Non-destructive verification of materials in waste packages using QUANTOM®
Framatome GmbH, Paul Gossen Straße 100, 91052 Erlangen, Germany
2 Aachen Institute for Nuclear Training GmbH (AiNT), Cockerillstraße 100, 52222 Stolberg, Germany
3 Fraunhofer-Institut für Naturwissenschaftlich-Technische Trendanalysen INT, Appelsgarten 2, 53879 Euskirchen, Germany
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 7 October 2022
Accepted: 24 October 2022
Published online: 10 January 2023
The nuclear and non-nuclear industry has produced a considerable amount of low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes during the last decades. The material characterization of waste packages recently became more and more important in order to dispose of these waste packages in a final underground repository. Material characterization remains an indispensable criterion to prevent pollution of the groundwater with toxic materials and is usually required by the national licensing and supervisory authorities. Information on the nature of waste materials can be obtained based on existing documentation or, if the documentation is insufficient, on further destructive or non-destructive analysis. Non-destructive methods are to be preferred to minimize radiation exposures of operating personnel as well as costs. Existing non-destructive techniques (Gamma scanning, X-ray, active/passive neutron counting, muon tomography) do not allow the identification of non-radioactive hazardous substances. An innovative non-destructive measurement system called QUANTOM® (QUantitative ANalysis of TOxic and non-toxic Materials) has been developed. It is based on the prompt and delayed gamma neutron activation analysis (P&DGNAA). This technology is able to identify and quantify the elemental composition (Cd, Cu, B, Pb, Hg, Fe, Al, …) in radioactive packages such as 200-l radioactive drums. This information helps waste producers verify the content of their radioactive wastes, especially regarding the presence of hazardous substances. Different reference materials have been analysed by means of the same technology (P&DGNAA) at the research reactor of BUDAPEST. A comparison of those results for five reference materials is presented. The results show a very good agreement between QUANTOM® and standardized reference analyses.
© L. Coquard et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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