ARKTIS Radiation Detectors has announced that it is supporting a new project funded by the US Department of Energy to build and demonstrate a prototype detector device capable of unambiguously verifying stored, spent nuclear fuel.
The new system will non-intrusively check Dry Casks, used to store high-level radioactive waste at fuel storage installations, in order to monitor their contents. Arktis will collaborate on the new research and development project with the University of Florida (UFL).
The storage of Spent Nuclear Fuels (SNF) is a big issue. On average, each of the 104 operating reactors in the United States produces 20 metric tons of plutonium per year. With on-site SNF pools filling up, and no centralized repository available in the near term, the amount of fuel being kept in dry storage for an extended period of time is a concern to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The agency has therefore called for improved methods to verify the content of sealed dry casks in order to restore a continuity of knowledge about their contents and to facilitate the creation of a comprehensive inventory of all stored nuclear materials.
The new system being designed by UFL will feature a neutron spectroscopy and imaging system using high-efficiency Helium-4 gas scintillation via fast neutron detectors developed by Arktis. The company has produced a range of next generation detectors based on He-4 gas scintillation technology for use in security and industrial applications. The systems deliver numerous advantages over legacy neutron and gamma detectors and can be used for a wide range of applications. The use of He-4 – or Noble Gases – is paramount; the material is readily available and at a much lower cost than the He-3 gases typically used in current detection systems.
Rico Chandra, Chief Executive Officer of Arktis Radiation Detectors said “We look forward to leveraging our proven experience of developing detection systems based on He-4 Gas Scintillation technology and to working with the team at The University of Florida to deliver to our customer a system that will help maintain the safe storage of spent nuclear fuels in the United States.”
Arktis Radiation Detectors develops and manufactures next generation systems that detect and identify radioactive and nuclear materials, contaminated cargo and other illicit materials. Founded in 2007, the company has developed proprietary advanced detection technology to create a range of products that enhance security and facilitate operations for customers and governments across the world. Arktis was the 2011 winner of the Global Security Challenge, and has since carried out work for US and UK authorities including the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the US Department of Defense (DoD), the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Arktis Radiation Detectors is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.
To learn more about Arktis products, visit: http://www.arktis-detectors.com/products/
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