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Proceedings Paper

Nuclear material detection techniques
Author(s): James F. Christian; Radia Sia; Purushottam Dokhale; Irina Shestakova; Vivek Nagarkar; Kanai Shah; Erik B. Johnson; Christopher J. Stapels; James M. Ryan; John Macri; Ulisse Bravar; Ka-Ngo Leung; Michael R. Squillante
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Paper Abstract

Illicit nuclear materials represent a threat for the safety of the American citizens, and the detection and interdiction of a nuclear weapon is a national problem that has not been yet solved. Alleviating this threat represents an enormous challenge to current detection methods that have to be substantially improved to identify and discriminate threatening from benign incidents. Rugged, low-power and less-expensive radiation detectors and imagers are needed for large-scale wireless deployment. Detecting the gamma rays emitted by nuclear and fissionable materials, particularly special nuclear materials (SNM), is the most convenient way to identify and locate them. While there are detectors that have the necessary sensitivity, none are suitable to meet the present need, primarily because of the high occurrence of false alarms. The exploitation of neutron signatures represents a promising solution to detecting illicit nuclear materials. This work presents the development of several detector configurations such as a mobile active interrogation system based on a compact RF-Plasma neutron generator developed at LBNL and a fast neutron telescope that uses plastic scintillating-fibers developed at the University of New Hampshire. A human-portable improved Solid-State Neutron Detector (SSND) intended to replace pressurized 3He-tubes will be also presented. The SSND uses an ultra-compact CMOS-SSPM (Solid-State Photomultiplier) detector, developed at Radiation Monitoring devices Inc., coupled to a neutron sensitive scintillator. The detector is very fast and can provide time and spectroscopy information over a wide energy range including fast neutrons.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6945, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security IV, 69451Q (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778730
Show Author Affiliations
James F. Christian, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Radia Sia, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Purushottam Dokhale, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Irina Shestakova, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Vivek Nagarkar, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Kanai Shah, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Erik B. Johnson, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Christopher J. Stapels, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
James M. Ryan, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
John Macri, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
Ulisse Bravar, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
Ka-Ngo Leung, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (United States)
Michael R. Squillante, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6945:
Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security IV
Craig S. Halvorson; Daniel Lehrfeld; Theodore T. Saito, Editor(s)

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