Bubble Radiation Detection: Current and Future Capability

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Despite a number of noteworthy achievements in other fields, superheated droplet detectors (SDDs) and bubble chambers (BCs) have not been used for nuclear nonproliferation and arms control. This report examines these two radiation-detection technologies in detail and answers the question of how they can be or should be ''adapted'' for use in national security applications. These technologies involve closely related approaches to radiation detection in which an energetic charged particle deposits sufficient energy to initiate the process of bubble nucleation in a superheated fluid. These detectors offer complete gamma-ray insensitivity when used to detect neutrons. They also provide controllable neutron-energy ... continued below

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33 p.

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Peurrung, AJ & Craig, RA November 15, 1999.

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Description

Despite a number of noteworthy achievements in other fields, superheated droplet detectors (SDDs) and bubble chambers (BCs) have not been used for nuclear nonproliferation and arms control. This report examines these two radiation-detection technologies in detail and answers the question of how they can be or should be ''adapted'' for use in national security applications. These technologies involve closely related approaches to radiation detection in which an energetic charged particle deposits sufficient energy to initiate the process of bubble nucleation in a superheated fluid. These detectors offer complete gamma-ray insensitivity when used to detect neutrons. They also provide controllable neutron-energy thresholds and excellent position resolution. SDDs are extraordinarily simple and inexpensive. BCs offer the promise of very high efficiency ({approximately}75%). A notable drawback for both technologies is temperature sensitivity. As a result of this problem, the temperature must be controlled whenever high accuracy is required, or harsh environmental conditions are encountered. The primary findings of this work are listed and briefly summarized below: (1) SDDs are ready to function as electronics-free neutron detectors on demand for arms-control applications. The elimination of electronics at the weapon's location greatly eases the negotiability of radiation-detection technologies in general. (2) As a result of their high efficiency and sharp energy threshold, current BCs are almost ready for use in the development of a next-generation active assay system. Development of an instrument based on appropriately safe materials is warranted. (3) Both kinds of bubble detectors are ready for use whenever very high gamma-ray fields must be confronted. Spent fuel MPC and A is a good example where this need presents itself. (4) Both kinds of bubble detectors have the potential to function as low-cost replacements for conventional neutron detectors such as {sup 3}He tubes. For SDDs, this requires finding some way to get boron into the detector. For BCs, this requires finding operating conditions permitting a high duty cycle.

Physical Description

33 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE00014663

Medium: P; Size: 33 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 15 Nov 1999

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  • Report No.: PNNL-13067
  • Report No.: GC0401000
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/14663 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14663
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc623808

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  • November 15, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 12, 2017, 1:28 p.m.

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Peurrung, AJ & Craig, RA. Bubble Radiation Detection: Current and Future Capability, report, November 15, 1999; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc623808/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.