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Neutron detection with water Cerenkov based detectors

By: Ouedraogo, S.; Carr, D.; Bowden, N.; Bernstein, A.; Svoboda, R.; Tripathi, M.; Dazeley, S.; Sweany, M.;

2009 / IEEE / 978-1-4244-5207-1


This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' Neutron detection with water Cerenkov based detectors ' Legitimate cross border trade involves the transport of an enormous number of cargo containers. Especially following the September 11 attacks, it has become an international priority to verify that these containers are not transporting Special Nuclear Material (SNM) without impeding legitimate trade. Fission events from SNM produce a number of neutrons and MeV-scale gammas correlated in time. The observation of consistent time correlations between neutrons and gammas emitted from a cargo container could, therefore, constitute a robust signature for SNM, since this time coincident signature stands out strongly against the higher rate of uncorrelated gamma-ray backgrounds from the local environment. We are developing a cost effective way to build very large neutron detectors for this purpose. We have recently completed the construction of two new water Cherenkov detectors, a 250 liter prototype and a new 4 ton detector. We present both the results from our prototype detector and an update on the newly commissioned large detector. We will also present pictures from the construction and outline our future detector development plans.