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Gamma Spectrometry Systems for the Assay of Uranium Residues and Potentially Contaminated Low Level Wastes at the Capenhurst Site

[+] Author Affiliations
P. A. Clark, D. F. Parvin, C. Y. Powrie, C. H. Orr, G. Mottershead

BNFL Instruments, Calderbridge, Cumbria, UK

A. Forbes

BNFL Environmental Services, Warrington, England

Paper No. ICEM2003-4690, pp. 859-864; 6 pages
doi:10.1115/ICEM2003-4690
From:
  • ASME 2003 9th International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation
  • 9th ASME International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation: Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Oxford, England, September 21–25, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3732-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3731-9
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME

abstract

BNFL has produced and operates a wide range of DrumScan® gamma measurement systems for monitoring packages, drums and boxed wastes arising from nuclear power plant reprocessing, fuel fabrication and decommissioning operations. The challenges associated with decommissioning operations are met by employing a range of technologies predominantly High Resolution and Low Resolution spectrometry (HRGS & LRGS). This paper describes how BNFL Instruments’ LRGS and HRGS DrumScan® gamma measurement systems have been used for the assay of uranium resides and potentially contaminated low level wastes by Capenhurst Integrated Decommissioning Project (IDP) in the UK. A description of the two Capenhurst segmented HRGS systems is included. Whilst Segmented Gamma Scanning is a well established technique for the non-destructive assay of gamma emitting radioisotopes in drummed waste, these systems utlise unique features to address the specific measurement requirements. The first system is configured for the accurate measurement of both small sized containers of uranium residues arising from recovery operations and low level wastes potentially contaminated with uranium contained in 200 litre drums. To achieve a high level of accuracy, this system uses a novel mechanical arrangement to overcome the wide variety of container sizes, and the unique “TransWeight” and “Transmission” matrix correction techniques which provide significant improvements over conventional Segmented Gamma Scanner matrix correction techniques. The second system is configured for Nuclear Safety purposes to provide an upper limit of the 235 U present in 200 litre drums of potentially contaminated waste prior to the opening of the drums for sorting and uranium recovery operations. This system is configured to report an appropriately pessimistic upper estimate of the 235 U present. A brief description of the LRGS systems used by Capenhurst is also provided. These systems have served to quantify the 235 U content within a variety of potentially contaminated waste items ranging from 200 litre drums to 1m3 boxed waste.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME

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