252Cf-source-correlated transmission measurements for uranyl fluoride deposit in a 24-in-OD process pipe
Characterization of a hydrated uranyl fluoride (UO 2F 2· nH 2O) deposit in a 17 ft long, 24 in OD process pipe at the former Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant was successfully performed using 252Cf-source-correlated time-of-flight (TOF) transmission measurements. These measurements of neutrons and gamma rays through the pipe from an external 252Cf fission source were used to measure the deposit profile and its distribution along the pipe, the hydration (or H/U), and the total uranium mass. The measurements were performed with a source in an ionization chamber on one side of the pipe and detectors on the other. Scanning the pipe vertically and horizontally produced a spatial and time-dependent radiograph of the deposit in which transmitted gamma rays and neutrons were separated in time. The cross-correlation function between the source and the detector was measured with the Nuclear Weapons Identification System. After correcting for pipe effects, the deposit thickness was determined from the transmitted neutrons and H/U from the gamma rays. Results were consistent with a later intrusive observation of the shape and the color of the deposit; i.e., the deposit was annular and was on the top of the pipe at some locations, demonstrating the usefulness of this method for deposit characterization.