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Enrichment measurement by passive γ-ray spectrometry of uranium dioxide fuel pellets using a europium-doped, strontium iodide scintillator

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Article number169191
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/05/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/02/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The performance of a europium-doped strontium iodide scintillator for uranium enrichment measurement of a variety of sintered uranium dioxide fuel pellets is described and compared to that of caesium iodide and sodium iodide. Enrichment has been determined via passive γ-ray spectrometry of the 186 keV line from uranium-235 using gross count, net count, and peak ratio analyses. The 38 mm Ø x 38 mm strontium iodide crystal demonstrates superior energy resolution (3.43 ± 0.03% at 662 keV) and competitive detection efficiency for its size in the energy range of interest for uranium enrichment analysis (<250 keV). It demonstrates better χ v 2 and coefficient of determination values than caesium iodide and sodium iodide when measuring uranium enrichment using the gross- and net-count from the 186 keV emission. It is shown to have the least measurement variance of the three scintillators studied in determining the uranium enrichment of pellets in a blind test, with a relative error comparative to sodium iodide and smaller than caesium iodide. This research heralds the potential of strontium iodide in passive γ-ray uranium enrichment applications.