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Title: 3He and BF3 Neutron Detector Pressure Effect and Model Comparison

Abstract

Paper for SORMA conference Radiation detection systems for homeland security applications must possess the capability of detecting both gamma rays and neutrons. The radiation portal monitor (RPM) systems that are currently deployed use a plastic scintillator for detecting gamma rays and 3He gas-filled proportional counters for detecting neutrons. Proportional counters filled with 3He are the preferred neutron detectors for use in RPMs because 3He has a large neutron cross section, is relatively insensitive to gamma-rays, is neither toxic nor corrosive, can withstand extreme environments, and can be operated at a lower voltage than some of the alternative proportional counters. The amount of 3He required for homeland security and science applications has depleted the world supply and there is no longer enough available to fill the demand. Thus, alternative neutron detectors are being explored. Two possible temporary solutions that could be utilized while a more permanent solution is being identified are reducing the 3He pressure in the proportional counters and using boron trifluoride (BF3) gas-filled proportional counters. Reducing the amount of 3He required in each of the proportional counters would decrease the rate at which 3He is being used, not enough to solve the shortage but perhaps enough to increase themore » amount of time available to find a working replacement. BF3 is not appropriate for all situations as these detectors are less sensitive than 3He, BF3 gas is corrosive, and a much higher voltage is required than what is used with 3He detectors. Measurements of the neutron detection efficiency of 3He and BF3 as a function of tube pressure were made. The experimental results were also used to validate models of the RPMs.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1030861
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-73002
NN2001000; TRN: US1106050
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 652; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; AVAILABILITY; BORON; CROSS SECTIONS; EFFICIENCY; MONITORS; NEUTRON DETECTION; NEUTRON DETECTORS; NEUTRONS; PLASTIC SCINTILLATORS; PRESSURE DEPENDENCE; PROPORTIONAL COUNTERS; RADIATION DETECTION; RADIATIONS; SECURITY; SHORTAGES; Helium - 3; Boron trifluoride; Radiation detection; Neutron detection

Citation Formats

Lintereur, Azaree T., Conlin, Kenneth E., Ely, James H., Erikson, Luke E., Kouzes, Richard T., Siciliano, Edward R., Stromswold, David C., and Woodring, Mitchell L. 3He and BF3 Neutron Detector Pressure Effect and Model Comparison. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2010.10.040.
Lintereur, Azaree T., Conlin, Kenneth E., Ely, James H., Erikson, Luke E., Kouzes, Richard T., Siciliano, Edward R., Stromswold, David C., & Woodring, Mitchell L. 3He and BF3 Neutron Detector Pressure Effect and Model Comparison. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2010.10.040.
Lintereur, Azaree T., Conlin, Kenneth E., Ely, James H., Erikson, Luke E., Kouzes, Richard T., Siciliano, Edward R., Stromswold, David C., and Woodring, Mitchell L. Sat . "3He and BF3 Neutron Detector Pressure Effect and Model Comparison". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2010.10.040.
@article{osti_1030861,
title = {3He and BF3 Neutron Detector Pressure Effect and Model Comparison},
author = {Lintereur, Azaree T. and Conlin, Kenneth E. and Ely, James H. and Erikson, Luke E. and Kouzes, Richard T. and Siciliano, Edward R. and Stromswold, David C. and Woodring, Mitchell L.},
abstractNote = {Paper for SORMA conference Radiation detection systems for homeland security applications must possess the capability of detecting both gamma rays and neutrons. The radiation portal monitor (RPM) systems that are currently deployed use a plastic scintillator for detecting gamma rays and 3He gas-filled proportional counters for detecting neutrons. Proportional counters filled with 3He are the preferred neutron detectors for use in RPMs because 3He has a large neutron cross section, is relatively insensitive to gamma-rays, is neither toxic nor corrosive, can withstand extreme environments, and can be operated at a lower voltage than some of the alternative proportional counters. The amount of 3He required for homeland security and science applications has depleted the world supply and there is no longer enough available to fill the demand. Thus, alternative neutron detectors are being explored. Two possible temporary solutions that could be utilized while a more permanent solution is being identified are reducing the 3He pressure in the proportional counters and using boron trifluoride (BF3) gas-filled proportional counters. Reducing the amount of 3He required in each of the proportional counters would decrease the rate at which 3He is being used, not enough to solve the shortage but perhaps enough to increase the amount of time available to find a working replacement. BF3 is not appropriate for all situations as these detectors are less sensitive than 3He, BF3 gas is corrosive, and a much higher voltage is required than what is used with 3He detectors. Measurements of the neutron detection efficiency of 3He and BF3 as a function of tube pressure were made. The experimental results were also used to validate models of the RPMs.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nima.2010.10.040},
journal = {Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment},
number = 1,
volume = 652,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {10}
}