QUANTOM® - Optimization of the online neutron flux measurement system
Poster presented at ANIMMA 2019, Portoroz, Slovenia, 17 - 21 June 2019
For the final disposal of radioactive waste, the waste packages have to meet the acceptance requirements defined by national licensing and supervisory authorities. Non-destructive methods are very much preferred over destructive methods for the qualification or re-qualification. Existing non-destructive methods as integral or segmented gamma scanning or neutron counting only determine the isotope specific activity but do not allow quantifying other non-radioactive hazardous substances. These should have been documented during creation, conditioning, and packaging of the waste. But especially for legacy waste, this documentation is often poor or even missing. This gap is to be filled by the QUANTOM® measurement device that will determine the mass fraction of elements within a 200-l-drum using the Prompt- and Delayed-Gamma-Neutron-Activation-Analysis. In order to obtain a spatially resolved characterization, it will employ a segmented scanning approach. For the determination of the absolute mass fractions, the neutron flux inside the drum has to be known accurately. As the waste itself will alter the neutron distribution and flux, it is not possible to calculate the latter a priori from the gamma measurement. Hence the neutron flux has to be measured simultaneously with the gamma radiation. In this presentation, we will introduce the system for measuring the thermal neutron flux surrounding the waste drum from which the flux within the waste package has to be reconstructed. We performed a simulation study to score several possible detector placements for an improved reconstruction performance. We will show the outcome of these calculations and present the final design of the detector arrangement.