Date: May 10, 1997
Creator: Dietrich, F. S., LLNL & Hall, James, M.
Description: In evaluating the feasibility of neutron radiography and tomography in the 10-14 MeV region, it is important to estimate the radiation backgrounds that could potentially interfere with the measurements. In this context, backgrounds refer to all counts in the detector other than those due to neutrons transmitted through the sample without scattering. There are two principal sources of backgrounds: (1) neutrons and gammas resulting from incident neutrons interacting in the sample, and (2) events in the detector arising from neutrons scattering in the accelerator vault and collimation system, together with natural and induced activation. Counts due to these backgrounds are spread fairly uniformly across the detector, and therefore do not compromise the ability to identify small features in the sample on the millimeter scale in a tomographic reconstruction; however, they do increase the neutron dose required to achieve sufficient statistical accuracy to reveal features of interest. Backgrounds are generally considered to be tolerable if their count rates are less than or comparable to the rates from the transmitted (uncollided) beam. If they are significantly above this level, they are a potentially serious problem. Understanding radiation backgrounds is thus critically important in determining the required source strength and running time. The ...
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