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The active handling experiment with neutron sources (AHE) was a demonstration test performed in the Asse mine. The objective was to investigate radiological aspects of handling spent fuel or high level waste in the drifts of an underground repository located in a salt dome. As neutrons play an important role in the direct disposal option, the main emphasis was laid on their contribution to the total dose rate. Due to the narrow drift dimensions, backscattering of the neutrons from the drift walls had to be expected, thus increasing the dose rate for the operating personnel. The experimental results showed that the intensity of neutron backscattering from the drift walls depends on the drift cross section and the position of the package within the drift. The dose equivalent rate in the near-field of the package during underground handling was two to three times higher than above ground. Predictions performed with the Monte Carlo programme MORSE, MCNP, and TRIPOLI were in excellent agreement with the experimental findings. Thus, validated computer codes are available for future detailed repository planning with the emphasis on minimizing radiation exposure for the operating personnel.

Additional information

Authors: CLOSS K D, Forschungszentrum Karslruhe GmbH (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 17124 EN (1996) 177pp., FS, ECU 33
Availability: Available from the (2)
ISBN: ISBN 92-827-8673-0
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