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Proceedings Paper

Optical detection of special nuclear materials: an alternative approach for standoff and remote sensing
Author(s): J. Bruce Johnson; S. W. Reeve; W. A. Burns; Susan D. Allen
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Paper Abstract

Termed Special Nuclear Material (SNM) by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, fissile materials, such as 235U and 239Pu, are the primary components used to construct modern nuclear weapons. Detecting the clandestine presence of SNM represents an important capability for Homeland Security. An ideal SNM sensor must be able to detect fissile materials present at ppb levels, be able to distinguish between the source of the detected fissile material, i.e., 235U, 239Pu, 233U or other fission source, and be able to perform the discrimination in near real time. A sensor with such capabilities would provide not only rapid identification of a threat but, ultimately, information on the potential source of the threat. For example, current detection schemes for monitoring clandestine nuclear testing and nuclear fuel reprocessing to provide weapons grade fissile material rely largely on passive air sampling combined with a subsequent instrumental analysis or some type of wet chemical analysis of the collected material. It would be highly useful to have a noncontact method of measuring isotopes capable of providing forensic information rapidly at ppb levels of detection. Here we compare the use of Kr, Xe and I as "canary" species for distinguishing between 235U and 239Pu fission sources by spectroscopic methods.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7665, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XI, 76651L (5 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.863835
Show Author Affiliations
J. Bruce Johnson, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
S. W. Reeve, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
W. A. Burns, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
Susan D. Allen, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7665:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XI
Augustus Way Fountain; Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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