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Active Detection of Shielded SNM With 60-keV Neutrons

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9 Author(s)
Hagmann, C.A. ; Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab., Livermore, CA ; Dietrich, D.D. ; Hall, J.M. ; Kerr, P.L.
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Fissile materials, e.g., 235U and 239Pu, can be detected non-invasively by active neutron interrogation. A unique characteristic of fissile material exposed to neutrons is the prompt emission of high-energy (E > 1 MeV) fission neutrons. One promising mode of operation subjects the object to a beam of low-energy (E < 1 MeV) neutrons, generated by a proton beam impinging on a Li target. The emergence of high-energy secondary neutrons then clearly indicates the presence of fissile material. Our interrogation system comprises a low-dose 60-keV neutron generator (5 times 106/s ), and a 1 m2 array of scintillators for high-energy neutron detection. Preliminary experimental results demonstrate the detectability of small quantities (376 g) of 235U shielded by steel (200 g/cm2) or plywood (30 g/cm2), with a typical measurement time of 1 min.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 3 )