NMIS with Imaging and Gamma Ray Spectrometry for Pu, HEU, HE and Other Materials

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The Nuclear Material Identification System (NMIS) has been under development at ORNL and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Y-12 National Security Complex since 1984. In the mid-1990s, what is now the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Verification (ONV) realized that it was a useful technology for future arms control treaty applications and supported further development of the system. In 2004, fast-neutron imaging was incorporated into the system. In 2007, the ONV decided to develop a fieldable version of the system, designated as FNMIS, for potential use in future treaties. The FNMIS is being developed to be ... continued below

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Mihalczo, John T & Mullens, James Allen March 1, 2012.

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Description

The Nuclear Material Identification System (NMIS) has been under development at ORNL and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Y-12 National Security Complex since 1984. In the mid-1990s, what is now the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Verification (ONV) realized that it was a useful technology for future arms control treaty applications and supported further development of the system. In 2004, fast-neutron imaging was incorporated into the system. In 2007, the ONV decided to develop a fieldable version of the system, designated as FNMIS, for potential use in future treaties. The FNMIS is being developed to be compatible with the eventual incorporation of gamma-ray spectrometry and an information barrier. This report addresses how and what attributes could be determined by the FNMIS system with gamma-ray spectrometry. The NMIS is a time-dependent coincidence system that incorporates tomographic imaging (including mapping of the fission sites) and gamma-ray spectrometry. It utilizes a small, lightweight (30 lb), portable deuterium-tritium (DT) neutron (14.1 MeV) generator (4 x 10{sup 7} neutrons/second) for active interrogation and can also perform passive interrogation. A high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray detector with multichannel analysis can be utilized in conjunction with the source for active interrogation or passively. The system uses proton recoil scintillators: 32 small 2.5 x 2.5 x 10.2-cm-thick plastic scintillators for imaging and at least two 2 x 2 arrays of 27 x 27 x 10-cm-thick plastic scintillators that detect induced fission radiation. The DT generator contains an alpha detector that time and directionally tags a fan beam of some of the neutrons emitted and subdivides it into pixels. A fast (1 GHz) time correlation processor measures the time-dependent coincidence among all detectors in the system. A computer-controlled scanner moves the small detectors and the source appropriately for scanning a target object for imaging. The system is based on detection of transmitted 14.1 MeV neutrons, fission neutrons, and gamma rays from spontaneous, inherent source fission of the target, fission neutrons and gamma rays induced by the external DT source, gamma rays from natural emissions of uranium and plutonium, and induced gamma-ray emission by the interaction of the 14.1 MeV neutrons from the DT source. The NMIS can and has been used with a time-tagged californium spontaneous fission source. It has also been used with pulsed interrogation sources such as LINACs, DT, and deuterium-deuterium (DD) sources. This system is uniquely suited for detection of shielded highly enriched uranium (HEU), plutonium, and other special nuclear materials and detection of high explosives (HE) and chemical agents. The NMIS will be adapted to utilize a trusted processor that incorporates information barrier and authentication techniques using open software and then be useful in some international applications for materials whose characteristics may be classified. The proposed information barrier version of the NMIS system would consist of detectors and cables, the red (classified side) computer system, which processes the data, and the black (unclassified side) computer, which handles the computer interface. The system could use the 'IB wrapper' concept proposed by Los Alamos National Laboratory and the software integrity (digital signatures) system proposed by Sandia. Since it is based entirely on commercially available components, the entire system, including NMIS data acquisition boards, can be built with commercial off-the-shelf components. This system is being developed into a fieldable system (FNMIS) for potential arms control treaties by the ONV. The system will be modularly constructed with the RF shielded modules connected to the processor by appropriate control and signal cable in metal conduit. The FNMIS is presently being designed for eventual incorporation of gamma-ray spectrometry and an information barrier to protect classified information. The system hardware and software can be configured to obtain the following: plutonium presence, plutonium mass, Pu-240/239 ratio, plutonium geometry, plutonium metal vs non-metallic (absence of metal), time (age) since processing for plutonium (or last purification), uranium presence, uranium mass, uranium enrichment, uranium geometry, uranium metal vs non-metallic compound (absence of metal), beryllium presence and mass, tritium and deuterium gas bottle presence, HE, and chemical weapons. A matrix of the quantities determined, the method of determination, whether active (external neutron source) or passive, and the measurement equipment involved is given in the Tables 1-4. Some of these attributes can be obtained by multiple data analysis methods. The gamma-ray spectrometry methods for HEU, plutonium, and HE have been developed by other laboratories, are well known, and will be incorporated.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2012/22
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/1037035 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1037035
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc847169

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  • March 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2016, 1:06 p.m.

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Mihalczo, John T & Mullens, James Allen. NMIS with Imaging and Gamma Ray Spectrometry for Pu, HEU, HE and Other Materials, report, March 1, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847169/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.