Standard Test Method for Application and Analysis of Radiometric Monitors for Reactor Vessel Surveillance
5.1 Radiometric monitors shall provide a proven passive dosimetry technique for the determination of neutron fluence rate (flux density), fluence, and spectrum in a diverse variety of neutron fields. These data are required to evaluate and estimate probable long-term radiation-induced damage to nuclear reactor structural materials such as the steel used in reactor pressure vessels and their support structures.
5.2 A number of radiometric monitors, their corresponding neutron activation reactions, and radioactive reaction products and some of the pertinent nuclear parameters of these RMs and products are listed in Table 1. Table 2 provides data (36) on the cumulative and independent fission yields of the important fission monitors. Not included in these tables are contributions to the yields from photo-fission, which can be especially significant for non-fissile nuclides (2-5,27-29,37-40).
1.1 This test method describes procedures for measuring the specific activities of radioactive nuclides produced in radiometric monitors (RMs) by nuclear reactions induced during surveillance exposures for reactor vessels and support structures. More detailed procedures for individual RMs are provided in separate standards identified in 2.1 and in Refs (1-5).2 The measurement results can be used to define corresponding neutron induced reaction rates that can in turn be used to characterize the irradiation environment of the reactor vessel and support structure. The principal measurement technique is high resolution gamma-ray spectrometry, although X-ray photon spectrometry and Beta particle counting are used to a lesser degree for specific RMs (1-29).
1.1.1 The measurement procedures include corrections for detector background radiation, random and true coincidence summing losses, differences in geometry between calibration source standards and the RMs, self absorption of radiation by the RM, other absorption effects, radioactive decay corrections, and burn out of the nuclide of interest (6-26).
1.1.2 Specific activities are calculated by taking into account the time duration of the count, the elapsed time between start of count and the end of the irradiation, the half life, the mass of the target nuclide in the RM, and the branching intensities of the radiation of interest. Using the appropriate half life and known conditions of the irradiation, the specific activities may be converted into corresponding reaction rates (2-5,28-30).
1.1.3 Procedures for calculation of reaction rates from the radioactivity measurements and the irradiation power time history are included. A reaction rate can be converted to neutron fluence rate and fluence using the appropriate integral cross section and effective irradiation time values, and, with other reaction rates can be used to define the neutron spectrum through the use of suitable computer programs (2-5,28-30).
1.1.4 The use of benchmark neutron fields for calibration of RMs can reduce significantly or eliminate systematic errors since many parameters, and their respective uncertainties, required for calculation of absolute reaction rates are common to both the benchmark and test measurements and therefore are self canceling. The benchmark equivalent fluence rates, for the environment tested, can be calculated from a direct ratio of the measured saturated activities in the two environments and the certified benchmark fluence rate (2-5,28-30).
1.2 This method is intended to be used in conjunction with ASTM Guide E844. The following existing or proposed ASTM practices, guides, and methods are also directly involved in the physics-dosimetry evaluation of reactor vessel and support structure surveillance measurements:
E706 Master Matrix for Light-Water Reactor Pressure Vessel Surveillance Standards, E706 (O) 3
E853 Analysis and Interpretation of Light-Water Reactor Surveillance Results, E706 (IA)3
E693 Practice for Characterizing Neutron Exposures in Iron and Low Alloy Steels in Terms of Displacements Per Atom (DPA), E706 (ID)3
E185 Practice for Conducting Surveillance Tests for Light-Water Nuclear Power Reactor Vessels, E706 (IF)3
E1035 Practice for Determining Radiation Exposure for Nuclear Reactor Vessel Support Structures, E706 (IG)3
E636 Practice for Conducting Supplemental Surveillance Tests for Nuclear Power Reactor Vessels, E706 (IH)3
E2956 Guide for Monitoring the Neutron Exposure of LWR Reactor Pressure Vessels3
E944 Guide for Application of Neutron Spectrum Adjustment Methods in Reactor Surveillance, E706 (IIA)3
E1018 Guide for Application of ASTM Evaluated Cross Section and Data File, E706 (IIB)3
E482 Guide for Application of Neutron Transport Methods for Reactor Vessel Surveillance, E706 (IID)3
E2005 Guide for the Benchmark Testing of Reactor Vessel Dosimetry in Standard and Reference Neutron Fields
E2006 Guide for the Benchmark Testing of Light Water Reactor Calculations
E854 Test Method for Application and Analysis of Solid State Track Recorder (SSTR) Monitors for Reactor Vessel Surveillance, E706 (IIIB)3
E910 Test Method for Application and Analysis of Helium Accumulation Fluence Monitors for Reactor Vessel Surveillance, E706 (IIIC)3
E1214 Application and Analysis of Temperature Monitors for Reactor Vessel Surveillance, E706 (IIIE) 3
1.3 The procedures in this test method are applicable to the measurement of radioactivity in RMs that satisfy the specific constraints and conditions imposed for their analysis. More detailed procedures for individual RM monitors are identified in 2.1 and in Refs 1-5 (see Table 1).
1.4 This test method, along with the individual RM monitor standard methods, are intended for use by knowledgeable persons who are intimately familiar with the procedures, equipment, and techniques necessary to achieve high precision and accuracy in radioactivity measurements.
1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard, except for the energy units based on the electron volt, keV and Mev, and the time units: minute (min), hour (h), day (d), and year (a).
1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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