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Advanced Postirradiation Characterization of Nuclear Fuels Using Pulsed Neutrons

  • Sven C. VogelEmail author
  • Mark A. M. Bourke
  • Aaron E. Craft
  • Jason M. Harp
  • Charles T. Kelsey
  • Jay Lin
  • Alex M. Long
  • Adrian S. Losko
  • Peter Hosemann
  • Kenneth J. McClellan
  • Markus Roth
  • Anton S. Tremsin
Advanced Characterization and Testing of Irradiated Materials


Methods for postirradiation characterization of bulk (cm3) irradiated materials or even spent nuclear fuels are sparse due to their extremely radioactive nature. While several methods exist to characterize smaller volumes (< 1 mm3) of such samples, selecting these volumes from larger samples is challenging. X-ray-based methods are prohibitive due to the strong γ-radiation from the sample flooding the detectors. Neutron-based methods available in the proximity of irradiation reactors allow for thermal neutron radiography or computed tomography using a small reactor source, but one cannot assess isotope distributions or microstructural features such as phases, texture, or strain from diffraction measurements due to flux limitations. We present herein a pathway to provide pulsed neutron characterization of bulk irradiated samples using time-of-flight neutron diffraction for microstructural characterization and energy-resolved neutron imaging for assessment of isotopic densities and distributions. Ultimately, laser-driven pulsed neutron sources may allow deployment of these techniques pool-side at irradiation reactors.



This work was supported by the DOE/NE Fuel Cycle R&D research program. This work has benefitted from the use of the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by Triad National Security, LLC, for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the S Department of Energy under Contract No. 89233218NCA000001.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven C. Vogel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark A. M. Bourke
    • 1
  • Aaron E. Craft
    • 2
  • Jason M. Harp
    • 2
    • 3
  • Charles T. Kelsey
    • 4
  • Jay Lin
    • 5
  • Alex M. Long
    • 1
  • Adrian S. Losko
    • 1
    • 6
  • Peter Hosemann
    • 5
  • Kenneth J. McClellan
    • 1
  • Markus Roth
    • 7
  • Anton S. Tremsin
    • 8
  1. 1.Material Science and Technology DivisionLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA
  2. 2.Materials and Fuels ComplexIdaho National LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA
  3. 3.Reactor and Nuclear Systems DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  4. 4.Physics DivisionLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA
  5. 5.Nuclear Engineering DepartmentUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  6. 6.Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II)Garching b. MünchenGermany
  7. 7.Nuclear Physics InstituteTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  8. 8.Space Science LaboratoryUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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