15 April 2008 Nuclear material detection techniques
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Abstract
Illicit nuclear materials represent a threat for the safety of the American citizens, and the detection and interdiction of a nuclear weapon is a national problem that has not been yet solved. Alleviating this threat represents an enormous challenge to current detection methods that have to be substantially improved to identify and discriminate threatening from benign incidents. Rugged, low-power and less-expensive radiation detectors and imagers are needed for large-scale wireless deployment. Detecting the gamma rays emitted by nuclear and fissionable materials, particularly special nuclear materials (SNM), is the most convenient way to identify and locate them. While there are detectors that have the necessary sensitivity, none are suitable to meet the present need, primarily because of the high occurrence of false alarms. The exploitation of neutron signatures represents a promising solution to detecting illicit nuclear materials. This work presents the development of several detector configurations such as a mobile active interrogation system based on a compact RF-Plasma neutron generator developed at LBNL and a fast neutron telescope that uses plastic scintillating-fibers developed at the University of New Hampshire. A human-portable improved Solid-State Neutron Detector (SSND) intended to replace pressurized 3He-tubes will be also presented. The SSND uses an ultra-compact CMOS-SSPM (Solid-State Photomultiplier) detector, developed at Radiation Monitoring devices Inc., coupled to a neutron sensitive scintillator. The detector is very fast and can provide time and spectroscopy information over a wide energy range including fast neutrons.
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James F. Christian, James F. Christian, Radia Sia, Radia Sia, Purushottam Dokhale, Purushottam Dokhale, Irina Shestakova, Irina Shestakova, Vivek Nagarkar, Vivek Nagarkar, Kanai Shah, Kanai Shah, Erik B. Johnson, Erik B. Johnson, Christopher J. Stapels, Christopher J. Stapels, James M. Ryan, James M. Ryan, John Macri, John Macri, Ulisse Bravar, Ulisse Bravar, Ka-Ngo Leung, Ka-Ngo Leung, Michael R. Squillante, Michael R. Squillante, } "Nuclear material detection techniques", Proc. SPIE 6945, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security IV, 69451Q (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778730; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.778730
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