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Radiation induced magnetism for radiation measurement and non-proliferation

#K-2441


Using radiation-induced magnetism for a posteriori dating of reactor components and historical enrichment activities for nuclear non-proliferation

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-MAT/Materials/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors
  • MAT-ALL/High Performance Metals and Alloys/Materials

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
15.03.2018

Leading Institute
National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakstan / Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kazakhstan, Almaty

Collaborators

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, MA, Cambridge

Project summary

There currently exists no quantitative, repeatable measure of radiation damage. Two immense challenges persist due to this shortcoming in the field of nuclear science: (1) The inability to experimentally quantify radiation damage to structural materials, and (2) The inability to determine the historical usage of uranium enrichment equipment. The first challenge continue to plague the deployment of advanced nuclear reactors, while the second renders it impossible to verify non-proliferation treaties like the recent US-Iran nuclear deal. In this project, we will demonstrate the utility of irradiation-induced magnetism to solve both these challenges. By focusing on previously irradiated materials at very high (>10 DPA DPA – Displacements per Atom, a calculation describing the number of atoms knocked out of place by radiation damage. It does not quantify the damage itself, but rather its precursors, and it cannot be measured by any means.) and very low (<0.01 DPA) doses, we will link the amount of radiation-induced magnetism in the form of martensite to verifiable, historical doses of radiation damage. This martensite, produced by radiation-induced segregation in common, metastable austenitic stainless steels (AuSS), provides a non-contact, non-destructive radiation fingerprint which can be measured after irradiation, and verified by calorimetric measurements. By quantifying the amount of magnetism induced in AuSS used in reactors and enrichment equipment, we will simultaneously solve these two fifty-year old challenges to carbon-free power and nuclear non-proliferation.


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