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Title: Progress in alternative neutron detection to address the helium-3 shortage

One of the main uses for 3He is in gas proportional counters for neutron detection. Such detectors are used at neutron scattering science facilities and in radiation portal monitors deployed for homeland security and non-proliferation applications. Other uses of 3He are for research detectors, commercial instruments, well logging detectors, dilution refrigerators, lung imaging, for targets in nuclear research, and for basic research in condensed matter physics. The supply of 3He comes entirely from the decay of tritium produced for nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia. Due to the large increase in use of 3He for science and homeland security (since 2002), the supply has dwindled, and can no longer meet the demand. This has led to the development of a number of alternative neutron detection schemes.
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  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002; KB0401022
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment; Journal Volume: 784; Journal Issue: C
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; He-3; neutron detection; alternative detectors