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Measurements of Separate Neutron and Gamma-Ray Coincidences with Liquid Scintillators and Digital PSD Technique

Description: A new technique is presented for the measurement of neutron and/or gamma-ray coincidences. Separate neutron neutron, neutron gamma-ray, gamma-ray neutron, and gamma-ray gamma-ray coincidences are acquired with liquid scintillation detectors and a digital pulse shape discrimination (PSD) technique based on standard charge integration method. The measurement technique allows for the collection of fast coincidences in a time window of the order of a few tens of nanoseconds between the coincident particles. The PSD allows for the acquisition of the coincidences in all particle combinations. The measurements are compared to results obtained with the MCNP-PoliMi code, which simulates neutron and gamma-ray coincidences from from a source on an event-by-event basis. This comparison leads to good qualitative agreement.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Flaska, Marek & Pozzi, Sara A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optimization of screening for radioactivity in urine by liquid scintillation.

Description: Numerous events have or could have resulted in the inadvertent uptake of radionuclides by fairly large populations. Should a population receive an uptake, valuable information could be obtained by using liquid scintillation counting (LSC) techniques to quickly screen urine from a sample of the affected population. This study investigates such LSC parameters as discrimination, quench, volume, and count time to yield guidelines for analyzing urine in an emergency situation. Through analyzing variations of the volume and their relationships to the minimum detectable activity (MDA), the optimum ratio of sample size to scintillating chemical cocktail was found to be 1:3. Using this optimum volume size, the alpha MDA varied from 2100 pCi/L for a 30-second count time to 35 pCi/L for a 1000-minute count time. The typical count time used by the Sandia National Laboratories Radiation Protection Sample Diagnostics program is 30 minutes, which yields an alpha MDA of 200 pCi/L. Because MDA is inversely proportional to the square root of the count time, count time can be reduced in an emergency situation to achieve the desired MDA or response time. Note that approximately 25% of the response time is used to prepare the samples and complete the associated paperwork. It was also found that if the nuclide of interest is an unknown, pregenerated discriminator settings and efficiency calibrations can be used to produce an activity value within a factor of two, which is acceptable for a screening method.
Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Shanks, Sonoya Toyoko; Reese, Robert P. & Preston, Rose T. (Technadyne Engineering Consultants, Inc., Albuquerque, NM)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department