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Actively-induced, Prompt Radiation Utilization in Nonproliferation Applications

By: Inakiev, K.; McCluskey, C.; Harmon, F.J.; Pozzi, S.A.; Waters, L.; Hausladen, P.; Hunt, A.W.; Mihalczo, J.T.; Moss, C.E.; Jones, J.L.; Blackburn, B.W.; Johnson, J.J.; Watson, S.M.; Flaska, M.;

2006 / IEEE / 1-4244-0560-2

Description

This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' Actively-induced, Prompt Radiation Utilization in Nonproliferation Applications ' ThePulsed Photonuclear Assessment (PPA) technique, which has demonstrated the ability to detect shielded nuclear material, is currently based on utilizing delayed neutrons and photons between accelerator pulses. While most active interrogation systems have focused on delayed neutron and gamma-ray signatures, the current requirements of various Homeland Security issues necessitate bringing faster detection and acquisition capabilities to field inspection applications. This push for decreased interrogation times, increased sensitivity and mitigation of false positives requires that detection systems take advantage of all available information. Collaborative research between Idaho National Lab (INL), Idaho State University's Idaho Accelerator Center (IAC), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has focused on exploiting actively-induced, prompt radiation signatures from nuclear material within a pulsed photonuclear environment. To date, these prompt emissions have not been effectively exploited due to difficulties in detection and signal processing inherent in the prompt regime as well as an overall poor understanding of the magnitude and yields of these emissions. Exploitation of prompt radiation (defined as during an accelerator pulse/(photo) fission event and/or immediately after (<1 ¿s)) has the potential to dramatically reduce interrogation times since the prompt neutron yields are more than two orders of magnitude greater than delayed emissions. Successful exploitation of prompt emissions is critical for the development of an improved robust, high-throughput, low target dose inspection system for detection of shielded nuclear materials.