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Title: NONDESTRUCTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS AND EXPLOSIVES BY NEUTRON GENERATOR-DRIVEN PGNAA

Abstract

Prompt gamma-ray neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) is now a proven method for the identification of chemical warfare agents and explosives in military projectiles and storage containers. Idaho National Laboratory is developing a next-generation PGNAA instrument based on the new Ortec Detective mechanically-cooled HPGe detector and a neutron generator. In this paper we review PGNAA analysis of suspect chemical warfare munitions, and we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of replacing the californium-252 radioisotopic neutron source with a compact accelerator neutron generator.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
912440
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-07-12304
INL/CON-07-12318; TRN: US0800392
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Technical Meeting -- Neutron Generators for Activation Analysis Purposes,Vienna, Austria,02/26/2007,03/02/2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 - INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; ACCELERATORS; ACTIVATION ANALYSIS; CALIFORNIUM 252; CHEMICAL WARFARE; CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS; CONTAINERS; EXPLOSIVES; MILITARY EQUIPMENT; NEUTRON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS; NEUTRON GENERATORS; NEUTRON SOURCES; NEUTRONS; PROJECTILES; STORAGE; chemical weapons; neutron generator; PGNAA

Citation Formats

T. R. Twomey, A. J. Caffrey, and D. L. Chichester. NONDESTRUCTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS AND EXPLOSIVES BY NEUTRON GENERATOR-DRIVEN PGNAA. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
T. R. Twomey, A. J. Caffrey, & D. L. Chichester. NONDESTRUCTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS AND EXPLOSIVES BY NEUTRON GENERATOR-DRIVEN PGNAA. United States.
T. R. Twomey, A. J. Caffrey, and D. L. Chichester. Thu . "NONDESTRUCTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS AND EXPLOSIVES BY NEUTRON GENERATOR-DRIVEN PGNAA". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/912440.
@article{osti_912440,
title = {NONDESTRUCTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS AND EXPLOSIVES BY NEUTRON GENERATOR-DRIVEN PGNAA},
author = {T. R. Twomey and A. J. Caffrey and D. L. Chichester},
abstractNote = {Prompt gamma-ray neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) is now a proven method for the identification of chemical warfare agents and explosives in military projectiles and storage containers. Idaho National Laboratory is developing a next-generation PGNAA instrument based on the new Ortec Detective mechanically-cooled HPGe detector and a neutron generator. In this paper we review PGNAA analysis of suspect chemical warfare munitions, and we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of replacing the californium-252 radioisotopic neutron source with a compact accelerator neutron generator.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • Since 1992, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory's portable isotopic neutron spectrometry (PINS) system has been widely used for the nondestructive assessment of munitions suspected to contain chemical warfare agents, such as the nerve agent sarin. PINS is a {sup 252}Cf-based prompt gamma-ray neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) system. The standard PINS system employs a partially moderated 5-{micro}g {sup 252}Cf source emitting 10{sup 7} n/s to excite the atomic nuclei inside the item under test. The chemical elements inside the item are revealed by their characteristic gamma-ray spectrum, measured by a high-resolution high-purity germanium gamma-ray spectrometer. The system computer then infersmore » the fill compound or mixture from the elemental data extracted from the gamma-ray spectrum. Reliable PINS assessments can be completed in as little as 100 s for favorable cases such as white phosphorus smoke munitions, but normally, a 1000 to 3000 live-second counting interval is required. To improve PINS throughput when hundreds or more munitions must be assessed, they are evaluating the possible advantages of 14-MeV neutron excitation over their current radioisotopic source.« less
  • Single Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (SPAMS) was evaluated as a real-time detection technique for single particles of high explosives. Dual-polarity time-of-flight mass spectra were obtained for samples of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazinane (RDX), and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN); peaks indicative of each compound were identified. Composite explosives, Comp B, Semtex 1A, and Semtex 1H were also analyzed, and peaks due to the explosive components of each sample were present in each spectrum. Mass spectral variability with laser fluence is discussed. The ability of the SPAMS system to identify explosive components in a single complex explosive particle (~1 pg) without the need formore » consumables is demonstrated. SPAMS was also applied to the detection of Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) simulants in the liquid and vapor phases. Liquid simulants for sarin, cyclosarin, tabun, and VX were analyzed; peaks indicative of each simulant were identified. Vapor phase CWA simulants were adsorbed onto alumina, silica, Zeolite, activated carbon, and metal powders which were directly analyzed using SPAMS. The use of metal powders as adsorbent materials was especially useful in the analysis of triethyl phosphate (TEP), a VX stimulant, which was undetectable using SPAMS in the liquid phase. The capability of SPAMS to detect high explosives and CWA simulants using one set of operational conditions is established.« less
  • Abstract not provided.
  • Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) systems employ neutrons as a probe to interrogate items, e.g. chemical warfare materiel-filled munitions. The choice of a neutron source in field-portable systems is determined by its ability to excite nuclei of interest, operational concerns such as radiological safety and ease-of-use, and cost. Idaho National Laboratory’s PINS Chemical Assay System has traditionally used a Cf-252 isotopic neutron source, but recently a Deuterium-Tritium (DT) Electronic Neutron Generator (ENG) has been tested as an alternate neutron source. This paper presents the results of using both of these neutron sources to interrogate chemical warfare materiel (CWM) andmore » high explosive (HE) filled munitions.« less
  • This paper reports on a non-destructive assay method to identify chemical warfare (CW) agents and high explosive (HE) munitions which was tested with actual chemical agents and explosives at the Tooele Army Depot, Tooele, Utah, from 22 April 1991 through 3 May 1991. The assay method exploits the gamma radiation produced by neutron interactions inside a container or munition to identify the elemental composition of its contents. The characteristic gamma-ray signatures of the chemical elements chlorine, phosphorus, and sulfur were observed form the CW agent containers and munitions, in sufficient detail to enable us to reliably discern agents GB (sarin),more » HD (mustard gas), and VX from one another, and from HE-filled munitions. By detecting of the presence of nitrogen, the key indictor of explosive compounds, and the absence of elements Cl, P, and S, HE shells were also clearly identified.« less