Energy resolution and detection efficiency were compared between two sizes of cerium bromide (CeBr3) scintillators,
three sizes of lanthanum bromide (LaBr3:Ce) scintillators, three sizes of sodium iodide (NaI:Tl) scintillators, and a lanthanum chloride (LaCl3:Ce) scintillator. Comparisons are made of key parameters such as energy resolution, detection efficiency, linearity, and self-activity of CeBr3, LaBr3:Ce, LaCl3:Ce, and NaI:Tl scintillator detectors. The scintillator detectors are tested by comparing the peak separation and identification in the energy range up to 3.0 MeV using 133Ba, 152Eu, and naturally occurring radioactive materials . The study has shown that CeBr3 scintillator detectors provided by Saint-Gobain offer better resolution than NaI:Tl scintillator detectors. CeBr3 detectors could resolve some closely spaced peaks from 133Ba and 152Eu, which NaI:Tl could not. LaBr3:Ce has slightly better resolution, and a slightly higher
efficiency than CeBr3. In this work, "self-activity" of each of these four detector types was measured by operating the
detectors themselves. A comparison of the intrinsic activity for all of the detectors in this study is demonstrated. For CeBr3, the self-activity present may be reduced, or even eliminated in the future, through improved processes for growing the material. It will be discussed if, and under what conditions, CeBr3 may be better than LaBr3:Ce and LaCl3:Ce for detection of certain special nuclear material γ-rays . An overall advantage of CeBr3 detectors over lanthanum halide and NaI:Tl detectors will be discussed.