The fusion reaction occurring in DD plasma is followed by emission of 2.45 MeV neutrons, which carry out information about fusion reaction rate and plasma parameters and properties as well. Neutron activation of beryllium has been chosen for detection of DD fusion neutrons. The cross-section for reaction 9Be(n, α)6He has a useful threshold near 1 MeV, which means that undesirable multiple-scattered neutrons do not undergo that reaction and therefore are not recorded. The product of the reaction, 6He, decays with half-life T1/2 = 0.807 s emitting β- particles which are easy to detect. Large area gas sealed proportional detector has been chosen as a counter of β-particles leaving activated beryllium plate. The plate with optimized dimensions adjoins the proportional counter entrance window. Such set-up is also equipped with appropriate electronic components and forms beryllium neutron activation counter. The neutron flux density on beryllium plate can be determined from the number of counts. The proper calibration procedure needs to be performed, therefore, to establish such relation. The measurements with the use of known β-source have been done. In order to determine the detector response function such experiment have been modeled by means of MCNP5-the Monte Carlo transport code. It allowed proper application of the results of transport calculations of β- particles emitted from radioactive 6He and reaching proportional detector active volume. In order to test the counter system and measuring procedure a number of experiments have been performed on PF devices. The experimental conditions have been simulated by means of MCNP5. The correctness of simulation outcome have been proved by measurements with known radioactive neutron source. The results of the DD fusion neutron measurements have been compared with other neutron diagnostics.
A novel neutron imaging system has been designed and constructed by Phoenix Nuclear Labs to investigate specimens when conventional X-ray imaging will not suffice. A first-generation electronic neutron generator is actively being used by the United States Army and is coupled with activation films for neutron radiography to inspect munitions and other critical defence and aerospace components. A second-generation system has been designed to increase the total neutron output from an upgraded gaseous deuterium target to 5×1011 DD n/s, generating higher neutron flux at the imaging plane and dramatically reducing interrogation time, while maintaining high spatial resolution and low geometric unsharpness. A description of the neutron generator and imaging system, including the beamline, target and detector platform, is given in this paper. State of the art neutron moderators, collimators and imaging detector components are also discussed in the context of increasing specimen throughput and optimizing image quality. Neutron radiographs captured with the neutron radiography system will be further compared against simulated images using the MCNP nuclear simulation code.
Neutron diagnostics play key essential roles on DIII-D. Historically an 18-channel 2.45MeV D-D neutron measurement system based on 3He and BF3 proportional counters was inherited from Doublet-III including associated electronics and CAMAC data acquisition. Three fission chambers and two neutron scintillators were added in the 1980s and middle 1990s respectively. For Tritium burn-up studies, two 14MeV D-T neutron measurement systems were installed in 2009 and 2010. Operation and maintenance experience have led to a plan to simplify and upgrade these aging systems to provide a more economical and reliable solution for future DIII-D experiments. On simplification, most conventional expensive NIM and CAMAC modules will be removed. Advanced technologies like ultra-fast data acquisition and software-based pulse identification have been successfully tested. Significant data reduction and efficiency improvement will be achieved by real-time digital pulse identification with a field-programmable gate array. The partly renewed system will consist of 4 neutron counters for absolute calibration and 4 relatively calibrated neutron scintillators covering a wide measurement range. Work supported by US DOE under DE-FC02-04ER54698.
Elastic neutron scattering from (12)C, (14)N, (16)O, (28)Si, (40)Ca, (56)Fe, (89)Y and (208)Pb has been studied at 96 MeV in the10-70 degrees interval, using the SCANDAL (SCAttered Nucleon Detection AssembLy) facility. The results for (12)C and (208)Pb have recently been published, while the data on the other nuclei are under analysis. The achieved energy resolution, 3.7 MeV, is about an order of magnitude better than for any previous experiment above 65 MeV incident energy. A novel method for normalisation of the absolute scale of the cross section has been used. The estimated normalisation uncertainty, 3%, is unprecedented for a neutron-induced differential cross section measurement on a nuclear target. Elastic neutron scattering is of utmost importance for a vast number of applications. Besides its fundamental importance as a laboratory for tests of isospin dependence in the nucleon-nucleon, and nucleon-nucleus, interaction, knowledge of the optical potentials derived from elastic scattering come into play in virtually every application where a detailed understanding of nuclear processes is important. Applications for these measurements are dose effects due to fast neutrons, including fast neutron therapy, as well as nuclear waste incineration and single event upsets in electronics. The results at light nuclei of medical relevance ((12)C, (14)N and (16)O) are presented separately. In the present contribution, results on the heavier nuclei are presented, among which several are of relevance to shielding of fast neutrons.
First generation thermal neutron activation (TNA) sensors, employing an isotopic source and NaI(Tl) gamma ray detectors, were deployed by Canadian Forces in 2002 as confirmation sensors on multi-sensor landmine detection systems. The second generation TNA detector is being developed with a number of improvements aimed at increasing sensitivity and facilitating ease of operation. Among these are an electronic neutron generator to increase sensitivity for deeper and horizontally displaced explosives; LaBr3(Ce) scintillators, to improve time response and energy resolution; improved thermal and electronic stability; improved sensor head geometry to minimize spatial response nonuniformity; and more robust data processing. The sensor is described, with emphasis on the improvements. Experiments to characterize the performance of the second generation TNA in detecting buried landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) hidden in culverts are described. Performance results, including comparisons between the performance of the first and second generation systems are presented.
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield and Bubble Technology Industries have been developing thermal neutron activation (TNA) sensors for detection of buried bulk explosives since 1994. First generation sensors, employing an isotopic source and NaI(Tl) gamma ray detectors, were deployed by Canadian Forces in 2002 as confirmation sensors on the ILDS teleoperated, vehicle-mounted, multi-sensor anti-tank landmine detection systems. The first generation TNA could detect anti-tank mines buried 10 cm or less in no more than a minute, but deeper mines and those significantly displaced horizontally required considerably longer times. Mines as deep as 30 cm could be detected with long counting times (1000 s). The second generation TNA detector is being developed with a number of improvements aimed at increasing sensitivity and facilitating ease of operation. Among these are an electronic neutron generator to increase sensitivity for deeper and horizontally displaced explosives; LaBr3(Ce) scintillators, to improve time response and energy resolution; improved thermal and electronic stability; improved sensor head geometry to minimize spatial response nonuniformity; and more robust data processing. This improved sensitivity can translate to either decreased counting times, decreased minimum detectable explosive quantities, increased maximum sensor-to-target displacement, or a trade off among all three. Experiments to characterize the performance of the latest generation TNA in detecting buried landmines and IEDs hidden in culverts were conducted during 2011. This paper describes the second generation system. The experimental setup and methodology are detailed and preliminary comparisons between the performance of first and second generation systems are presented.
The Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) provides the scientific community with intense sources of neutrons, which can be used to perform experiments supporting civilian and national security research. These measurements include nuclear physics experiments for the defense program, basic science, and the radiation effect programs. This paper focuses on the radiation effects program, which involves mostly accelerated testing of semiconductor parts. When cosmic rays strike the earth's atmosphere, they cause nuclear reactions with elements in the air and produce a wide range of energetic particles. Because neutrons are uncharged, they can reach aircraft altitudes and sea level. These neutronsmore » are thought to be the most important threat to semiconductor devices and integrated circuits. The best way to determine the failure rate due to these neutrons is to measure the failure rate in a neutron source that has the same spectrum as those produced by cosmic rays. Los Alamos has a high-energy and a low-energy neutron source for semiconductor testing. Both are driven by the 800-MeV proton beam from the LANSCE accelerator. The high-energy neutron source at the Weapons Neutron Research (WNR) facility uses a bare target that is designed to produce fast neutrons with energies from 100 keV to almost 800 MeV. The measured neutron energy distribution from WNR is very similar to that of the cosmic-ray-induced neutrons in the atmosphere. However, the flux provided at the WNR facility is typically 5×107 times more intense than the flux of the cosmic-ray-induced neutrons. This intense neutron flux allows testing at greatly accelerated rates. An irradiation test of less than an hour is equivalent to many years of neutron exposure due to cosmic-ray neutrons. The low-energy neutron source is located at the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center. It is based on a moderated source that provides useful neutrons from subthermal energies to ~100 keV. The characteristics of these sources 2b1af7f3a8