Use of CEvNS to monitor spent nuclear fuel

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American Physical Society

Increasing amounts of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) are stored in dry storage casks for prolonged periods of time. To date no effective technology exists to reverify cask contents should this become necessary. We explore the applicability of coherent-elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEvNS) to monitor the content of SNF from dry storage casks. SNF produces neutrinos chiefly from Sr-90 decays. We compare these results with what can be achieved via inverse beta decay (IBD). We demonstrate that at low nuclear recoil energies CEvNS events rates exceed the IBD event rates by 2-3 orders of magnitude for a given detector mass. We find that a 10 kg argon or germanium detector 3 meters from a fuel cask can detect over 100 events per year if a nuclear recoil threshold under 100 eV can be achieved.

neutrino, scattering