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Gamma-Ray Imaging to Monitor Accumulating Holdup...

by Klaus-peter Ziock, Sean E O'brien, Kyle T Schmitt, Ramkumar Venkataraman, Jonathan T Mitchell
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the 63rd INMM Annual Meeting
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 10
Conference Name
63rd INMM Annual Meeting
Conference Location
Virtual, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Over time, nuclear materials can accumulate in process equipment and keeping track of such material is of interest to many stakeholder communities including safeguards, process monitoring, criticality safety, and radiological safety. Passive gamma-ray imaging provides a visual and quantitative tool that can be applied to this problem, allowing one to determine the amount of material present from the images. In this work we emulate the accumulation of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in a large rectangular stainless-steel duct by stacking 5, 27 × 50 cm2 cards, each of which has approximately 11 g of 235U in oxide form distributed across its surface, behind each other. A series of images were collected using a coded-aperture gamma-ray imager, starting with a single card, adding a second card, etc. Long integrations were collected to allow evaluating the performance of the approach as a function of integration time.

The images are analyzed using first principles to determine the amount of material in each image. The results are compared to the known amount of material in each configuration, and as a function of time. The analysis includes a first-principles error propagation and to further evaluate the uncertainty, a boot-strap sampling approach is also applied to the data. The work offers a proof of concept for unattended monitoring of uranium holdup with a quantitative gamma-ray imaging technique.