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Long Range Active Detection of HEU Based on Thermal Neutron Multiplication

Description: We report on the results of measurements of proton irradiation on a series of targets at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s (BNL) Alternate Gradient Synchrotron Facility (AGS), in collaboration with LANL and SNL. We examined the prompt radiation environment in the tunnel for the DTRA-sponsored series (E 972), which investigated the penetration of air and subsequent target interaction of 4 GeV proton pulses. Measurements were made by means of an organic scintillator with a 500 MHz bandwidth system. We found that irradiation of a depleted uranium (DU) target resulted in a large gamma-ray signal in the 100-500 µsec time region after the proton flash when the DU was surrounded by polyethylene, but little signal was generated if it was surrounded by boron-loaded polyethylene. Subsequent Monte Carlo (MCNPX) calculations indicated that the source of the signal was consistent with thermal neutron capture in DU. The MCNPX calculations also indicated that if one were to perform the same experiment with a highly enriched uranium (HEU) target there would be a distinctive fast neutron yield in this 100-500 µsec time region from thermal neutron-induced fission. The fast neutrons can be recorded by the same direct current system and differentiated from gamma ray pulses in organic scintillator by pulse shape discrimination.
Date: May 24, 2010
Creator: L., Forman; I., Dioszegi; Salwen, C. & and Vanier, P.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Neutron Energy Measurements in Radiological Emergency Response Applications

Description: We present significant results in recent advances in the determination of neutron energy. Neutron energy measurements are a small but very significant part of radiological emergency response applications. Mission critical information can be obtained by analyzing the neutron energy given off from radioactive materials. In the case of searching for special nuclear materials, neutron energy information from an unknown source can be of paramount importance.
Date: April 30, 2009
Creator: Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Paul Guss, Michael Hornish, Scott Wilde, Tom Stampahar, Michael Reed
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fast digitization and discrimination of prompt neutron and photon signals using a novel silicon carbide detector

Description: Current requirements of some Homeland Security active interrogation projects for the detection of Special Nuclear Material (SNM) necessitate the development of faster inspection and acquisition capabilities. In order to do so, fast detectors which can operate during and shortly after intense interrogation radiation flashes are being developed. Novel silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor Schottky diodes have been utilized as robust neutron and photon detectors in both pulsed photon and pulsed neutron fields and are being integrated into active inspection environments to allow exploitation of both prompt and delayed emissions. These detectors have demonstrated the capability of detecting both photon and neutron events during intense photon flashes typical of an active inspection environment. Beyond the inherent insensitivity of SiC to gamma radiation, fast digitization and processing has demonstrated that pulse shape discrimination (PSD) in combination with amplitude discrimination can further suppress unwanted gamma signals and extract fast neutron signatures. Usable neutron signals have been extracted from mixed radiation fields where the background has exceeded the signals of interest by >1000:1.
Date: April 1, 2007
Creator: Blackburn, Brandon W.; Johnson, James T.; Watson, Scott M.; Chichester, David L.; Jones, James L.; Ruddy, Frank H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department