SciTech Connect

Title: Production, Distribution, and Applications of Californium-252 Neutron Sources

Production, Distribution, and Applications of Californium-252 Neutron Sources The radioisotope {sup 252}Cf is routinely encapsulated into compact, portable, intense neutron sources with a 2.6-year half-life. A source the size of a person's little finger can emit up to 10{sup 11} neutrons/s. Californium-252 is used commercially as a reliable, cost-effective neutron source for prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) of coal, cement, and minerals, as well as for detection and identification of explosives, laud mines, and unexploded military ordnance. Other uses are neutron radiography, nuclear waste assays, reactor start-up sources, calibration standards, and cancer therapy. The inherent safety of source encapsulations is demonstrated by 30 years of experience and by U.S. Bureau of Mines tests of source survivability during explosions. The production and distribution center for the U. S Department of Energy (DOE) Californium Program is the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). DOE sells The radioisotope {sup 252}Cf is routinely encapsulated into compact, portable, intense neutron sources with a 2.6- year half-life. A source the size of a person's little finger can emit up to 10 neutrons/s. Californium-252 is used commercially as a reliable, cost-effective neutron source for prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) of coal, cement, and minerals, as well as for more » detection and identification of explosives, laud mines, and unexploded military ordnance. Other uses are neutron radiography, nuclear waste assays, reactor start-up sources, calibration standards, and cancer therapy. The inherent safety of source encapsulations is demonstrated by 30 years of experience and by U.S. Bureau of Mines tests of source survivability during explosions. The production and distribution center for the U. S Department of Energy (DOE) Californium Program is the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory(ORNL). DOE sells {sup 252}Cf to commercial reencapsulators domestically and internationally. Sealed {sup 252}Cf sources are also available for loan to agencies and subcontractors of the U.S. government and to universities for educational, research, and medical applications. The REDC has established the Californium User Facility (CUF) for Neutron Science to make its large inventory of {sup 252}Cf sources available to researchers for irradiations inside uncontaminated hot cells. Experiments at the CUF include a land mine detection system, neutron damage testing of solid-state detectors, irradiation of human cancer cells for boron neutron capture therapy experiments, and irradiation of rice to induce genetic mutations. « less
Authors: ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 15053
Report Number(s):ORNL/CP-102606
TRN: US0204517
DOE Contract Number:AC05-96OR22464
Resource Type:Conference
Resource Relation:Conference: IRRMA '99: 4th Topical Meeting on Industrial Radiation, Raleigh, NC (US), 10/03/1999--10/07/1999; Other Information: PBD: 3 Oct 1999
Research Org:Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (US)
Sponsoring Org:USDOE Office of Science (US)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CALIBRATION STANDARDS; CALIFORNIUM 252; HOT CELLS; MILITARY EQUIPMENT; NEUTRON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS; NEUTRON CAPTURE THERAPY; NEUTRON RADIOGRAPHY; NEUTRON SOURCES; NEOPLASMS; NEUTRONS; RADIATIONS; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; REACTOR START-UP; US BUREAU OF MINES CALIFORNIUM