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Title: Measurement of the Fast Neutron Response for {sup 4}He Scintillation Detectors Using a Coincidence Scattering Method

Abstract

Previous work has measured the neutron response of pressurized {sup 4}He scintillation detectors, however these studies only examine the response as a function of incident neutron energy. Since the detection mechanism in {sup 4}He detectors is elastic scattering, and the interacting neutron will only deposit a fraction of its incident kinetic energy in the detector gas, an examination of the response of the detector output to deposited energy is necessary to transform these detectors into instruments for neutron spectrometry. Using a combined time-of-flight (TOF) and coincidence scattering method, this paper further characterizes the {sup 4}He light response to fast neutrons by examining the scintillation light yield as a function of deposited energy, measuring the light response up to 5 MeV. These {sup 4}He detectors are simple in design, and are manufactured by Arktis Radiation Detectors in several sizes. The specific model used in this experiment had an active volume 20 cm long with an inner diameter of 4.4 cm, giving a total active volume of 304 cm{sup 3}. The key components include the active volume, filled with 150 bar of helium-4 gas, and photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) mounted at either end of the active volume. The detector body is made ofmore » stainless steel. The detector response was experimentally measured using a two-detector coincidence arrangement with a {sup 252}Cf source. Two {sup 4}He detectors were vertically mounted, and the source was placed at a horizontal distance from the center of the bottom detector, forming a right angle. By requiring coincidence between the two detectors, it was confirmed that each neutron interacting in the second (top) detector must first have undergone a scattering interaction in the first (bottom) detector, and the time-of-flight (TOF) technique could then be used to determine the energy of the neutron as it traveled between the two detectors by the difference in time between the two detector events. More importantly, with the scattering angle known, the amount of energy deposited by the neutron in the bottom detector (ER) was also calculated using kinematic scattering equations. This deposited recoil energy was then compared to the corresponding light output for each event to form a deposited energy scintillation light response matrix. Similarly, the system's insensitivity to gammas and its ability to reject gammas by pulse shape discrimination (PSD) are often cited as an important advantage, although a detailed analysis of these capabilities has not yet been performed. This work therefore quantified these parameters in order to further characterize these detectors for future mixed radiation field measurements. Gamma sources were measured spanning a range of gamma-ray energies from 0.122 MeV to 1.332 MeV, including {sup 57}Co, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 54}Mn, and {sup 60}Co. Each source was counted by the {sup 4}He detector and the background subtracted. Taking the ratio of the number of events detected during the experimental source measurement to the number of gammas predicted by MCNPX to pass through the detector volume yields the detector's intrinsic gamma efficiency. The difference between this fraction and unity is therefore a measure of the detector's ability to ignore interfering gamma rays, defined as its inherent gamma rejection rate. The ability of post-processing PSD algorithms to further reduce the number of gammas is also investigated and quantified. Finally, it has been noted that the scintillation signal from a single neutron event can be separated in time into two components: the fast component is a sharp peak that exists on the order of nanoseconds; the slow component is a series of smaller pulses, stretched out over four microseconds. Whereas previous research has exclusively focused on the energy information contained in the slow component, this work demonstrates that the fast component is also sensitive to neutron energy, and the entire scintillation signal can therefore be used. In conclusion, the relationship of fast neutron {sup 4}He scintillation detectors to deposited neutron energy was explored, and will be combined with previous works that measured the scintillation response to incident neutron energy in order to develop a neutron spectrometer. Similarly, the ability of these {sup 4}He detectors to reject interfering gamma rays was also quantified, and so will enable this spectrometer to be deployed in mixed radiation field measurements. Finally, while previous works with these detectors have focused on an analysis of the slow scintillation component, it was demonstrated in this work that the fast component also contains significant energy information.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. University of Florida, Nuclear Engineering Program, Gainesville, FL 32611-6400 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - IEEE, 3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10016-5997 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22531281
Report Number(s):
ANIMMA-2015-IO-230
TRN: US16V0457102222
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANIMMA 2015: 4. International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications, Lisboa (Portugal), 20-24 Apr 2015; Other Information: Country of input: France; 10 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; CALIFORNIUM 252; CESIUM 137; COBALT 57; COBALT 60; ELASTIC SCATTERING; FAST NEUTRONS; GAMMA RADIATION; GAMMA SOURCES; HELIUM 4; KINETIC ENERGY; MANGANESE 54; MEV RANGE; NEUTRON SPECTROMETERS; NEUTRON SPECTROSCOPY; PULSE SHAPERS; SCINTILLATION COUNTERS; SCINTILLATIONS; STAINLESS STEELS; TIME-OF-FLIGHT METHOD; VISIBLE RADIATION

Citation Formats

Kelley, R. P., Lewis, J. M., Murer, D., Enqvist, A., and Jordan, K. A. Measurement of the Fast Neutron Response for {sup 4}He Scintillation Detectors Using a Coincidence Scattering Method. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
Kelley, R. P., Lewis, J. M., Murer, D., Enqvist, A., & Jordan, K. A. Measurement of the Fast Neutron Response for {sup 4}He Scintillation Detectors Using a Coincidence Scattering Method. United States.
Kelley, R. P., Lewis, J. M., Murer, D., Enqvist, A., and Jordan, K. A. Wed . "Measurement of the Fast Neutron Response for {sup 4}He Scintillation Detectors Using a Coincidence Scattering Method". United States.
@article{osti_22531281,
title = {Measurement of the Fast Neutron Response for {sup 4}He Scintillation Detectors Using a Coincidence Scattering Method},
author = {Kelley, R. P. and Lewis, J. M. and Murer, D. and Enqvist, A. and Jordan, K. A.},
abstractNote = {Previous work has measured the neutron response of pressurized {sup 4}He scintillation detectors, however these studies only examine the response as a function of incident neutron energy. Since the detection mechanism in {sup 4}He detectors is elastic scattering, and the interacting neutron will only deposit a fraction of its incident kinetic energy in the detector gas, an examination of the response of the detector output to deposited energy is necessary to transform these detectors into instruments for neutron spectrometry. Using a combined time-of-flight (TOF) and coincidence scattering method, this paper further characterizes the {sup 4}He light response to fast neutrons by examining the scintillation light yield as a function of deposited energy, measuring the light response up to 5 MeV. These {sup 4}He detectors are simple in design, and are manufactured by Arktis Radiation Detectors in several sizes. The specific model used in this experiment had an active volume 20 cm long with an inner diameter of 4.4 cm, giving a total active volume of 304 cm{sup 3}. The key components include the active volume, filled with 150 bar of helium-4 gas, and photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) mounted at either end of the active volume. The detector body is made of stainless steel. The detector response was experimentally measured using a two-detector coincidence arrangement with a {sup 252}Cf source. Two {sup 4}He detectors were vertically mounted, and the source was placed at a horizontal distance from the center of the bottom detector, forming a right angle. By requiring coincidence between the two detectors, it was confirmed that each neutron interacting in the second (top) detector must first have undergone a scattering interaction in the first (bottom) detector, and the time-of-flight (TOF) technique could then be used to determine the energy of the neutron as it traveled between the two detectors by the difference in time between the two detector events. More importantly, with the scattering angle known, the amount of energy deposited by the neutron in the bottom detector (ER) was also calculated using kinematic scattering equations. This deposited recoil energy was then compared to the corresponding light output for each event to form a deposited energy scintillation light response matrix. Similarly, the system's insensitivity to gammas and its ability to reject gammas by pulse shape discrimination (PSD) are often cited as an important advantage, although a detailed analysis of these capabilities has not yet been performed. This work therefore quantified these parameters in order to further characterize these detectors for future mixed radiation field measurements. Gamma sources were measured spanning a range of gamma-ray energies from 0.122 MeV to 1.332 MeV, including {sup 57}Co, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 54}Mn, and {sup 60}Co. Each source was counted by the {sup 4}He detector and the background subtracted. Taking the ratio of the number of events detected during the experimental source measurement to the number of gammas predicted by MCNPX to pass through the detector volume yields the detector's intrinsic gamma efficiency. The difference between this fraction and unity is therefore a measure of the detector's ability to ignore interfering gamma rays, defined as its inherent gamma rejection rate. The ability of post-processing PSD algorithms to further reduce the number of gammas is also investigated and quantified. Finally, it has been noted that the scintillation signal from a single neutron event can be separated in time into two components: the fast component is a sharp peak that exists on the order of nanoseconds; the slow component is a series of smaller pulses, stretched out over four microseconds. Whereas previous research has exclusively focused on the energy information contained in the slow component, this work demonstrates that the fast component is also sensitive to neutron energy, and the entire scintillation signal can therefore be used. In conclusion, the relationship of fast neutron {sup 4}He scintillation detectors to deposited neutron energy was explored, and will be combined with previous works that measured the scintillation response to incident neutron energy in order to develop a neutron spectrometer. Similarly, the ability of these {sup 4}He detectors to reject interfering gamma rays was also quantified, and so will enable this spectrometer to be deployed in mixed radiation field measurements. Finally, while previous works with these detectors have focused on an analysis of the slow scintillation component, it was demonstrated in this work that the fast component also contains significant energy information.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {7}
}

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