3 years ago

Discrimination of irradiated MOX fuel from UOX fuel by multivariate statistical analysis of simulated activities of gamma-emitting isotopes

This paper investigates how concentrations of certain fission products and their related gamma-ray emissions can be used to discriminate between uranium oxide (UOX) and mixed oxide (MOX) type fuel. Discrimination of irradiated MOX fuel from irradiated UOX fuel is important in nuclear facilities and for transport of nuclear fuel, for purposes of both criticality safety and nuclear safeguards. Although facility operators keep records on the identity and properties of each fuel, tools for nuclear safeguards inspectors that enable independent verification of the fuel are critical in the recovery of continuity of knowledge, should it be lost. A discrimination methodology for classification of UOX and MOX fuel, based on passive gamma-ray spectroscopy data and multivariate analysis methods, is presented. Nuclear fuels and their gamma-ray emissions were simulated in the Monte Carlo code Serpent, and the resulting data was used as input to train seven different multivariate classification techniques. The trained classifiers were subsequently implemented and evaluated with respect to their capabilities to correctly predict the classes of unknown fuel items. The best results concerning successful discrimination of UOX and MOX-fuel were acquired when using non-linear classification techniques, such as the k nearest neighbors method and the Gaussian kernel support vector machine. For fuel with cooling times up to 20 years, when it is considered that gamma-rays from the isotope  134Cs can still be efficiently measured, success rates of 100% were obtained. A sensitivity analysis indicated that these methods were also robust.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168900217313748

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