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SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETERMINING AN AMOUNT OF FISSILE MATERIAL IN A REACTOR

United States Patent Application

20160358679
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
A method of determining an amount of fissile material in a reactor includes sensing neutrons or photons emitted from the reactor before and after a change in a reactor operating parameter and determining a mass of fissile material responsive to a difference between the intensities of the radiation. A system for determining an amount of fissile material includes a radiation detector and a computing system. The radiation detector may be configured to detect neutrons or photons. The computing system may be configured for calculating mass of the fissile material based at least in part on a change in the power output from the reactor as a function of time. Some methods include collecting radiation emitted by a reactor, generating an electrical signal responsive to the collected radiation, and evaluating mass of the fissile material responsive to the magnitude and response of the electrical signal after a change in the reactor.
MORRELL, SEAN R. (POCATELLO, ID), HOLSCHUH, THOMAS V. (CORVALLIS, OR), MARCUM, WADE R. (CORVALLIS, OR), CHICHESTER, DAVID L. (IDAHO FALLS, ID)
15/ 171,740
June 2, 2016
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-05-ID14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.