High Brightness Neutron Source for Radiography

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This research and development program was designed to improve nondestructive evaluation of large mechanical objects by providing both fast and thermal neutron sources for radiography. Neutron radiography permits inspection inside objects that x-rays cannot penetrate and permits imaging of corrosion and cracks in low-density materials. Discovering of fatigue cracks and corrosion in piping without the necessity of insulation removal is possible. Neutron radiography sources can provide for the nondestructive testing interests of commercial and military aircraft, public utilities and petrochemical organizations. Three neutron prototype neutron generators were designed and fabricated based on original research done at the Lawrence Berkeley National ... continued below

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Cremer, J. T.; Piestrup, Melvin, A.; Gary, Charles, K.; Harris, Jack, L. Williams, David, J.; Jones, Glenn, E.; Vainionpaa, J. , H. et al. December 8, 2008.

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Description

This research and development program was designed to improve nondestructive evaluation of large mechanical objects by providing both fast and thermal neutron sources for radiography. Neutron radiography permits inspection inside objects that x-rays cannot penetrate and permits imaging of corrosion and cracks in low-density materials. Discovering of fatigue cracks and corrosion in piping without the necessity of insulation removal is possible. Neutron radiography sources can provide for the nondestructive testing interests of commercial and military aircraft, public utilities and petrochemical organizations. Three neutron prototype neutron generators were designed and fabricated based on original research done at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The research and development of these generators was successfully continued by LBNL and Adelphi Technology Inc. under this STTR. The original design goals of high neutron yield and generator robustness have been achieved, using new technology developed under this grant. In one prototype generator, the fast neutron yield and brightness was roughly 10 times larger than previously marketed neutron generators using the same deuterium-deuterium reaction. In another generator, we integrate a moderator with a fast neutron source, resulting in a high brightness thermal neutron generator. The moderator acts as both conventional moderator and mechanical and electrical support structure for the generator and effectively mimics a nuclear reactor. In addition to the new prototype generators, an entirely new plasma ion source for neutron production was developed. First developed by LBNL, this source uses a spiral antenna to more efficiently couple the RF radiation into the plasma, reducing the required gas pressure so that the generator head can be completely sealed, permitting the possible use of tritium gas. This also permits the generator to use the deuterium-tritium reaction to produce 14-MeV neutrons with increases of yield of two orders of magnitude. The first fast neutron radiographic images were obtained using neutron cameras and a new fast neutron generator. These early images demonstrated the feasibility of using fast neutrons for imaging and penetrating thick objects of high density and imaging. Fast neutrons can be used to image low atomic number materials (e.g. plastics, explosives, lubricants and ceramics) that are shielded by high density materials (e.g. lead, tungsten and uranium). Fast neutron radiography could be used as a means to screen weapons for flaws and chemical stability. X-ray radiography can not easily do this. Fast neutron imaging is technically difficult and, consequently, a completely undeveloped market. Two of the generators were designed to have small source size and high brightness, ideal for fast-neutron imaging. With these generators we successfully used two fast neutron cameras: one developed by us, and another developed by a collaborator, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, CSIRO. We have successfully used these cameras to obtain low resolution images of various objects such as pipe fittings filled with water and other mechanical objects. Higher resolution and contrast images are expected by decreasing the source size and increasing generator yield.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/86177-1 Final Report
  • Grant Number: FG02-04ER86177
  • DOI: 10.2172/943506 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 943506
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897603

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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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Creation Date

  • December 8, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 29, 2017, 12:46 a.m.

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Cremer, J. T.; Piestrup, Melvin, A.; Gary, Charles, K.; Harris, Jack, L. Williams, David, J.; Jones, Glenn, E.; Vainionpaa, J. , H. et al. High Brightness Neutron Source for Radiography, report, December 8, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897603/: accessed August 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.