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Experimental evaluation of models for predicting Cherenkov light intensities from short-cooled nuclear fuel assemblies
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8207-3462
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5133-6829
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3136-5665
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3411-7058
2018 (English)In: Journal of Instrumentation, ISSN 1748-0221, E-ISSN 1748-0221, Vol. 13, article id P02022Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Digital Cherenkov Viewing Device (DCVD) is a tool used by nuclear safeguards inspectors to verify irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies in wet storage based on the recording of Cherenkov light produced by the assemblies. One type of verification involves comparing the measured light intensity from an assembly with a predicted intensity, based on assembly declarations. Crucial for such analyses is the performance of the prediction model used, and recently new modelling methods have been introduced to allow for enhanced prediction capabilities by taking the irradiation history into account, and by including the cross-talk radiation from neighbouring assemblies in the predictions.

In this work, the performance of three models for Cherenkov-light intensity prediction is evaluated by applying them to a set of short-cooled PWR 17x17 assemblies for which experimental DCVD measurements and operator-declared irradiation data was available; (1) a two-parameter model, based on total burnup and cooling time, previously used by the safeguards inspectors, (2) a newly introduced gamma-spectrum-based model, which incorporates cycle-wise burnup histories, and (3) the latter gamma-spectrum-based model with the addition to account for contributions from neighbouring assemblies.

The results show that the two gamma-spectrum-based models provide significantly higher precision for the measured inventory compared to the two-parameter model, lowering the standard deviation between relative measured and predicted intensities from 15.2% to 8.1% respectively 7.8%.

The results show some systematic differences between assemblies of different designs (produced by different manufacturers) in spite of their similar PWR 17x17 geometries, and possible ways are discussed to address such differences, which may allow for even higher prediction capabilities. Still, it is concluded that the gamma-spectrum-based models enable confident verification of the fuel assembly inventory at the currently used detection limit for partial defects, being a 30% discrepancy between measured and predicted intensities, while some false detection occurs with the two-parameter model. The results also indicate that the gamma-spectrum-based prediction methods are accurate enough that the 30% discrepancy limit could potentially be lowered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 13, article id P02022
Keywords [en]
Cherenkov detectors; Search for radioactive and fissile materials; Simulation methods and programs; Radiation calculation
National Category
Subatomic Physics
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-346692DOI: 10.1088/1748-0221/13/02/P02022ISI: 000425937900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-346692DiVA, id: diva2:1191855
Funder
Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM2012-2750Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC), p2007011Available from: 2018-03-20 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Enhancing the performance of the Digital Cherenkov Viewing Device: Detecting partial defects in irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies using Cherenkov light
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Enhancing the performance of the Digital Cherenkov Viewing Device: Detecting partial defects in irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies using Cherenkov light
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Digital Cherenkov Viewing Device (DCVD) is an instrument used by authority safeguards inspectors to verify irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies in wet storage based on Cherenkov light emission. It is frequently used to verify that parts of an assembly have not been diverted, which is done by comparing the measured Cherenkov light intensity to a predicted one.

This thesis presents work done to further enhance the verification capability of the DCVD, and has focused on developing a second-generation prediction model (2GM), used to predict the Cherenkov light intensity of an assembly. The 2GM was developed to take into account the irradiation history, assembly type and beta decays, while still being usable to an inspector in-field. The 2GM also introduces a method to correct for the Cherenkov light intensity emanating from neighbouring assemblies. Additionally, a method to simulate DCVD images has been seamlessly incorporated into the 2GM.

The capabilities of the 2GM has been demonstrated on experimental data. In one verification campaign on fuel assemblies with short cooling time, the first-generation model showed a Root Mean Square error of 15.2% when comparing predictions and measurements. This was reduced by the 2GM to 7.8% and 8.1%, for predictions with and without near-neighbour corrections. A simplified version of the 2GM for single assemblies will be included in the next version of the official DCVD software, which will be available to inspectors shortly. The inclusion of the 2GM allows the DCVD to be used to verify short-cooled assemblies and assemblies with unusual irradiation history, with increased accuracy.

Experimental measurements show that there are situations when the intensity contribution due to neighbours is significant, and should be included in the intensity predictions. The image simulation method has been demonstrated to also allow the effect of structural differences in the assemblies to be considered in the predictions, allowing assemblies of different designs to be compared with enhanced accuracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 97
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1708
Keywords
DCVD, Nuclear safeguards, Cherenkov light, Nuclear fuel assembly, Partial defect verification
National Category
Subatomic Physics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Applied Nuclear Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357578 (URN)978-91-513-0415-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-12, Room 2005, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM2012-2750Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC), p2007011
Available from: 2018-09-14 Created: 2018-08-17 Last updated: 2018-10-02

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The full text will be freely available from 2019-03-01 15:24
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Branger, ErikGrape, SophieJansson, PeterJacobsson Svärd, Staffan

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