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Implementation of a System of Gamma Imagers for Measuring Plutonium Holdup

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the INMM Annual Meeting
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 8
Conference Name
INMM & ESARDA Joint Annual Meeting
Conference Location
Vienna, Austria
Conference Sponsor
Institute of Nuclear Material Management
Conference Date

The Surplus Plutonium Disposition (SPD) project is an effort to dilute and dispose of many tonsof weapons grade plutonium. This work will take place in a shielded glovebox to protect workers fromradiological dose. Accurate measurements of the holdup, or material left behind, in the gloveboxes is im-portant for Nuclear Material Control and Accountancy, worker dose minimization, criticality safety, andprocess monitoring. Shielding around the gloveboxes presents an obstacle for the traditional GeneralizedGamma Holdup (GGH) method. The uncertainties associated with that method, at around 28%, arealso detrimental since the amount of holdup must be kept below an established limit with a high level ofconfidence.Passive gamma-ray imaging provides a more complete depiction of the distribution of radioactivematerials. Recent refinement of the method has demonstrated that quantitative information can beextracted from the images with a well-characterized system. A permanently installed system of gamma-ray imagers is currently being developed to measure plutonium holdup in the SPD gloveboxes. Thispaper will report on progress with the development of this system.This application requires that the features of current commercially available instruments from H3Dand PHDS, optimized for measurement performance in a mobile application, be translated into theconstraints of the operational environment with fixed installations. The interaction between facilityconstraints and measurement capabilities will be addressed.A series of measurements with plutonium sources in a mocked-up glovebox geometry with imagersmounted above the ceiling of the glovebox have been taken. Imager performance with respect to angularresolution, minimum measurement time for quantification, and signal-to-noise ratio with a multitudeof sources will be evaluated for those measurements. A series of prototypes of user interfaces will bepresented for display of the data to its various consumers for the purposes of Nuclear Material Controland Accountancy, worker dose minimization, criticality safety, and process monitoring.