26 October 2004 Distinguishing spontaneous fission neutrons from cosmic-ray background
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Abstract
We have measured the neutron spectra of cosmic-rays and a spontaneous fission emitting source (Cf-252) using a neutron double scatter spectrometer. The energy range of measurements was 0.1-10 MeV where the spectrometer efficiency is determined to be up to 8.7%, depending on the separation between detection planes. Our cosmic-ray neutron spectrum measurement is in good agreement with the sea-level data reported by Goldhagen and his co-workers. In the energy range 0.1-1.0 MeV, the cosmic-ray and Cf-252 spectra are different and separable. This difference is expected from the applicable models that describe the phenomena, 'equilibrium slowing down' (cosmic-rays) and 'Maxwellian kinetic temperature' emission (spontaneous fission). We show that >80% of Cf-252 neutrons and <25% of cosmic-ray related neutrons are emitted in this energy range of measurement, and conclude that neutron spectroscopy provides effective ways to distinguish a fission source from the cosmic-ray background.
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Leon Forman, Peter E. Vanier, Keith E. Welsh, "Distinguishing spontaneous fission neutrons from cosmic-ray background", Proc. SPIE 5541, Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications VI, (26 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.559603; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.559603
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