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Title: Detection of special nuclear material from delayed neutron emission induced by a dual-particle monoenergetic source

Abstract

Detection of unique signatures of special nuclear materials is critical for their interdiction in a variety of nuclear security and nonproliferation scenarios. We report on the observation of delayed neutrons from fission of uranium induced in dual-particle active interrogation based on the {sup 11}B(d,n γ){sup 12}C nuclear reaction. Majority of the fissions are attributed to fast fission induced by the incident quasi-monoenergetic neutrons. A Li-doped glass–polymer composite scintillation neutron detector, which displays excellent neutron/γ discrimination at low energies, was used in the measurements, along with a recoil-based liquid scintillation detector. Time-dependent buildup and decay of delayed neutron emission from {sup 238}U were measured between the interrogating beam pulses and after the interrogating beam was turned off, respectively. Characteristic buildup and decay time profiles were compared to the common parametrization into six delayed neutron groups, finding a good agreement between the measurement and nuclear data. This method is promising for detecting fissile and fissionable materials in cargo scanning applications and can be readily integrated with transmission radiography using low-energy nuclear reaction sources.

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2]
  1. Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802 (United States)
  2. Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22590627
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 108; Journal Issue: 26; Other Information: (c) 2016 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; BORON 11; CARBON 12; CARGO; DELAYED NEUTRONS; DOPED MATERIALS; FAST FISSION; FISSIONABLE MATERIALS; LIQUID SCINTILLATION DETECTORS; NEUTRON DETECTORS; NEUTRON EMISSION; TIME DEPENDENCE; URANIUM 238

Citation Formats

Mayer, M., Nattress, J., and Jovanovic, I., E-mail: ijov@umich.edu. Detection of special nuclear material from delayed neutron emission induced by a dual-particle monoenergetic source. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4955051.
Mayer, M., Nattress, J., & Jovanovic, I., E-mail: ijov@umich.edu. Detection of special nuclear material from delayed neutron emission induced by a dual-particle monoenergetic source. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4955051.
Mayer, M., Nattress, J., and Jovanovic, I., E-mail: ijov@umich.edu. 2016. "Detection of special nuclear material from delayed neutron emission induced by a dual-particle monoenergetic source". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4955051.
@article{osti_22590627,
title = {Detection of special nuclear material from delayed neutron emission induced by a dual-particle monoenergetic source},
author = {Mayer, M. and Nattress, J. and Jovanovic, I., E-mail: ijov@umich.edu},
abstractNote = {Detection of unique signatures of special nuclear materials is critical for their interdiction in a variety of nuclear security and nonproliferation scenarios. We report on the observation of delayed neutrons from fission of uranium induced in dual-particle active interrogation based on the {sup 11}B(d,n γ){sup 12}C nuclear reaction. Majority of the fissions are attributed to fast fission induced by the incident quasi-monoenergetic neutrons. A Li-doped glass–polymer composite scintillation neutron detector, which displays excellent neutron/γ discrimination at low energies, was used in the measurements, along with a recoil-based liquid scintillation detector. Time-dependent buildup and decay of delayed neutron emission from {sup 238}U were measured between the interrogating beam pulses and after the interrogating beam was turned off, respectively. Characteristic buildup and decay time profiles were compared to the common parametrization into six delayed neutron groups, finding a good agreement between the measurement and nuclear data. This method is promising for detecting fissile and fissionable materials in cargo scanning applications and can be readily integrated with transmission radiography using low-energy nuclear reaction sources.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4955051},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 26,
volume = 108,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • Detection of unique signatures of special nuclear materials is critical for their interdiction in a variety of nuclear security and nonproliferation scenarios. We report on the observation of delayed neutrons from fission of uranium induced in dual-particle active interrogation based on the 11B(d,n gamma)12C nuclear reaction. Majority of the fissions are attributed to fast fission induced by the incident quasi-monoenergetic neutrons. A Li-doped glass–polymer composite scintillation neutron detector, which displays excellent neutron/γ discrimination at low energies, was used in the measurements, along with a recoil-based liquid scintillation detector. Time- dependent buildup and decay of delayed neutron emission from 238U weremore » measured between the interrogating beam pulses and after the interrogating beam was turned off, respectively. Characteristic buildup and decay time profiles were compared to the common parametrization into six delayed neutron groups, finding a good agreement between the measurement and nuclear data. This method is promising for detecting fissile and fissionable materials in cargo scanning applications and can be readily integrated with transmission radiography using low-energy nuclear reaction sources.« less
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  • Neutron detection is an integral part of the global effort to prevent the proliferation of special nuclear material (SNM). Applications relying on neutron-detection technology range from traditional nuclear non-proliferation objectives, such as safeguarding nuclear material and verifying stockpile reductions, to the interdiction of SNM—a goal that has recently risen in priority to a level on par with traditional applications. Large multi-national programs targeting detection and safeguards have deployed radiation-detection assets across the globe. Alongside these deployments of commercially available technology, significant research and development efforts have been directed towards the creation of next-generation assets. While much of this development hasmore » focused on gamma-ray spectrometers, neutron-detection technology remains an important component of the global strategy because of the capability of neutrons to penetrate materials that readily absorb gamma rays and the unique multiplicity signatures offered by neutrons. One particularly acute technology-development challenge results from dwindling supplies of 3He, partially triggered by widespread deployment of high-efficiency systems for portal monitoring. Other emerging missions, such as the desire to detect SNM at greater standoff distances, have also stimulated neutron-detection technology development. In light of these needs for novel neutron-detection technologies, this manuscript reviews the signatures of neutrons emitted by SNM, the principles of neutron detection, and various strategies under investigation for detection in the context of nonproliferation.« less
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  • We comment on an omission from the above mentioned article.