasunobu; Nakamichi, Hideo; Kobayashi, Daisuke; Nishimura, Kazuaki; Fujisaku, Sakae; Tanaka, Hideki; Isomae, Hidemi; Nakamura, Hironobu; Kurita, Tsutomu; Iida, Masayoshi*; et al.

Proceedings of 2017 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP 2017) (CD-ROM), 8 Pages, 2017/04

TRP has stored the plutonium in solution state for long-term since the last PCDF operation in 2007 was finished. After the great east Japan earthquake in 2011, JAEA had investigated the risk against potential hazard of these solutions which might lead to make hydrogen explosion and/or boiling of the solution accidents with the release of radioactive materials to the public when blackout. To reduce the risk for storing Pu solution (about 640 kg Pu), JAEA planned to perform the process operation for the solidification and stabilization of the solution by converted into MOX powder at PCDF in 2013. In order to perform PCDF operation without adaption of new safety regulation, JAEA conducted several safety measures such as emergency safety countermeasures, necessary security and safeguards (3S) measures with understanding of NRA. As a result, the PCDF operation had stared on 28th April, 2014, and successfully completed to convert MOX powder on 3rd August, 2016 for about 2 years as planned.

Journal Articles

Development and implementation of GloveBox Cleanout Assistance Tool (BCAT) to detect the presence of MOX by computational approach

Nakamura, Hironobu; Nakamichi, Hideo; Mukai, Yasunobu; Hosoma, Takashi; Kurita, Tsutomu; LaFleur, A. M.*

Proceedings of International Conference on Mathematics & Computational Methods Applied to Nuclear Science & Engineering (M&C 2017) (USB Flash Drive), 7 Pages, 2017/04

In order to maintain facility nuclear material accountancy (NMA) and safeguards properly, to understand where and how much holdup deposit in the process is presence is very important for the cleanout before PIT. JAEA and LANL developed a GloveBox Cleanout Assistance Tool (BCAT) to help cleanout (MOX powder recovering in a glovebox) for invisible holdup effectively by computational approach which is called distributed source-term approach (DSTA). The BCAT tool is a simple neutron measurement slab detectors and helps operator to find locations of holdup. To know the holdup location and the activity from the neutron measurements, the relation between BCAT measurements results at predetermined positions (57 positions) and source voxels (53 voxels) that we want to know the holdup activity was mathematically defined as a matrix by the MCNPX simulation. The model of MCNPX for entire process is very precisely established. We have implemented and experimentally proved that the BCAT tool can direct the operator to recoverable holdup that would otherwise be accounted for as MUF. Reducing facility MUF results in a direct improvement of the facility NMA. The BCAT enables the staff to significantly improve their knowledge of the locations of residual holdup in the process area. JAEA would like to use this application for dismantling of the glovebox with transparency in the future.

Journal Articles

Operator's contribution on the improvement of inspection scheme for the PCDF operation

Shimizu, Yasuyuki; Makino, Risa; Mukai, Yasunobu; Ishiyama, Koichi; Kurita, Tsutomu; Nakamura, Hironobu

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

no abstracts in English

JAEA Reports

Application of probability generating function to the essentials of nondestructive nuclear materials assay system using neutron correlation

Hosoma, Takashi

JAEA-Research 2016-019, 53 Pages, 2017/01


Application of probability generating function for nondestructive nuclear materials assay system was studied. First, high-order neutron correlations were derived algebraically up to septuplet and basic characteristics of the correlations were investigated. It was found that higher-order correlation increases rapidly in response to the increase of leakage multiplication, crosses and leaves lower-order correlations behind, when leakage multiplication is $$>$$ 1.3 that depends on detector efficiency and counter setting. Next, fission rates and doubles count rates by fast neutron and by thermal neutron in their coexisting system were derived algebraically. It was found that the number of induced fissions per unit time by fast neutron and by thermal neutron, the number of induced fissions ($$<$$ 1) by one source neutron, and individual doubles count rates were possible to be estimated from Rossi-alpha combined distribution and measured ratio of each area obtained by differential die-away self-interrogation and conventional assay data.

Journal Articles

Field test of a full scale $$^{3}$$He-alternative HLNC-type counter; High Level Neutron counter-Boron (HLNB)

Henzlova, D.*; Menlove, H. O.*; Tanigawa, Masafumi; Mukai, Yasunobu; Nakamura, Hironobu

EUR-28795-EN (Internet), p.313 - 323, 2017/00

Facing the depletion of $$^{3}$$He gas supply and the continuing uncertainty of options for future resupply, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) designed and built a $$^{3}$$He free full scale thermal neutron coincidence counter based on boron-lined parallel-plate proportional technology. The counter was designed as a direct alternative to High Level Neutron Coincidence counter (HLNC-II). This paper provides a summary of performance evaluation of HLNB under realistic field conditions at Plutonium Conversion Development Facility (PCDF) of Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). The field test included a range of small to large mass MOX materials that represent realistic process samples and provided key insight on and validation of the feasibility of HLNB as a safeguards instrument in realistic facility environment. In particular, the results of verification measurements demonstrate that HLNB is capable to satisfy ITV expected for HLNC-II-type counter of 2.1% in 300s measurement time.

JAEA Reports

Determination of metal impurities in MOX powder by direct current arc atomic emission spectroscopy; Application of standard addition method for direct analysis of powder sample

Furuse, Takahiro*; Taguchi, Shigeo; Kuno, Takehiko; Surugaya, Naoki

JAEA-Technology 2016-028, 19 Pages, 2016/12


Metal impurities in MOX powder obtained from uranium and plutonium recovered from reprocessing process of spent nuclear fuel are needed to be determined for its characterization. Direct current arc atomic emission spectroscopy (DCA-AES) is one of the useful methods for direct analysis of powder sample without dissolving the analyte into aqueous solution. However, the selection of standard material, which can overcome concerns such as matrix matching, is quite important to create adequate calibration curves for DCA-AES. In this study, we apply standard addition method using the certified U$$_{3}$$O$$_{8}$$ containing known amounts of metal impurities to avoid the matrix problems. The proposed method provides good results for determination of Fe, Cr and Ni at a significant quantity level contained in MOX samples.

Journal Articles

Development of alternative $$^3$$He NDA detector system

Koizumi, Mitsuo; Sakasai, Kaoru; Kureta, Masatoshi; Nakamura, Hironobu

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai-Shi, 58(11), p.642 - 646, 2016/11

no abstracts in English

Journal Articles

Operator's contribution on the improvement of RII scheme against the process operation at PCDF

Nakamura, Hironobu; Shimizu, Yasuyuki; Makino, Risa; Mukai, Yasunobu; Ishiyama, Koichi; Kurita, Tsutomu; Ikeda, Atsushi*; Yamaguchi, Katsuhiro*

Proceedings of INMM 57th Annual Meeting (Internet), 9 Pages, 2016/07

Regarding the Integrated Safeguards (IS) in Japan, the implementation of IS has been started on September 2004, and the concept has been introduced to the JNC-1 facilities since August 2008. Then, random interim inspection with short notice and reducing person-days of inspection (PDI) was introduced instead of traditional scheduled IIV in order to improve deterrence of the nuclear material diversion with timeliness goal. And it was agreed that it should be evaluated and reviewed because RII was designed when inter-campaign. In JAEA, we decided to restart PCDF campaign to reduce potential safety risks of reprocessing facilities. To adopt the RII scheme to the process operation in campaign, JAEA proposed a new scheme to JSGO and IAEA without increasing PDI and reducing detection probability. As a result of the discussion, it was agreed and successfully introduced since March 2014. The new scheme for PCDF consists of scheduled inspection (fixed-day RII), reduction of estimated material for the verification, implementation of remote monitoring with data provision, improvement of operational status check list, introduction of NRTA and MC&A data declaration with timeliness. Though the operator's workloads for information provision were increased, we could manage to balance IS requirement with implementation of our operation successfully. This contribution was helped to safeguards implementation and our operation for 2 years.

Journal Articles

Development of active neutron NDA techniques for nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security, 7; Measurement of DG from MOX and Pu liquid samples for quantification and monitoring

Mukai, Yasunobu; Ogawa, Tsuyoshi; Nakamura, Hironobu; Kurita, Tsutomu; Sekine, Megumi; Rodriguez, D.; Takamine, Jun; Koizumi, Mitsuo; Seya, Michio

Proceedings of INMM 57th Annual Meeting (Internet), 7 Pages, 2016/07

The development of Delayed Gamma-ray Spectroscopy (DGS) for analyzing the composition ratio of fissile nuclides ($$^{239}$$Pu, $$^{241}$$Pu, $$^{235}$$U) focused on the Delayed Gamma-ray having energy over 3 MeV has been performed for the development of active neutron non-destructive assay techniques. In PCDF, measurement tests of Delayed Gamma-ray using Pu solution and MOX powder samples to prove the DGS technique is planned to be performed in following 4 stages. (1) Measurements for Delayed Gamma-ray originated from spontaneous fission nuclide (Passive), (2) Measurements for the Delayed Gamma-ray with fast neutron (Active), (3) DGSI (DGS combined with self-interrogation) measurements (Passive), (4) Measurements for the Delayed Gamma-ray with thermal neutron (Active) In this paper, the plan of measurement tests for nuclear material samples with use of DGS is presented.

Journal Articles

Demonstration result of sample assay system equipped alternative He-3 detectors

Tanigawa, Masafumi; Mukai, Yasunobu; Tobita, Hiroshi; Kurata, Noritaka*; Kobayashi, Nozomi*; Takase, Misao*; Makino, Risa; Ozu, Akira; Nakamura, Hironobu; Kurita, Tsutomu; et al.

56th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM 2015), Vol.1, p.693 - 701, 2016/00

no abstracts in English

JAEA Reports

Report on the evaluation of research and development activities in FY2014; Issue: "Research and Development on Reprocessing of Nuclear Fuel Materials" (Ex-post evaluation)

Tokai Reprocessing Technology Development Center

JAEA-Evaluation 2015-012, 83 Pages, 2015/12


Japan Atomic Energy Agency (hereafter referred as "JAEA") consulted the "Evaluation Committee of Research and Development Activities for Fast Reactor Cycle" to assess the issue on "Research and Development on Reprocessing of Nuclear Fuel Materials" conducted by JAEA during the period from FY2010 to FY2014. In response to the JAEA's request, the committee assessed the R&D programs and the activities of JAEA related to the issue and concluded the mission was accomplished. This evaluation was performed based on the "General guideline for the evaluation of government R&D activities", the "Guideline for evaluation of R&D in Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)" and the "Operational rule for evaluation of R&D activities" by JAEA.

Journal Articles

Development of sample assay system equipped with $$^{3}$$He Alternative Neutron Detectors (ASAS), 2; Results of ASAS measurement test

Tanigawa, Masafumi; Mukai, Yasunobu; Kurita, Tsutomu; Makino, Risa; Nakamura, Hironobu; Tobita, Hiroshi; Ozu, Akira; Kureta, Masatoshi; Seya, Michio

Kaku Busshitsu Kanri Gakkai (INMM) Nippon Shibu Dai-36-Kai Nenji Taikai Rombunshu (Internet), 9 Pages, 2015/12

Against the background of the serious shortage of $$^{3}$$He gas, design and development of a new detector equipped ZnS/$$^{10}$$B$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$ ceramic scintillation neutron detectors in JAEA, with the support of the government (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology). The design of the alternative $$^{3}$$He detector is referred from INVS (INVentory Sample assay system (HLNCC (High Level Neutron Coincidence Counter) type)) which is being used for the verification of MOX powder etc. and is named it as ASAS (Alternative Sample Assay System). In order to prove the Pu quantitative performance as an alternative technology, several measurement tests and comparison test with INVS were conducted using ASAS. In these tests, evaluation of fundamental performance (counting efficiency and die-away time) and uncertainty evaluations were implemented. As a result, although fundamental performance of ASAS was not achieved to the one of INVS, we could confirm that ASAS has almost the same Pu quantitative performance including measurement uncertainty as that of INVS.

Journal Articles

Conceptual proposal of new detection method for unauthorized removal of nuclear materials from glovebox

Mukai, Yasunobu; Nakamura, Hironobu; Tanigawa, Masafumi; Nakamichi, Hideo; Umino, Yoshinori; Fujisaku, Sakae; Kimura, Takashi; Kurita, Tsutomu

Kaku Busshitsu Kanri Gakkai (INMM) Nippon Shibu Dai-36-Kai Nenji Taikai Rombunshu (Internet), 9 Pages, 2015/12

When the unauthorized removal of nuclear materials (NM) from glovebox (GB) by an insider happens, it needs to be detected and reported immediately. In this time, for utilization of the security counterplan, the feasibility of a new detection concept for the unauthorized removal was investigated with implementation of several experiments considering actual GB operation. In general, the detection method using radiation monitor is thought of easily. However, it is very difficult to distinguish between authorized NM movement during operation and the unauthorized removal. To solve this subject, JAEA focused on negative pressure monitoring of GB, and investigated a new detection concept combining the neutron and negative pressure monitoring. As a result of the experiments in small-scale GB, it was revealed that this new concept had the capability to detect the unauthorized removal and to alarm to central alarm station rapidly, and had the possibility to enhance the effectiveness of the current physical protection measures.

JAEA Reports

Essentials of neutron multiplicity counting mathematics; An Example of U-Pu mixed dioxide

Hosoma, Takashi

JAEA-Research 2015-009, 162 Pages, 2015/08


Neutron coincidence counting assay systems have been developed in the last two decades. Objects would extend to high-mass uranium-plutonium dioxide containing other spontaneous fission nuclei, so essentials of neutron multiplicity counting were reconsidered and expanded: (a) Formulae of multiplicity distribution were algebraically derived up to septuplet using a probability generating function; (b) Leakage multiplication was evaluated not by Monte Carlo method but by an average length from an arbitrary point inside a sample to an arbitrary point on its surface and a probability of induced fission within the length; (c) Mechanism of coincidence counting was associated with a couple of different time axes in Poisson process, and consequently a pair of close-to-coincident neutrons from the process was derived. For the formulae, new expressions using combination were wrote down. For spectrum and mean free path, actually treated uranium-plutonium dioxide was selected as an example.

Journal Articles

Improved holdup blender assay system (IBAS) slope validation measurements to improve nuclear material accountancy of high alpha holdup

LaFleur, A. M.*; Nakamura, Hironobu; Menlove, H. O.*; Mukai, Yasunobu; Swinhoe, M. T.*; Marlow, J. B.*; Kurita, Tsutomu

Proceedings of 37th ESARDA Annual Meeting (Internet), p.435 - 441, 2015/08

The IBAS (Improved Holdup Blender Assay System) system for safeguards and nuclear material accountancy (NMA) of holdup measurements is used at PCDF. The purpose of this detector is to measure the doubles rate from each glovebox in order to determine the mass of Pu holdup. In order to establish calibration curves for the IBAS detector and improve the holdup measurement methodology, JAEA conducted the IBAS calibration exercise with LANL support using MOX standards in 2010. In 2011, a cleanout exercise was performed and the results showed that the holdup removed from the glovebox had a significantly higher alpha term (alpha = 15.8 - 31.5) than the MOX standards (alpha = 0.67) used to establish the 2010 calibration curves. To further investigate these findings, JAEA conducted slope validation measurements in 2013 to confirm the validity of IBAS calibration slopes for the case of high alpha holdup. This paper describes the IBAS slope validation tests, analysis of the experimental results, and the evaluation of the need for a correction factor for the high alpha holdup. Quantifying the alpha term of the holdup in each glove box and understanding how this value changes over time is important to improving the overall NMA at PCDF. The results from this work will provide invaluable experimental data that directly supports safeguards and NMA measurements of plutonium holdup in gloveboxes.

Journal Articles

Demonstration result of sample assay system equipped alternative He-3 detectors

Nakamura, Hironobu; Mukai, Yasunobu; Tobita, Hiroshi; Nakamichi, Hideo; Ozu, Akira; Kureta, Masatoshi; Kurita, Tsutomu; Seya, Michio

Proceedings of 37th ESARDA Annual Meeting (Internet), p.45 - 53, 2015/08

JAEA conducted an R&D project to develop a new type of neutron detector using ZnS/$$^{10}$$B$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$ ceramic scintillator (as an alternative neutron detector to He-3) with support of Japanese government. The design of the JAEAs alternative system (ASAS: Alternative Sample Assay System using ceramic scintillator tubes) refers basically to the INVS (INVentory Sample assay system) which is the passive type of neutron assay system equipped total 18 He-3 tubes and capable of measuring the small amount of Pu in the MOX powder or Pu nitrate solution in a vial for nuclear material accountancy and safeguards verification. In order to prove the alternative technology and the performance instead of He-3 detector, and to establish Pu measurement capability, JAEA developed and fabricated ASAS equipped 24 alternative ceramic scintillator tubes (which is equivalent to the same counting efficiency of INVS) and demonstrated. The demonstration activity implemented the confirmation of reproducibility about sample positioning, optimization of detector parameters, counting statistical uncertainty, stability check and figure of merit (FOM) using Cf check source and actual MOX powder in PCDF (Plutonium Conversion Development Facility). In addition, performance comparison between the current INVS and the ASAS was also implemented. In this paper, we present demonstration results with design information with Monte-Carlo simulation code (MCNP).

Journal Articles

Conceptual proposal of new detection method for unauthorized removal from glovebox

Nakamura, Hironobu; Tanigawa, Masafumi; Mukai, Yasunobu; Nakamichi, Hideo; Umino, Yoshinori; Fujisaku, Sakae; Kimura, Takashi; Kurita, Tsutomu

Proceedings of INMM 56th Annual Meeting (Internet), 8 Pages, 2015/07

In the MOX handling facilities, many types and amount of nuclear materials (NM) that are relatively easy to access are used in a GB. In order to prevent unauthorized removal of NM from the GB by an insider, based on the Japanese regulation which was referred from INFCIRC/225 Rev.5, the 2 person rule are being introduced at the area where NM handling GB are installed. As an example of usage of the security counterplan for the detection of unauthorized removal of NM, a new proposal of detection concept for the unauthorized removal by operators were investigated with implementation of several experiments considering actual GB operation. In general, it is considered that normal concept is to use radiation monitor ($$gamma$$ or neutron) to detect the event by checking the variation of monitoring data. However, it is thought that distinguish between authorized NM movement during operation and the unauthorized removal (sample bag-out from GB) is very difficult. To solve this subject, JAEA studied and proposes a new concept about negative pressure monitoring in the GB in addition to the radiation monitoring. It is thought that the hybrid monitoring concept between pressure and radiation provides the detection alarm for it with central alarm station (CAS) accurately and rapidly with high integrity, and helps to complement current 2 person rule.

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