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Antineutrino monitoring of thorium reactors
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Various groups have demonstrated that antineutrino monitoring can be successful in assessing the plutonium content in water-cooled nuclear reactors for nonproliferation applications. New reactor designs and concepts incorporate nontraditional fuel types and chemistry. Understanding how these properties affect the antineutrino emission from a reactor can extend the applicability of antineutrino monitoring. Thorium
molten salt reactors breed 233U, that if diverted constitute a direct use material as defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The antineutrino spectrum from the fission of 233U has been estimated for the first time, and the feasibility of detecting the diversion of 8 kg of 233U, within a 30 day timeliness goal has been evaluated. The antineutrino emission from a thorium reactor operating under normal conditions is compared to a diversion scenario by evaluating the daily antineutrino count rate and the energy spectrum of the detected antineutrinos at a 25 m standoff. It was found that the diversion of a significant quantity of 233U could not be detected within the current IAEA timeliness detection goal using either tests. A rate-time based analysis exceeded the timeliness goal by 23 days, while a spectral based analysis exceeds this goal by 31 days.
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