A neutron-counting instrument for low-level transuranic waste

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At LLNL, a highly sensitive neutron counter was developed that can detect and accurately measure the neutrons from small quantities of plutonium or from other low-level neutron sources. This neutron counter was originally designed as a safeguard device to determine the amount of plutonium inside 4-ft {times} 4-ft {times} 7-ft waste shipping containers leaving the plutonium facility. To detect small quantities of plutonium in these waste containers, the sensitivity of a survey instrument would have to be very high and the instrument would require numerous large (and expensive) neutron detector tubes. Because of limited funding, we were able to find ... continued below

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31 p.

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Hankins, D.E. & Thorngate, J.H. February 1, 1994.

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Description

At LLNL, a highly sensitive neutron counter was developed that can detect and accurately measure the neutrons from small quantities of plutonium or from other low-level neutron sources. This neutron counter was originally designed as a safeguard device to determine the amount of plutonium inside 4-ft {times} 4-ft {times} 7-ft waste shipping containers leaving the plutonium facility. To detect small quantities of plutonium in these waste containers, the sensitivity of a survey instrument would have to be very high and the instrument would require numerous large (and expensive) neutron detector tubes. Because of limited funding, we were able to find an obsolete instrument containing sixteen {sup 3}He tubes; the tubes are 2 in. in diameter and 3 ft long and positioned in two banks of eight. The instrument was modified by adding 1.5 in. of polyethylene in front and 4.5 in. to the back of the tubes to obtain the highest possible sensitivity to fission energy neutrons. Additional strips of polyethylene 0.5 in. thick and 2 in. wide were also placed between the tubes. These thicknesses of polyethylene were determined experimentally to be the optimum thickness for fission neutrons using a {sup 252}Cf source at LLNL calibration facility. The electronic components for the instrument consisted of a nuclear instrumentation module (NIM), a high voltage supply, a pulse shaper, and a timer/scaler. The instrument was mounted on a wooden cart with a metal brace to limit sagging and bending. The cart had balloon tires, which served as a cushion to prevent possible damage to the electronics during movement.

Physical Description

31 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE95015107

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  • Non destructive assay and non destructive examination waste characterization conference, Pocatello, ID (United States), 14-16 Feb 1995

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  • Other: DE95015107
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--115887
  • Report No.: CONF-9502111--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 102300
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624654

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 1, 1994

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 17, 2016, 2:45 p.m.

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Hankins, D.E. & Thorngate, J.H. A neutron-counting instrument for low-level transuranic waste, article, February 1, 1994; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624654/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.