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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
The blossoming of cooperation between the U.S. and Canada
The United States and Canadian nuclear industries used to be an example of how two independent teams of engineers facing an identical problem—making electricity from uranium—could come up with completely different answers. In the 1950s, Canada began designing a reactor with tubes, heavy water, and natural uranium, while in the U.S. it was big pots of light water and enriched uranium.
But 80 years later, there is a remarkable convergence. The North American push for a new generation of nuclear reactors, mostly small modular reactors (SMRs), is becoming binational, with U.S. and Canadian companies seeking markets and regulatory certification on both sides of the border and in many cases sourcing key components in the other country.
Karen A. Miller, Martyn T. Swinhoe, Stephen Croft, Takayuki Tamura, Shun Aiuchi, Akio Kawai, Tomonori Iwamoto
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 176 | Number 1 | January 2014 | Pages 98-105
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.13182/NSE12-43
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
As new uranium enrichment plants are proposed and come online worldwide, interest in using neutron methods for uranium hexafluoride (UF6) cylinder assay has been growing; however, large discrepancies exist in published F(α,n) yields from uranium isotopes. Uncertainties in these data are propagated through the analysis of every UF6 measurement and have implications for safeguards conclusions drawn from them. In this paper, a value for the specific F(α,n) yield in UF6 from 234U is calculated from measurements of 30B cylinders containing bulk UF6 at the Rokkasho Enrichment Plant in Japan. The measurements were taken using the Uranium Cylinder Assay System. The yield was derived by combining the cylinder measurements with detailed Monte Carlo modeling, known isotopic composition, and inversion analysis. We calculated the 234U neutron emission rate in UF6 to be (474 ± 21) n/s·g−1 with a 68% confidence level. The results obtained in this study will help enable an important class of nondestructive assay instruments to be applied with greater confidence and accuracy.