Berkeley Nuclear Research Center

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Nondestructive Assay using Beta-Delayed Gamma-Ray Signatures to Quantify Fissile Isotopes in Spent Fuel

This research focuses on the temporal dependence of the intensity of the delayed gamma-ray signal in different energy bins and the study of new isotopic-dependent signatures. The ultimate goal is to utilize the spectral and temporal dependence of the delayed gamma rays in the quantitative assay of 239Pu and 235U content in fuel cycle materials. The major aspect of this research is the investigation of the time-response of the delayed gamma energy spectrum within short time intervals (seconds) following an impulse of interrogating thermal neutrons. The fission product population growth and decay depend on the initial conditions after every interrogation pulse and, thus, the differences in fission product yields between various fissionable nuclides project into the resulting decay chains. (collaboration with B. Ludewigt, LBNL, and S. Tobin, LANL)

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