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Title: Evaluation of Am–Li neutron spectra data for active well type neutron multiplicity measurements of uranium

Safeguarding nuclear material is an important and challenging task for the international community. One particular safeguards technique commonly used for uranium assay is active neutron correlation counting. This technique involves irradiating unused uranium with ( α,n) neutrons from an Am-Li source and recording the resultant neutron pulse signal which includes induced fission neutrons. Although this non-destructive technique is widely employed in safeguards applications, the neutron energy spectra from an Am-Li sources is not well known. Several measurements over the past few decades have been made to characterize this spectrum; however, little work has been done comparing the measured spectra of various Am-Li sources to each other. This paper examines fourteen different Am-Li spectra, focusing on how these spectra affect simulated neutron multiplicity results using the code Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended (MCNPX). Two measurement and simulation campaigns were completed using Active Well Coincidence Counter (AWCC) detectors and uranium standards of varying enrichment. The results of this work indicate that for standard AWCC measurements, the fourteen Am-Li spectra produce similar doubles and triples count rates. Finally, the singles count rates varied by as much as 20% between the different spectra, although they are usually not used in quantitative analysis.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Khalifa Univ. of Science, Technology and Research, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Global Nuclear Security Technology Division
  3. European Commission, Ispra (Italy). Joint Research Centre (JRC), Inst. for Transuranium Elements (ITU)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; NA-22
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 830; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Quantum Condensed Matter Division
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; Am–Li neutron spectrum; Neutron correlation counting; Monte; Carlo N-Particle eXtended (MCNPX); Active Well Coincidence Counter (AWCC)