Detection of illicit HEU production in gaseous centrifuge enrichment plants using neutron counting techniques on product cylinders [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 2010.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Additional Creators:
- Los Alamos National Laboratory, United States. Department of Energy, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- Innovative and novel safeguards approaches are needed for nuclear energy to meet global energy needs without the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation. Part of these efforts will include creating verification techniques that can monitor uranium enrichment facilities for illicit production of highly-enriched uranium (HEU). Passive nondestructive assay (NDA) techniques will be critical in preventing illicit HEU production because NDA offers the possibility of continuous and unattended monitoring capabilities with limited impact on facility operations. Gaseous centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEP) are commonly used to produce low-enriched uranium (LEU) for reactor fuel. In a GCEP, gaseous UF₆ spins at high velocities in centrifuges to separate the molecules containing ²³⁸U from those containing the lighter ²³⁵U. Unfortunately, the process for creating LEU is inherently the same as HEU, creating a proliferation concern. Insuring that GCEPs are producing declared enrichments poses many difficult challenges. In a GCEP, large cascade halls operating thousands of centrifuges work together to enrich the uranium which makes effective monitoring of the cascade hall economically prohibitive and invasive to plant operations. However, the enriched uranium exiting the cascade hall fills product cylinders where the UF₆ gas sublimes and condenses for easier storage and transportation. These product cylinders hold large quantities of enriched uranium, offering a strong signal for NDA measurement. Neutrons have a large penetrability through materials making their use advantageous compared to gamma techniques where the signal is easily attenuated. One proposed technique for detecting HEU production in a GCEP is using neutron coincidence counting at the product cylinder take off stations. This paper discusses findings from Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended (MCNPX) code simulations that examine the feasibility of such a detector.
- Report Numbers:
- E 1.99:la-ur-10-04454
E 1.99: la-ur-10-4454
- Other Subject(s):
- Published through SciTech Connect.
INMM 51st Conference ; July 11, 2010 ; Baltimore, MD.
Freeman, Corey R; Geist, William H.
- Funding Information:
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