Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Jamie Coble
Steven Skutnik, Jason Hayward, Angela Lousteau, Braden Goddard
As interest grows in electrochemistry for material separations and reprocessing of nuclear fuel research and development into the safegaurdability of such a system is needed. Plutonium quantification via (α,n) neutrons within the electrorefiner vessel is examined as a potential alternative means to the traditional spontaneous fission tracking. An MCNP model of an Epi-Thermal Neutron Multiplicity counter was used in the calculation of curium from a sample of curium, plutonium, and eutectic salt. This and the multiplicity variable alpha, the ratio between (α,n) neutron and spontaneous fission, were then used to define the plutonium mass as it related to its (α,n) signature. It was shown that theoretically the plutonium mass of such a sample could be estimated within 20% but due to error associated with falsely counting (α,n) neutrons as spontaneous fission, this method is not viable with current detector systems.
Gilliam, Stephen N., "Development of (α,n) Signatures as a Viable Safeguards Measurement for Electrochemical Reprocessing. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2020.