The PSMC Plutonium Scrap Multiplicity Counter is a high efficiency neutron coincidence counter designed for measuring the multiplicity of the neutron emission from both spontaneous fission and induced-fission reaction in plutonium and uranium. The PSMC counter was originally developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory to measure impure plutonium and mixed-oxide (MOX) scrap materials for safeguards and inventory control applications. Intended for the measurement of items up to 10 liters in volume, the counter is designed to provide improved measurement precision through the use of multiple rings of 3He proportional tubes.
The counter provides a neutron detection efficiency of >50% for 240Pu spontaneous fission neutron emitted within the center of the assay cavity. The high neutron efficiency makes the PSMC unit an ideal counter for the assay of plutonium product, waste or scrap material. For clean or slightly impure product materials, measurement precisions of less than 1% are readily achievable in multiplicity mode over the mass range of 1 g to several kilograms of plutonium oxide and MOX.
The PSMC system configuration requires minimal setup time consisting only of the neutron counter, multiplicity shift register and personal computer loaded with operating software.
The fully computer controlled shift register provides both neutron coincidence and multiplicity capability that is selectable. This provides the user with analysis capability for a broad range of material configurations including: Pu pellets, powder, solutions, Mixed Oxides, MOX fuel pellets, Pu fuel assemblies, HEU and LEU in metals, oxides, powders, fuel pellets and rods, as well as uranium hexaflouride (UF6) samples.
The multiplicity shift register, software, and personal computer are supplied separately.
- Provides high accuracies for plutonium product, waste, or scrap materials
- Fully integrated system requires minimal setup and training
- Applicable to a wide range of sample types
- Waste and Safeguards measurements for plutonium contents