Monitoring of higher actinides (HA--includes neptunium, plutonium, americium, and curium) during the separation of used nuclear fuel has been identified as a critical research area in the U.S. Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). Recycling of used fuel by chemically separating it into uranium, fission products, and HA would be the first step in this new fuel cycle. The Material Protection, Accounting, and Control (MPAC) are necessary for materials accounting, criticality monitoring, and assurance of proliferation resistance. The objective of the MPAC project is to develop technology to detect and accurately measure quantities of higher actinides in used fuel assemblies and processing systems without taking frequent samples. Process systems may include separations batches, pipelines, storage tanks, and fuel fabrication equipment. A variety of measurements may be combined to calculate flow rates of actinide elements with a to be- determined precision.
Actinide elements – Separation; Radioactive wastes — Purification; Reactor fuel reprocessing; Spent reactor fuels
Combined Radiation Detection Methods for Assay of Higher Actinides in Separations Processes: Quarterly Progress Report: January-March 2006.
Available at: http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/hrc_trp_safeguards/7