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Title: Sensitivity of Seismically Cued Antineutrino Detectors to Nuclear Explosions

Abstract

Here, we evaluate the sensitivity of large gadolinium-doped water detectors to antineutrinos released by nuclear-fission explosions, using updated signal and background models and taking advantage of the capacity for seismic observations to provide an analysis trigger. Under certain realistic conditions, the antineutrino signature of a 250-kton pure-fission explosion could be identified several hundred kilometers away, in a detector about the size of the largest module currently proposed for a basic physics experiment. In principle, such an observation could provide rapid confirmation that the seismic signal coincided with a fission event, possibly useful for international monitoring of nuclear-weapon tests. We discuss the limited potential for seismically cued antineutrino observations to constrain fission yield, differentiate pure fission from fusion-enhanced weapon tests, indicate that the seismic evidence of an explosion had been intentionally masked, or verify the absence of explosive testing in a targeted area. We conclude that advances in seismic monitoring and neutrino physics have made the detection of explosion-derived antineutrinos more conceivable than previously asserted, but the size and cost of sufficiently sensitive detectors continue to limit applications.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Middlebury Inst. of International Studies, Monterey, CA (United States)
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (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:
1608920
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1464308
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-784761
Journal ID: ISSN 2331-7019; PRAHB2; 978018
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Applied
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2331-7019
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; nuclear explosions; neutrinos; neutrino detectors; physics & society

Citation Formats

Carr, Rachel, Dalnoki-Veress, Ferenc, and Bernstein, Adam. Sensitivity of Seismically Cued Antineutrino Detectors to Nuclear Explosions. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevApplied.10.024014.
Carr, Rachel, Dalnoki-Veress, Ferenc, & Bernstein, Adam. Sensitivity of Seismically Cued Antineutrino Detectors to Nuclear Explosions. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevApplied.10.024014.
Carr, Rachel, Dalnoki-Veress, Ferenc, and Bernstein, Adam. Mon . "Sensitivity of Seismically Cued Antineutrino Detectors to Nuclear Explosions". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevApplied.10.024014. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1608920.
@article{osti_1608920,
title = {Sensitivity of Seismically Cued Antineutrino Detectors to Nuclear Explosions},
author = {Carr, Rachel and Dalnoki-Veress, Ferenc and Bernstein, Adam},
abstractNote = {Here, we evaluate the sensitivity of large gadolinium-doped water detectors to antineutrinos released by nuclear-fission explosions, using updated signal and background models and taking advantage of the capacity for seismic observations to provide an analysis trigger. Under certain realistic conditions, the antineutrino signature of a 250-kton pure-fission explosion could be identified several hundred kilometers away, in a detector about the size of the largest module currently proposed for a basic physics experiment. In principle, such an observation could provide rapid confirmation that the seismic signal coincided with a fission event, possibly useful for international monitoring of nuclear-weapon tests. We discuss the limited potential for seismically cued antineutrino observations to constrain fission yield, differentiate pure fission from fusion-enhanced weapon tests, indicate that the seismic evidence of an explosion had been intentionally masked, or verify the absence of explosive testing in a targeted area. We conclude that advances in seismic monitoring and neutrino physics have made the detection of explosion-derived antineutrinos more conceivable than previously asserted, but the size and cost of sufficiently sensitive detectors continue to limit applications.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevApplied.10.024014},
journal = {Physical Review Applied},
issn = {2331-7019},
number = 2,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

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