skip to main content


Title: Rapid response sensor for analyzing Special Nuclear Material

Rapid in-situ analytical techniques are attractive for characterizing Special Nuclear Material (SNM). Present techniques are time consuming, and require sample dissolution. Proof-of-principal studies are performed to demonstrate the utility of employing low energy neutrons from a portable pulsed neutron generator for non-destructive isotopic analysis of nuclear material. In particular, time-sequenced data acquisition, operating synchronously with the pulsing of a neutron generator, partitions the characteristic elemental prompt gamma-rays according to the type of the reaction; inelastic neutron scattering reactions during the ON state and thermal neutron capture reactions during the OFF state of the generator. Thus, the key challenge is isolating these signature gamma- rays from the prompt fission and β-delayed gamma-rays that are also produced during the neutron interrogation. A commercial digital multi-channel analyzer has been specially customized to enable time-resolved gamma-ray spectral data to be acquired in multiple user-defined time bins within each of the ON/OFF gate periods of the neutron generator. Preliminary results on new signatures from depleted uranium as well as modeling and benchmarking of the concept are presented, however this approach should should be applicable for virtually all forms of SNM.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Adelphi Technology, Inc., Redwood City, CA (United States)
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics Procedia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 66; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1875-3892
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; Special Nuclear Material; non-destructive analysis; pulsed (D-D) neutron generator; multiple time resolved gamma-ray spectra
OSTI Identifier: