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Title: The science case for 37Ar as a monitor for underground nuclear explosions

Abstract

A new calculation of the production of 37Ar from nuclear explosion neutron interactions on 40Ca in a suite of common sub-surface materials (rock, etc) is presented. Even in mineral structures that are relatively low in Ca, the resulting 37Ar signature is large enough for detection in cases of venting or gaseous diffusion driven by barometric pumping. Field and laboratory detection strategies and projected sensitivities are presented.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
992009
Report Number(s):
PNNL-19458
TRN: US201022%%106
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; DETECTION; GASEOUS DIFFUSION; MONITORS; NEUTRONS; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; PRODUCTION; PUMPING; treaty monitoring; radioargon; Ar-37

Citation Formats

Haas, Derek A., Orrell, John L., Bowyer, Ted W., McIntyre, Justin I., Miley, Harry S., Aalseth, Craig E., and Hayes, James C. The science case for 37Ar as a monitor for underground nuclear explosions. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.2172/992009.
Haas, Derek A., Orrell, John L., Bowyer, Ted W., McIntyre, Justin I., Miley, Harry S., Aalseth, Craig E., & Hayes, James C. The science case for 37Ar as a monitor for underground nuclear explosions. United States. doi:10.2172/992009.
Haas, Derek A., Orrell, John L., Bowyer, Ted W., McIntyre, Justin I., Miley, Harry S., Aalseth, Craig E., and Hayes, James C. 2010. "The science case for 37Ar as a monitor for underground nuclear explosions". United States. doi:10.2172/992009. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/992009.
@article{osti_992009,
title = {The science case for 37Ar as a monitor for underground nuclear explosions},
author = {Haas, Derek A. and Orrell, John L. and Bowyer, Ted W. and McIntyre, Justin I. and Miley, Harry S. and Aalseth, Craig E. and Hayes, James C.},
abstractNote = {A new calculation of the production of 37Ar from nuclear explosion neutron interactions on 40Ca in a suite of common sub-surface materials (rock, etc) is presented. Even in mineral structures that are relatively low in Ca, the resulting 37Ar signature is large enough for detection in cases of venting or gaseous diffusion driven by barometric pumping. Field and laboratory detection strategies and projected sensitivities are presented.},
doi = {10.2172/992009},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2010,
month = 6
}

Technical Report:

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  • The effects of nuclear explosions on underground structures and equipment located in buried structures are presented. Emphasis of the discussion is on the character of the stress wave and the associated forces which act on structures buried below the surface. A summary and discussion are presented of the theoretical results and empirical data which form the basis for current design procedures. (auth)
  • This report provides a summary of the results of a joint research program under which an attempt is made to develop a better understanding of the effects of cavity decoupling on the seismic signals produced by underground nuclear explosions. Investigations conducted under this program have focused on analyses of seismic data recorded from a series of HE cavity decoupling experiments conducted by the Russians in Kirghizia in 1960, and from a sequence of nuclear tests conducted in a water-filled cavity at the Soviet Azgir test site during the period 1975-1979. The Kirghizia series included tests designed to assess the influencemore » of cavity geometry on decoupling effectiveness, and comparisons of near-field seismic data recorded from these tests indicate that the low frequency decoupling factor is independent of cavity shape for elongated cavities with length to width ratios of 6 or more, in agreement with previous theoretical simulation results. Broadband seismic data recorded from the Azgir water-filled cavity tests are analyzed to estimate cavity/tamped source spectral ratios, and the results are compared with theoretical finite difference simulations of these tests.« less
  • Bodywave magnitudes, mb, are recomputed using station corrections for all known Soviet underground nuclear explosions at Shagan River and Azgir. The mb values for explosions of announced yield, Y, in various parts of the world in either hard rock or below the water table were normalized to the SW part of the Shagan River testing area using previously published values of t* and mb bias. The resulting relationship, mb = 4.48 + 0.79 logY, which includes yields published by Bocharov et al. (1989) for Shagan River, differs very little from a regression that does not include those data. Using magnitudesmore » determined from Lg at NORSAR as a standard, the Shagan River site is divided into three subareas. Yields calculated from these revised mb values and from m(Lg) are much more consistent for the same explosion; each agrees closely with the yields published by Bocharov et al. for large explosions in 1971 and 1972 in the NE and SW parts of the testing area. Yields calculated by averaging determinations from Lg and body waves for 66 explosions have a high precision at 95% confidence (mean value 1. 14) for Y > 10 kt. The explosion of 23 July 1973 of Y = 193 kt is clearly the largest underground explosion at Shagan River. The newly calculated values provide strong evidence of clustering in the distribution of yields of Soviet tests. In a special study yields of Soviet nuclear explosions, nuclear tests in salt, decoupling, evasion« less
  • Bodywave magnitudes, mb are recomputed for 17 nuclear explosions with yields of about 0.01 to 100 kilotons (kt) at Azgir in western Kazakhstan. Station corrections were developed for Azgir using larger events and then applied in recomputing magnitude of other explosions. Revised values of mb for three tamped (fully coupled) explosions in salt at Azgir and one at Orenburg of announced yield, Y, were used to obtain the relationship, mb = 4.425 + 0.832 log Y. Salt is one of the best coupling geological media for generating seismic waves from underground nuclear explosions. In a special study made of themore » Azgir explosion of 1.1 kt of 1966 mb was determined for 16 stations at 4.52 + or - .06. For purposes of appreciating the detection capability of a given seismic network, it is important to recognize that a fully-coupled explosion of 1 kt in salt in high-Q (low attenuation) areas of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), like Azgir, has an mb of 4.4; fully decoupled events of 1 and 10 kt have mb's of about 2.6 and 3.4. Most areas of thick salt deposits in the C.I.S. are typified by high Q for P waves and low natural seismic activity. Yields of all known nuclear explosions at Azgir and in other areas of thick salt deposits in the C.I.S. through May 1993 are recalculated. The yields of fully decoupled nuclear explosions of Y > or = 0.5 kt that possibly could be detonated in the cavities produced by those events are calculated.« less