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Verification and determination of the decay heat in spent PWR fuel by means of gamma scanning
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Neutron Research, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
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2008 (English)In: Nuclear science and engineering, ISSN 0029-5639, E-ISSN 1943-748X, Vol. 160, no 1, 129-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Decay heat is an important design parameter at the future Swedish spent nuclear fuel repository. It will be calculated for each fuel assembly using dedicated depletion codes, based on the operator-declared irradiation history. However, experimental verification of the calculated decay heat is also anticipated. Such verification may, be obtained by, gamma scanning using the established correlation between the decay heat and the emitted gamma-ray intensity from Cs-137. In this procedure, the correctness of the operator-declared fuel parameters can be verified. Recent achievements of the gamma-scanning technique include the development of a dedicated spectroscopic data-acquisition system and the use of an advanced calorimeter for calibration. Using this system, the operator-declared burnup and cooling time of 31 pressurized water reactor fuel assemblies was verified experimentally, to within 2.2% (1 sigma) and 1.9% (1 sigma), respectively. The measured decay heat agreed with calorimetric data within 2.3% (1 sigma). whereby the calculated decay, heat was verified within 2.3% (1 sigma). The measuring time per fuel assembly was similar to 15 min. In case reliable operator-declared data are not available, the gamma-scanning technique also provides a means to independently measure the decay, heat. The results obtained in this procedure agreed with calorimetric data within 2.7% (1 sigma).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 160, no 1, 129-143 p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Applied Nuclear Physics; Physics with specialization in Applied Nuclear Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-94791ISI: 000258579200009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-94791DiVA: diva2:168773
Available from: 2006-09-08 Created: 2006-09-08 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Applications of Gamma Ray Spectroscopy of Spent Nuclear Fuel for Safeguards and Encapsulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Applications of Gamma Ray Spectroscopy of Spent Nuclear Fuel for Safeguards and Encapsulation
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Nuclear energy is currently one of the world’s main sources of electricity. Closely connected to the use of nuclear energy are important issues such as the nonproliferation of fissile material that may potentially used in nuclear weapons (safeguards), and the management of the highly radioactive nuclear waste. This thesis addresses both these issues by contributing to the development of new experimental methods for ensuring safe and secure handling of the waste, with focus on methods to be used prior to encapsulation and final storage.

The methods rely on high resolution gamma ray spectroscopy (HRGS), involving the measurement and analysis of emitted gamma radiation from the fission products 137Cs, 134Cs and 154Eu. This technique is nondestructive, making it relatively nonintrusive with respect to the normal operation of the nuclear facilities.

For the safeguards issue, it is important to experimentally verify the presence and identity of nuclear fuel assemblies and also that the fuel has experienced normal, civilian reactor operation. It has been shown in this thesis that the HRGS method may be used for verifying operator declared fuel parameters such as burnup, cooling time and irradiation history. In the experimental part of the work, the burnup and the cooling time has been determined with an accuracy of 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively (1 σ).

A technique has also been demonstrated, utilizing the ratio 134Cs/154Eu, with which it is possible to determine whether a fuel assembly is of MOX or LEU type. This is of interest for safeguards as well as for the safe operation of a final storage facility.

As an improvement to the HRGS technique, measuring a part of the fuel assembly length in order to reduce measurement time has been suggested and investigated. A theoretical case for partial defect verification has also been studied as an extension of the HRGS technique.

Finally, HRGS has been used for determining the decay heat in spent nuclear fuel assemblies, which is of importance for the safe operation of a final storage facility. This application is based on the radiation from 137Cs, and the accuracy demonstrated was within 3% (1 σ).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. 81 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 212
Keyword
Nuclear physics, gamma radiation, spectroscopy, spent nuclear fuel, safeguards, HRGS, MOX, Kärnfysik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7116 (URN)91-554-6637-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-09-29, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Uppsala, 09:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-09-08 Created: 2006-09-08Bibliographically approved

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Jacobsson Svärd, StaffanHåkansson, AneBäcklin, Anders

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