Covariance Spectroscopy for Fissile Material Detection

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Nuclear fission produces multiple prompt neutrons and gammas at each fission event. The resulting daughter nuclei continue to emit delayed radiation as neutrons boil off, beta decay occurs, etc. All of the radiations are causally connected, and therefore correlated. The correlations are generally positive, but when different decay channels compete, so that some radiations tend to exclude others, negative correlations could also be observed. A similar problem of reduced complexity is that of cascades radiation, whereby a simple radioactive decay produces two or more correlated gamma rays at each decay. Covariance is the usual means for measuring correlation, and techniques ... continued below

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Rusty Trainham, Jim Tinsley, Paul Hurley, Ray Keegan June 2, 2009.

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Nuclear fission produces multiple prompt neutrons and gammas at each fission event. The resulting daughter nuclei continue to emit delayed radiation as neutrons boil off, beta decay occurs, etc. All of the radiations are causally connected, and therefore correlated. The correlations are generally positive, but when different decay channels compete, so that some radiations tend to exclude others, negative correlations could also be observed. A similar problem of reduced complexity is that of cascades radiation, whereby a simple radioactive decay produces two or more correlated gamma rays at each decay. Covariance is the usual means for measuring correlation, and techniques of covariance mapping may be useful to produce distinct signatures of special nuclear materials (SNM). A covariance measurement can also be used to filter data streams because uncorrelated signals are largely rejected. The technique is generally more effective than a coincidence measurement. In this poster, we concentrate on cascades and the covariance filtering problem.

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  • NA-22 Simulations, Algorithms, and Methods (SAM) Working Group Meeting; June 2, 2009

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/25946--722
  • Grant Number: DE-AC52-06NA25946
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 961547
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc930062

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  • June 2, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Feb. 20, 2017, 2:07 p.m.

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Rusty Trainham, Jim Tinsley, Paul Hurley, Ray Keegan. Covariance Spectroscopy for Fissile Material Detection, article, June 2, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930062/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.