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Proceedings Paper

Modeling of fission neutrons as a signature for the detection of highly enriched uranium
Author(s): James K. Wolford Jr.; Michael I. Frank; Marie-Anne Descalle
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Paper Abstract

We present the results of modeling intended to evaluate the feasibility of using neutrons from induced fission in highly enriched uranium (HEU) as a means of detecting clandestine HEU, even when it is embedded in absorbing surroundings, such as commercial cargo. We characterized radiation from induced fission in HEU, which consisted of delayed neutrons at all energies and prompt neutrons at energies above a threshold. We found that for the candidate detector and for the conditions we considered, a distinctive HEU signature should be detectable, given sufficient detector size, and should be robust over a range of cargo content. In the modeled scenario, an intense neutron source was used to induce fissions in a spherical shell of HEU. To absorb, scatter, and moderate the neutrons, we place one layer of simulated cargo between the source and target and an identical layer between the target and detector. The resulting neutrons and gamma rays are resolved in both time and energy to reveal the portion arising from fission. We predicted the dominant reaction rates within calcium fluoride and liquid organic scintillators. Finally, we assessed the relative effectiveness of two common neutron source energies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5403, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense III, (15 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.541015
Show Author Affiliations
James K. Wolford Jr., Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Michael I. Frank, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Marie-Anne Descalle, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5403:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense III
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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