Monte-Carlo Application for Nondestructive Nuclear Waste Analysis
1 Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Nuclear Waste Management and Reactor Safety, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
2 Zentralinstitut für Engineering, Elektronik und Analytik – Systeme und Elektronik, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
3 Institut für Nuklearen Brennstoffkreislauf, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
4 MATHCCES, Department of Mathematics RWTH Aachen University, Germany
5 Nuclear Measurement Laboratory, DEN, CEA, Cadarache, France
6 Corporate Technology, Siemens AG, Germany
* Corresponding Author, email@example.com
Radioactive waste has to undergo a process of quality checking in order to check its conformance with national regulations prior to its transport, intermediate storage and final disposal. Within the quality checking of radioactive waste packages non-destructive assays are required to characterize their radio-toxic and chemo-toxic contents. The Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Nuclear Waste Management and Reactor Safety of the Forschungszentrum Jülich develops in the framework of cooperation nondestructive analytical techniques for the routine characterization of radioactive waste packages at industrial-scale. During the phase of research and development Monte Carlo techniques are used to simulate the transport of particle, especially photons, electrons and neutrons, through matter and to obtain the response of detection systems.
The radiological characterization of low and intermediate level radioactive waste drums is performed by segmented γ-scanning (SGS). To precisely and accurately reconstruct the isotope specific activity content in waste drums by SGS measurement, an innovative method called SGSreco was developed. The Geant4 code was used to simulate the response of the collimated detection system for waste drums with different activity and matrix configurations. These simulations allow a far more detailed optimization, validation and benchmark of SGSreco, since the construction of test drums covering a broad range of activity and matrix properties is time consuming and cost intensive.
The MEDINA (Multi Element Detection based on Instrumental Neutron Activation) test facility was developed to identify and quantify non-radioactive elements and substances in radioactive waste drums. MEDINA is based on prompt and delayed gamma neutron activation analysis (P&DGNAA) using a 14 MeV neutron generator. MCNP simulations were carried out to study the response of the MEDINA facility in terms of gamma spectra, time dependence of the neutron energy spectrum, neutron flux distribution. The validation of the measurements simulations with Mont-Carlo transport codes for the design, optimization and data analysis of further P&DGNAA facilities is performed in collaboration with LMN CEA Cadarache.
The performance of the prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) for the nondestructive determination of actinides in small samples is investigated. The quantitative determination of actinides relies on the precise knowledge of partial neutron capture cross sections. Up to today these cross sections are not very accurate for analytical purpose. The goal of the TANDEM (Trans-uranium Actinides’ Nuclear Data – Evaluation and Measurement) Collaboration is the evaluation of these cross sections. Cross sections are measured using prompt gamma activation analysis facilities in Budapest and Munich. Geant4 is used to optimally design the detection system with Compton suppression. Furthermore, for the evaluation of the cross sections it is strongly needed to correct the results to the self-attenuation of the prompt gammas within the sample.
In the framework of cooperation RWTH Aachen University, Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Siemens AG will study the feasibility of a compact Neutron Imaging System for Radioactive waste Analysis (NISRA). The system is based on a 14 MeV neutron source and an advanced detector system (a-Si flat panel) linked to an exclusive converter/scintillator for fast neutrons. For shielding and radioprotection studies the codes MCNPX and Geant4 were used. The two codes were benchmarked in processing time and accuracy in the neutron and gamma fluxes. Also the detector response was simulated with Geant4 to optimize components of the system.
Key words: Nuclear Waste / Nondestructive Techniques
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014