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Analysis of PNAR Spent Fuel Safeguards Measurements using the ORIGEN Data Analysis Module...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the INMM & ESARDA joint annual meeting
Publication Date
Conference Name
INMM/ESARDA Joint Meeting 2021
Conference Location
It's a virtual meeting, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

This paper summarizes the analysis of the Passive Neutron Albedo Reactivity (PNAR) measurements using the ORIGEN data analysis module for 23 boiling water reactor spent fuel assemblies that were performed in Finland under an international collaboration on spent fuel safeguards verification methods. PNAR is part of the proposed integrated nondestructive system to be used for safeguards verifications at the planned Finnish encapsulation facility. Besides measuring passive neutron and gamma emission rates from an assembly like a Fork detector, PNAR also measures the PNAR ratio, which is expected to correlate with the fissile content in the assembly. The emission rates and PNAR ratio can be used to verify the operator declarations and the fissile content of an assembly, respectively. The analysis was performed using the ORIGEN Data Analysis Module, which was originally developed for predicting Fork detector neutron and gamma signals for spent fuel measurements and has been integrated into the Integrated Review and Analysis Package developed by Euratom and the IAEA. The Module includes the ORIGEN burnup analysis code and integrates detector response functions pre-generated using MCNP to predict detector signals in several seconds per assembly. In this study, new response functions specific to PNAR measurements were generated for ORIGEN Module. The study also analyzes impacts of using detailed fuel design and operation information vs. standard safeguards information on results calculated by ORIGEN Module. Using detailed information reduced the standard deviation of relative differences between calculated and measured neutron count rates among the 23 assemblies from ~10% to ~4%. The results obtained using standard safeguards information for these PNAR measurements were similar to those obtained for the Fork detector. A clear trend was found between the calculated net neutron multiplications and the measured PNAR ratios of the 23 assemblies. This paper describes how ORIGEN Module calculates the expected PNAR neutron and gamma signals and PNAR ratio and how they compare with corresponding measured values.