Neutron counting and gamma spectroscopy with PVT detectors.

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Radiation portals normally incorporate a dedicated neutron counter and a gamma-ray detector with at least some spectroscopic capability. This paper describes the design and presents characterization data for a detection system called PVT-NG, which uses large polyvinyl toluene (PVT) detectors to monitor both types of radiation. The detector material is surrounded by polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which emits high-energy gamma rays following neutron capture reactions. Assessments based on high-energy gamma rays are well suited for the detection of neutron sources, particularly in border security applications, because few isotopes in the normal stream of commerce have significant gamma ray yields above 3 ... continued below

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32 p.

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Mitchell, Dean James & Brusseau, Charles A. June 1, 2011.

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Description

Radiation portals normally incorporate a dedicated neutron counter and a gamma-ray detector with at least some spectroscopic capability. This paper describes the design and presents characterization data for a detection system called PVT-NG, which uses large polyvinyl toluene (PVT) detectors to monitor both types of radiation. The detector material is surrounded by polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which emits high-energy gamma rays following neutron capture reactions. Assessments based on high-energy gamma rays are well suited for the detection of neutron sources, particularly in border security applications, because few isotopes in the normal stream of commerce have significant gamma ray yields above 3 MeV. Therefore, an increased count rate for high-energy gamma rays is a strong indicator for the presence of a neutron source. The sensitivity of the PVT-NG sensor to bare {sup 252}Cf is 1.9 counts per second per nanogram (cps/ng) and the sensitivity for {sup 252}Cf surrounded by 2.5 cm of polyethylene is 2.3 cps/ng. The PVT-NG sensor is a proof-of-principal sensor that was not fully optimized. The neutron detector sensitivity could be improved, for instance, by using additional moderator. The PVT-NG detectors and associated electronics are designed to provide improved resolution, gain stability, and performance at high-count rates relative to PVT detectors in typical radiation portals. As well as addressing the needs for neutron detection, these characteristics are also desirable for analysis of the gamma-ray spectra. Accurate isotope identification results were obtained despite the common impression that the absence of photopeaks makes data collected by PVT detectors unsuitable for spectroscopic analysis. The PVT detectors in the PVT-NG unit are used for both gamma-ray and neutron detection, so the sensitive volume exceeds the volume of the detection elements in portals that use dedicated components to detect each type of radiation.

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32 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2011-4361
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/1020503 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1020503
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831268

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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.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2016, 12:42 p.m.

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Mitchell, Dean James & Brusseau, Charles A. Neutron counting and gamma spectroscopy with PVT detectors., report, June 1, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831268/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.