NE Seminar: “Accountability Methods for Emerging Fuel Cycles”

Date(s) - 03/09/2023
1:55 pm - 2:55 pm

Rhines 125


Angela DiFulvio, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering
University of Illinois

Dr. Angela DiFulvio is an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) at the University of Illinois, director of the Neutron Measurement Laboratory, and a researcher in the technical aspects of nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation. Before joining NPRE, Angela was a research scientist at the University of Michigan and a Postodoc at Yale University. Her current interests include the technical aspects of nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation, and techniques and algorithms for the radiation protection of the patient in radiation therapy.


Pebble bed reactors and micro-modular reactors can potentially improve the safety, efficiency, and economics of the nuclear energy production. Both rely on tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel for enhanced fission product retention and improved spent fuel management. Identification and tracking of individual fuel pebbles would allow determining the fuel transit time for validation of computational models, preventing excessive burnup accumulation or premature fuel discharge, and improving fuel accountability.

In this talk, I will give an overview of experimental and computational methodologies that we have developed for improved monitoring and fuel accountability in reactors that rely on TRISO fuel types. We have recently developed new neutron multiplicity counter based on boron coated straw (BCS) detectors optimized for TRISO fuel assay that features high neutron detection efficiency and very low sensitivity to gamma rays, i.e., 10-10 when measuring a 10-Ci 192Ir gamma ray medical source.