skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Fissile material detection using neutron time-correlations from photofission

Abstract

The detection of special nuclear materials (SNM) in commercial cargoes is a major objective in the field of nuclear security. In this work we investigate the use of two-neutron time-correlations from photo-fission using the Prompt Neutrons from Photofission (PNPF) detectors in Passport Systems Inc.’s (PSI) Shielded Nuclear Alarm Resolution (SNAR) platform for the purpose of detecting ~5 kg quantities of fissionable materials in seconds. The goal of this effort was to extend the secondary scan mode of this system to differentiate fissile materials, such as highly enriched uranium, from fissionable materials, such as low enriched and depleted uranium (LEU and DU). Experiments were performed using a variety of material samples, and data were analyzed using the variance-over-mean technique referred to as Y 2F or Feynman-α. Results were compared to computational models to improve our ability to predict system performance for distinguishing fissile materials. Simulations were then combined with empirical formulas to generate receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves for a variety of shielding scenarios. We show that a 10 second screening with a 200 μA 9 MeV X-ray beam is sufficient to differentiate kilogram quantities of HEU from DU in various shielding scenarios in a standard cargo container.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [3]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Passport Systems Inc., North Billerica, MA (United States); Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  3. Passport Systems Inc., North Billerica, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1512574
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-760386
Journal ID: ISSN 2158-3226; 948750
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
AIP Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2158-3226
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION

Citation Formats

Soltz, R. A., Danagoulian, A., Hartouni, E. P., Johnson, M. S., Sheets, S. A., Glenn, A., Korbly, S. E., and Ledoux, R. J. Fissile material detection using neutron time-correlations from photofission. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5082174.
Soltz, R. A., Danagoulian, A., Hartouni, E. P., Johnson, M. S., Sheets, S. A., Glenn, A., Korbly, S. E., & Ledoux, R. J. Fissile material detection using neutron time-correlations from photofission. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5082174.
Soltz, R. A., Danagoulian, A., Hartouni, E. P., Johnson, M. S., Sheets, S. A., Glenn, A., Korbly, S. E., and Ledoux, R. J. Tue . "Fissile material detection using neutron time-correlations from photofission". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5082174. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1512574.
@article{osti_1512574,
title = {Fissile material detection using neutron time-correlations from photofission},
author = {Soltz, R. A. and Danagoulian, A. and Hartouni, E. P. and Johnson, M. S. and Sheets, S. A. and Glenn, A. and Korbly, S. E. and Ledoux, R. J.},
abstractNote = {The detection of special nuclear materials (SNM) in commercial cargoes is a major objective in the field of nuclear security. In this work we investigate the use of two-neutron time-correlations from photo-fission using the Prompt Neutrons from Photofission (PNPF) detectors in Passport Systems Inc.’s (PSI) Shielded Nuclear Alarm Resolution (SNAR) platform for the purpose of detecting ~5 kg quantities of fissionable materials in seconds. The goal of this effort was to extend the secondary scan mode of this system to differentiate fissile materials, such as highly enriched uranium, from fissionable materials, such as low enriched and depleted uranium (LEU and DU). Experiments were performed using a variety of material samples, and data were analyzed using the variance-over-mean technique referred to as Y2F or Feynman-α. Results were compared to computational models to improve our ability to predict system performance for distinguishing fissile materials. Simulations were then combined with empirical formulas to generate receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves for a variety of shielding scenarios. We show that a 10 second screening with a 200 μA 9 MeV X-ray beam is sufficient to differentiate kilogram quantities of HEU from DU in various shielding scenarios in a standard cargo container.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5082174},
journal = {AIP Advances},
issn = {2158-3226},
number = 2,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Detection of shielded nuclear material in a cargo container
journal, June 2006

  • Jones, James L.; Norman, Daren R.; Haskell, Kevin J.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 562, Issue 2, p. 1085-1088
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2006.02.101