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Neutron methods for monitoring the blending of enriched UF6 gas

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4 Author(s)
Stromswold, D.C. ; Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA, USA ; Peurrung, A.J. ; Reeder, P.L. ; Sunberg, D.S.

Blending a highly enriched UF6 gas stream with low-enrichment material reduces the excess supply of highly enriched uranium that must be closely controlled for nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. Computer simulations and feasibility experiments show that inducing fission in 235U provides means for monitoring the blending process. Detecting delayed fission neutrons or gamma rays after fission products drift downstream in the gas gives a measure of 235 U content and flow velocity. At very low UF6 gas pressures (5 mm Hg) where the downstream signal is too weak for use, an alternative technique based on attenuation of thermal neutrons passing through the UF6 gives a measure of 235U content

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 3 )