Tailoring the Neutron Spectrum from a 14-MeV Neutron Generator to Approximate a Spontaneous-Fission Spectrum

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Many applications of neutrons for non-invasive measurements began with isotopic sources such as AmBe or Cf-252. Political factors have rendered AmBe undesirable in the United States and other countries, and the supply of Cf-252 is limited and significantly increasing in price every few years. Compact and low-power deuterium-tritium (DT) electronic neutron generators can often provide sufficient flux, but the 14-MeV neutron spectrum is much more energetic (harder) than an isotopic neutron source. A series of MCNP simulations were run to examine the extent to which the 14-MeV DT neutron spectrum could be softened through the use of high-Z and low-Z ... continued below

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Simpson, James & Chichester, David June 1, 2011.

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Many applications of neutrons for non-invasive measurements began with isotopic sources such as AmBe or Cf-252. Political factors have rendered AmBe undesirable in the United States and other countries, and the supply of Cf-252 is limited and significantly increasing in price every few years. Compact and low-power deuterium-tritium (DT) electronic neutron generators can often provide sufficient flux, but the 14-MeV neutron spectrum is much more energetic (harder) than an isotopic neutron source. A series of MCNP simulations were run to examine the extent to which the 14-MeV DT neutron spectrum could be softened through the use of high-Z and low-Z materials. Some potential concepts of operation require a portable neutron generator system, so the additional weight of extra materials is also a trade-off parameter. Using a reference distance of 30 cm from the source, the average neutron energy can be lowered to be less than that of either AmBe or Cf-252, while obtaining an increase in flux at the reference distance compared to a bare neutron generator. This paper discusses the types and amounts of materials used, the resulting neutron spectra, neutron flux levels, and associated photon production.

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  • 11th International Conference on Applications of Nuclear Techniques ,Crete Greece,06/12/2011,06/18/2011

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-11-21065
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1027902
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc835658

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  • June 1, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 17, 2016, 10:38 p.m.

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Simpson, James & Chichester, David. Tailoring the Neutron Spectrum from a 14-MeV Neutron Generator to Approximate a Spontaneous-Fission Spectrum, article, June 1, 2011; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc835658/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.