Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 298, Issue 1, pp 325–336 | Cite as

Impact of dissolution on the uncertainty of spent fuel analysis

  • Marielle Crozet
  • Cédric Rivier


One of the objectives of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission in the Marcoule Centre is to accurately quantify the composition of nuclear spent fuel, i.e. to determine the concentration of each isotope with suitable measurement uncertainty. These analysis results are essential for the validation of calculation codes used for the simulation of fuel behaviour in nuclear reactors and for nuclear matter accountancy. The different experimental steps are first the reception of a piece of spent fuel rod at the laboratory of dissolution studies, and then dissolution in a hot cell of a sample of the spent fuel rod received. Several steps are necessary to obtain a complete dissolution. Taking into account these process steps, and not only those of analysis for the evaluation of measurement uncertainties, is new, and is described in this paper. The uncertainty estimation incorporating the process has been developed following the approach proposed by the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM). The mathematical model of measurement was established by examining the dissolution process step by step. The law of propagation of uncertainty was applied to this model. A point by point examination of each step of the process permitted the identification of all sources of uncertainties considered in this propagation for each input variable. The measurement process presented involves the process and the analysis. The contents of this document show the importance of taking the process into account in order to give a more reliable uncertainty assessment to the result of a concentration or isotope ratio of two isotopes in spent fuel.


Spent fuel Process Dissolution Hot cell Analysis Measurement uncertainty 

List of symbols


Concentration of isotope i X in gram per gram of spent fuel

\( \left[ {^{i} X} \right]_{{S_{j\;dil} }} \)

Concentration of isotope i X in the diluted dissolution solution from step j of the dissolution process in gram per gram of solution S j dil

\( m_{{S_{j} }} \)

Mass of solution S j in gram

\( DF_{{S_{j} \to S_{j\;dil} }} \)

Dilution factor to get solution S j dil from solution S j

\( m_{{^{i} X\;{\text{lost}} \to S_{j} }}^{{}} \)

Mass of isotope i X lost in the process until solution S j in gram

\( m_{{^{i} X\;{\text{undissolved}}}} \)

Mass of isotope i X in undissolved matter of the last step in gram


Mass of the spent fuel rod used in the dissolution process in gram


Mass of hull after dissolution of the spent fuel in gram


Concentration of isotope i X in gram per gram of spent fuel in a blank dissolution test


Standard uncertainty


Combined standard uncertainty


Expanded uncertainty


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEA Marcoule, DEN/DRCP/SERA/LEDBagnols-sur-CèzeFrance
  2. 2.CEA Marcoule, DEN/DRCP/CETAMABagnols-sur-CèzeFrance

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