EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 170, 2018ANIMMA 2017
|Number of page(s)||3|
|Section||Nuclear fuel cycle|
|Published online||10 January 2018|
Improving gross count gamma-ray logging in uranium mining with the NGRS probe
CEA, DEN, Cadarache, Nuclear Measurement Laboratory, F-13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France.
AREVA Mines, 92053 La Défense (Courbevoie), France.
Published online: 10 January 2018
AREVA Mines and the Nuclear Measurement Laboratory of CEA Cadarache are collaborating to improve the sensitivity and precision of uranium concentration measurement by means of gamma ray logging. The determination of uranium concentration in boreholes is performed with the Natural Gamma Ray Sonde (NGRS) based on a NaI(Tl) scintillation detector. The total gamma count rate is converted into uranium concentration using a calibration coefficient measured in concrete blocks with known uranium concentration in the AREVA Mines calibration facility located in Bessines, France. Until now, to take into account gamma attenuation in a variety of boreholes diameters, tubing materials, diameters and thicknesses, filling fluid densities and compositions, a semi-empirical formula was used to correct the calibration coefficient measured in Bessines facility. In this work, we propose to use Monte Carlo simulations to improve gamma attenuation corrections. To this purpose, the NGRS probe and the calibration measurements in the standard concrete blocks have been modeled with MCNP computer code. The calibration coefficient determined by simulation, 5.3 s-1.ppmU-1 ± 10%, is in good agreement with the one measured in Bessines, 5.2 s-1.ppmU-1. Based on the validated MCNP model, several parametric studies have been performed. For instance, the rock density and chemical composition proved to have a limited impact on the calibration coefficient. However, gamma self-absorption in uranium leads to a nonlinear relationship between count rate and uranium concentration beyond approximately 1% of uranium weight fraction, the underestimation of the uranium content reaching more than a factor 2.5 for a 50 % uranium weight fraction. Next steps will concern parametric studies with different tubing materials, diameters and thicknesses, as well as different borehole filling fluids representative of real measurement conditions.
Key words: Uranium mining / NaI(Tl) scintillators / MCNP
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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