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Title: Monte Carlo Modeling of Photon Interrogation Methods for Characterization of Special Nuclear Material

Abstract

This work illustrates a methodology based on photon interrogation and coincidence counting for determining the characteristics of fissile material. The feasibility of the proposed methods was demonstrated using a Monte Carlo code system to simulate the full statistics of the neutron and photon field generated by the photon interrogation of fissile and non-fissile materials. Time correlation functions between detectors were simulated for photon beam-on and photon beam-off operation. In the latter case, the correlation signal is obtained via delayed neutrons from photofission, which induce further fission chains in the nuclear material. An analysis methodology was demonstrated based on features selected from the simulated correlation functions and on the use of artificial neural networks. We show that the methodology can reliably differentiate between highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Furthermore, the mass of the material can be determined with a relative error of about 12%. Keywords: MCNP, MCNP-PoliMi, Artificial neural network, Correlation measurement, Photofission

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. ORNL
  2. Nuclear Engineering Department Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
966077
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: PHYSOR, Vancouver, Canada, 20060910, 20060914
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CHAINS; CORRELATION FUNCTIONS; DELAYED NEUTRONS; FISSILE MATERIALS; FISSION; HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM; NEURAL NETWORKS; NEUTRONS; PHOTOFISSION; PHOTONS; PLUTONIUM; SIMULATION; STATISTICS

Citation Formats

Pozzi, Sara A, Downar, Thomas J, Padovani, Enrico, and Clarke, Shaun D. Monte Carlo Modeling of Photon Interrogation Methods for Characterization of Special Nuclear Material. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Pozzi, Sara A, Downar, Thomas J, Padovani, Enrico, & Clarke, Shaun D. Monte Carlo Modeling of Photon Interrogation Methods for Characterization of Special Nuclear Material. United States.
Pozzi, Sara A, Downar, Thomas J, Padovani, Enrico, and Clarke, Shaun D. Sun . "Monte Carlo Modeling of Photon Interrogation Methods for Characterization of Special Nuclear Material". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_966077,
title = {Monte Carlo Modeling of Photon Interrogation Methods for Characterization of Special Nuclear Material},
author = {Pozzi, Sara A and Downar, Thomas J and Padovani, Enrico and Clarke, Shaun D},
abstractNote = {This work illustrates a methodology based on photon interrogation and coincidence counting for determining the characteristics of fissile material. The feasibility of the proposed methods was demonstrated using a Monte Carlo code system to simulate the full statistics of the neutron and photon field generated by the photon interrogation of fissile and non-fissile materials. Time correlation functions between detectors were simulated for photon beam-on and photon beam-off operation. In the latter case, the correlation signal is obtained via delayed neutrons from photofission, which induce further fission chains in the nuclear material. An analysis methodology was demonstrated based on features selected from the simulated correlation functions and on the use of artificial neural networks. We show that the methodology can reliably differentiate between highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Furthermore, the mass of the material can be determined with a relative error of about 12%. Keywords: MCNP, MCNP-PoliMi, Artificial neural network, Correlation measurement, Photofission},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Conference:
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  • The potential for smuggling special nuclear material (SNM) into the United States is a major concern to homeland security, so federal agencies are investigating a variety of preventive measures, including detection and interdiction of SNM during transport. One approach for SNM detection, called active interrogation, uses a radiation source, such as a beam of neutrons or photons, to scan cargo containers and detect the products of induced fissions. In realistic cargo transport scenarios, the process of inducing and detecting fissions in SNM is difficult due to the presence of various and potentially thick materials between the radiation source and themore » SNM, and the practical limitations on radiation source strength and detection capabilities. Therefore, computer simulations are being used, along with experimental measurements, in efforts to design effective active interrogation detection systems. The computer simulations mostly consist of simulating radiation transport from the source to the detector region(s). Although the Monte Carlo method is predominantly used for these simulations, difficulties persist related to calculating statistically meaningful detector responses in practical computing times, thereby limiting their usefulness for design and evaluation of practical active interrogation systems. In previous work, the benefits of hybrid methods that use the results of approximate deterministic transport calculations to accelerate high-fidelity Monte Carlo simulations have been demonstrated for source-detector type problems. In this work, the hybrid methods are applied and evaluated for three example active interrogation problems. Additionally, a new approach is presented that uses multiple goal-based importance functions depending on a particle s relevance to the ultimate goal of the simulation. Results from the examples demonstrate that the application of hybrid methods to active interrogation problems dramatically increases their calculational efficiency.« less
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  • The development of new techniques for the interrogation of shielded nuclear materials relies on the use of Monte Carlo codes to accurately simulate the entire system, including the interrogation source, the fissile target and the detection environment. The objective of this modeling effort is to develop analysis tools and methods-based on a relevant scenario-which may be applied to the design of future systems for active interrogation at a standoff. For the specific scenario considered here, the analysis will focus on providing the information needed to determine the type and optimum position of the detectors. This report describes the results ofmore » simulations for a detection system employing gamma rays to interrogate fissile and nonfissile targets. The simulations were performed using specialized versions of the codes MCNPX and MCNP-PoliMi. Both prompt neutron and gamma ray and delayed neutron fluxes have been mapped in three dimensions. The time dependence of the prompt neutrons in the system has also been characterized For this particular scenario, the flux maps generated with the Monte Carlo model indicate that the detectors should be placed approximately 50 cm behind the exit of the accelerator, 40 cm away from the vehicle, and 150 cm above the ground. This position minimizes the number of neutrons coming from the accelerator structure and also receives the maximum flux of prompt neutrons coming from the source. The lead shielding around the accelerator minimizes the gamma-ray background from the accelerator in this area. The number of delayed neutrons emitted from the target is approximately seven orders of magnitude less than the prompt neutrons emitted from the system. Therefore, in order to possibly detect the delayed neutrons, the detectors should be active only after all prompt neutrons have scattered out of the system. Preliminary results have shown this time to be greater than 5 ?s after the accelerator pulse. This type of system is illustrative of a host of real-world scenarios of interest to nonproliferation and homeland security. Due to the multistep procedure of the MCNPX/MCNP-PoliMi code system, the analysis of somewhat modular - meaning that changing details such as the detector type, position, or surroundings does not require a re-calculation of the source-target interactions. This feature allows for efficient parametric analysis of numerous system parameters without recomputing the constant source-target behavior. Such efficient analysis mechanisms could prove invaluable in the design and future deployment of an active interrogation detection system.« less