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Title: Analysis of a Gross Counting Decision Metric for use in Threat Detection During Cargo Container Inspection

Abstract

LLNL is actively engaged in the development of a variety of advanced technologies for use in detecting potential threats in sea-going cargo containers, particularly the presence of hidden special nuclear materials (SNM). One such project is the so-called ''Nuclear Car Wash'' (NCW), which uses a high-energy neutron probe to scan the container. High-energy, {beta}-delayed {gamma}-rays emitted during the decay of short-lived, neutron-induced fission products are then taken as a signature of fissionable material. There are a number of different threat decision metrics that one could imagine using in conjunction with an inspection system such as the NCW; however, the most straightforward approach might be to simply compare the total number of counts that our detector records during some suitably chosen time interval to the average background signal that one would expect from a ''clean'' container during the same interval. The purpose of this report is to describe the basic statistical properties of a decision metric of this sort and outline the procedures for using it in experimental practice.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
889431
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-221251
TRN: US0604416
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; 98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; AUTOMOBILES; CARGO; CONTAINERS; DECAY; DETECTION; FISSION PRODUCTS; FISSIONABLE MATERIALS; LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY; METRICS; NEUTRON PROBES

Citation Formats

Hall, J. Analysis of a Gross Counting Decision Metric for use in Threat Detection During Cargo Container Inspection. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/889431.
Hall, J. Analysis of a Gross Counting Decision Metric for use in Threat Detection During Cargo Container Inspection. United States. doi:10.2172/889431.
Hall, J. Fri . "Analysis of a Gross Counting Decision Metric for use in Threat Detection During Cargo Container Inspection". United States. doi:10.2172/889431. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/889431.
@article{osti_889431,
title = {Analysis of a Gross Counting Decision Metric for use in Threat Detection During Cargo Container Inspection},
author = {Hall, J},
abstractNote = {LLNL is actively engaged in the development of a variety of advanced technologies for use in detecting potential threats in sea-going cargo containers, particularly the presence of hidden special nuclear materials (SNM). One such project is the so-called ''Nuclear Car Wash'' (NCW), which uses a high-energy neutron probe to scan the container. High-energy, {beta}-delayed {gamma}-rays emitted during the decay of short-lived, neutron-induced fission products are then taken as a signature of fissionable material. There are a number of different threat decision metrics that one could imagine using in conjunction with an inspection system such as the NCW; however, the most straightforward approach might be to simply compare the total number of counts that our detector records during some suitably chosen time interval to the average background signal that one would expect from a ''clean'' container during the same interval. The purpose of this report is to describe the basic statistical properties of a decision metric of this sort and outline the procedures for using it in experimental practice.},
doi = {10.2172/889431},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Apr 28 00:00:00 EDT 2006},
month = {Fri Apr 28 00:00:00 EDT 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Basic technologies have been successfully developed within this project: rapid collection of aerosols and a rapid ultra-sensitive immunoassay technique. Water-soluble, humidity-resistant polyacrylamide nano-filters were shown to (1) capture aerosol particles as small as 20 nm, (2) work in humid air and (3) completely liberate their captured particles in an aqueous solution compatible with the immunoassay technique. The immunoassay technology developed within this project combines electrophoretic capture with magnetic bead detection. It allows detection of as few as 150-600 analyte molecules or viruses in only three minutes, something no other known method can duplicate. The technology can be used in amore » variety of applications where speed of analysis and/or extremely low detection limits are of great importance: in rapid analysis of donor blood for hepatitis, HIV and other blood-borne infections in emergency blood transfusions, in trace analysis of pollutants, or in search of biomarkers in biological fluids. Combined in a single device, the water-soluble filter and ultra-sensitive immunoassay technique may solve the problem of early warning type detection of aerosolized pathogens. These two technologies are protected with five patent applications and are ready for commercialization.« less
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  • Each year some 48 million cargo containers move between the world's ports. More than 6 million of these enter the U.S., but only about 2 percent are opened and inspected when they arrive at U.S. seaports. The West Coast ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle alone process 11,000 containers per day, or about 8 containers per minute. Because of this high traffic volume, U.S. seaports are especially vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Illicit radioactive materials could be hidden in any one of the cargo-filled containers that arrive at U.S. ports. Yet, searching every shipment would be bring legitimatemore » commercial activities to a halt. Improving security at U.S. ports is thus one of the nation's most difficult technical and practical challenges because the systems developed for screening cargo must operate in concert with ongoing seaport activities. Working at this intersection of commerce and national security, Lawrence Livermore researchers are applying their expertise in radiation science and detection to develop improved technologies for detecting hidden radioactive materials. One new technology being designed and tested at the Laboratory is a neutron interrogation system for cargo containers. This system will quickly screen incoming shipments to ensure that nuclear materials such as plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) are not smuggled into the U.S.« less
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