Research and Development for Nuclear Safeguards and Industry (e.g. Paks NPP)

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Safeguards Agreement concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) prescribes inspection of nuclear materials in the country. In order to support inspection, Nuclear Security Department (NSD) is developing non-destructive (by gamma spectrometry and neutron coincidence measurements) as well as destructive (by mass spectrometry) measurement methods and techniques related to national and international inspection. In this frame, NSD developed special, new methods and equipment for determination of the nuclear material content in repacked fuel containing broken rods and pellets as well as parts of the cladding from the damaged assemblies of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant. These methods and techniques are still in use during safeguards inspections implemented at Paks NPP.

NSL also supports optimal running of the NPP by measuring burnup of spent fuel assemblies. The method is based on gamma spectrometry of fission products for determination of the past of spent fuel assemblies. Gamma spectrometry is also applied in determination of corrosion deposits in the primary circuit of the NPP, especially for 110mAg of unknown origin. Various corrosion investigations look back for decades in the NSD.

In the last decade, also, a gamma spectrometric method was developed for age dating of uranium samples. Earlier, this was possible by destructive methods only. Currently we are busy in surveying impurities of radiation sources for safeguards purposes. By this, we identify parameters suitable for origin determination.

Development of a method and equipment occurred and is going on for investigating pulse trains of triggered neutron and gamma radiation processes (Pulse train recorder PTR-32). This seems a very successful development. Among others, the IAEA accepted it as a basic instrument for international inspections as well as training purposes. Some big companies and users show continuous interest in it.



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