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This paper describes a nondestructive method of assaying the Materials Testing Reactor fuel assemblies for their uranium-235 content before they are loaded into the reactor. An accurate determination of the fuel content of the fuel assemblies is of importance for safety and accountability reasons. The safety problems become acute in a reactor having a large excess reactivity and a high power density such as exist in the Materials Testing Reactor (MTR). If for any reason a number of fuel assemblies have more than the specified fuel content, there is danger of an accident during approach to criticality. On the other hand, a fuel assembly having low fuel content causes an increase in the flux across it and hence an increase in the power density in the adjacent assemblies which could result in local overheating.
Forbes, S. G.
Phillips Petroleum Co., Idaho Falls, Idaho