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Title: Current Status of Helium-3 Alternative Technologies for Nuclear Safeguards

International safeguards inspectorates (e.g., International Atomic Energy Agency {IAEA}, or Euratom) rely heavily on neutron assay techniques, and in particular, on coincidence counters for the verification of declared nuclear materials under safeguards and for monitoring purposes. While 3He was readily available, the reliability, safety, ease of use, gamma-ray insensitivity, and high intrinsic thermal neutron detection efficiency of 3He-based detectors obviated the need for alternative detector technologies. However, the recent decline of the 3He gas supply has triggered international efforts to develop and field neutron detectors that make use of alternative materials. In response to this global effort, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Euratom launched a joint effort aimed at bringing together international experts, technology users and developers in the field of nuclear safeguards to discuss and evaluate the proposed 3He alternative materials and technologies. The effort involved a series of two workshops focused on detailed overviews and viability assessments of various 3He alternative technologies for use in nuclear safeguards applications. The key objective was to provide a platform for collaborative discussions and technical presentations organized in a compact, workshop-like format to stimulate interactions among the participants. The meetings culminated in a benchmark exercisemore » providing a unique opportunity for the first inter-comparison of several available alternative technologies. This report provides an overview of the alternative technology efforts presented during the two workshops along with a summary of the benchmarking activities and results. The workshop recommendations and key consensus observations are discussed in the report, and used to outline a proposed path forward and future needs foreseeable in the area of 3He-alternative technologies.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [5] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [3] ;  [13] ;  [7] ;  [2] ;  [14] ;  [14] ;  [1] more »;  [15] ;  [1] ;  [15] ;  [6] ;  [13] ;  [16] ;  [1] ;  [7] ;  [14] ;  [4] ;  [7] ;  [6] ;  [9] ;  [13] ;  [15] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [17] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [18] ;  [15] ;  [19] ;  [15] ;  [7] « less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. European Commission, Ispra (Italy). Joint Research Centre
  5. Hybrid Instruments Ltd., Birmingham (United Kingdom)
  6. Intl Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna (Austria)
  7. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Washington, DC (United States)
  8. SCK.CEN, Mol (Belgium)
  9. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  10. Canberra Ltd., Oxford (United Kingdom)
  11. Arktis Radiation Detectors Ltd., Zurich (Sweden)
  12. Chalmers Univ. of Technology (Sweden)
  13. Symetrica Inc., Maynard, MA (United States)
  14. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Milano (Italy)
  15. Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Tokai (Japan)
  16. GE Reuter-Stokes, Twinsburg, OH (United States)
  17. Proportional Technologies Inc., Houston, TX (United States)
  18. DG Energy (Luxembourg)
  19. Inst. for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), Fontenay-aux-Roses (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1227248
Report Number(s):
LA-UR--15-21201
TRN: US1500905
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; THERMAL NEUTRONS; SAFEGUARDS; NEUTRON DETECTORS; MATERIALS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; BENCHMARKS; MEETINGS; MONITORING; RECOMMENDATIONS; COINCIDENCE METHODS