SINRD validation experiments at the time-of-flight facility GELINA

Riccardo Rossa, Alessandro Borella, Klaas van der Meer, Gery Alaerts, Jan Heyse, Stefan Kopecky, Pierre-Etienne Labeau, Carlos Paradela, Nicolas Pauly, Peter Schillebeeckx, Ruud Wynants

    Research outputpeer-review


    Self-interrogation neutron resonance densitometry (SINRD) is a non-destructive analysis technique that can be used to quantify the amount of 239Pu in spent nuclear fuel. It is a passive method that relies on the detection of neutrons, which are emitted by the fuel. The amount of 239Pu is estimated from the ratio of the neutron intensity in the fast energy region and in a region close to the 0.296 eV resonance of 239Pu.
    The neutron intensity in the resonance region is obtained from a detection system with a high sensitivity to 0.296 eV neutrons. This can be realized by using two neutron detectors with 239Pu as convertor material. One of the detectors is covered by a thin Gd foil and the other by a thin Cd foil. The Gd and Cd foils are
    referred to as SINRD filters.
    An approach based on the measurement of a fuel assembly in air and surrounded by a slab of polyethylene was developed at SCKCEN. This approach foresees the insertion of small neutron detectors in the guide tubes of the assembly, and optimisation studies of SINRD were based on Monte Carlo simulations.
    Experiments to support the results of such simulations were carried out at the time-of-flight facility GELINA of JRC-Geel (Belgium). Transmission measurements were performed to verify the quality of the nuclear data that are used to define the optimum thickness of the SINRD filters. Results of self-indication measurements were used to confirm the basic principle of SINRD, that is, that the best results are obtained with a detector that has a high sensitivity to neutrons with energy close to the energy of a strong resonance of the material under investigation. The results of these experiments are presented in this work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)368-375
    Number of pages8
    JournalAnnals of nuclear energy
    StatePublished - Apr 2017

    Cite this