Gamma-ray spectrometric measurements of fission rate ratios between fresh and burnt fuel following irradiation in a zero-power reactor
The gamma-ray activity from short-lived fission products has been measured in fresh and burnt UO2 fuel samples after irradiation in a zero-power reactor. For the first time, short-lived gamma-ray activity from fresh and burnt fuel has been compared and fresh-to-burnt fuel fission rate ratios have been derived. For the measurements, well characterized fresh and burnt fuel samples, with burn-ups up to 46 GWd/t, were irradiated in the zero-power research reactor PROTEUS. Fission rate ratios were derived based on the counting of high-energy gamma-rays above 2200 keV, in order to discriminate against the high intrinsic activity of the burnt fuel. This paper presents the measured fresh-to-burnt fuel fission rate ratios based on the La-142 (2542 keV), Rb-89 (2570 keV), Cs-138 (2640 keV) and Y-95 (3576 keV) high-energy gamma-ray lines. Comparisons are made with the results of Monte Carlo modeling of the experimental configuration, carried out using the MCNPX code. The measured fission rate ratios have 1 sigma uncertainties of 1.7-3.4%. The comparisons with calculated predictions show an agreement within 1-3 sigma, although there appears to be a slight bias (similar to 3%). (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.