Analysis of radiation emission from MYRRHA spent fuel and implications for non-destructive safeguards verification

Markus Preston, Alessandro Borella, Erik Branger, Sophie Grape, Riccardo Rossa

    Research outputpeer-review


    The radionuclide composition of, and emitted radiation in, spent nuclear fuel from the future MYRRHA facility have been studied using depletion simulations to understand potential consequences for safeguards verification using non-destructive assay. The simulations show that both the gamma-ray and neutron emission rates in spent MYRRHA assemblies are lower than in spent PWR UO2 and MOX assemblies. In addition, gamma-ray emission rates from 134Cs and 154Eu are considerably lower, and the total neutron emission rate in MYRRHA fuel is much less sensitive to fuel burnup and cooling time. The main reason is that the fast neutron spectrum in MYRRHA affects the radionuclide production in the fuel. One result is that 244Cm, the main contributor to the neutron emission in spent light water reactor fuel, has a limited production in MYRRHA. Consequently, neutron-detection techniques could be used to more directly assay the plutonium content of spent MYRRHA fuel.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number108525
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalAnnals of nuclear energy
    StatePublished - 27 Jun 2021

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