Boron coated straw-based neutron multiplicity counter for neutron interrogation of TRISO fueled pebbles

Ming Fang, Jeff Lacy, Athanasios Athanasiades, Angela Di Fulvio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pebble bed reactors (PBRs) can improve the safety and economics of the nuclear energy production. PBRs rely on TRIstructural-ISOtropic (TRISO) fuel pebbles for enhanced fission product retention. Accurate characterization of individual fuel pebbles would enable the validation of computational models, efficient use of TRISO fuel, and improve fuel accountability. We have developed and tested a new neutron multiplicity counter (NMC) based on 192 boron coated straw (BCS) detectors optimized for 235U assay in TRISO fuel. The new design yielded a singles and doubles neutron detection efficiency of 4.71% and 0.174%, respectively, and a die-away time of 16.7 μs. The NMC has a low intrinsic gamma-ray detection efficiency of 8.71×10−8 at an exposure rate of 80.3 mR/h. In simulation, a high-efficiency version of the NMC encompassing 396 straws was able to estimate the 235U in a pebble with a relative uncertainty and error both below 2% in 100 s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109794
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
Volume187
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Boron-coated straw
  • Neutron coincidence counting
  • Neutron multiplicity counter
  • PBR
  • TRISO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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