Publication:
Multi-layer fast neutron detectors based on composite heavy-oxide scintillators for detection of illegal nuclear materials

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Authors
Ryzhikov, V.D.
Naydenov, S.V.
Onyshchenko, G.M.
Piven, L.A.
Pochet, T.
Smith, C.F.
Subjects
Fast neutron detection
Inelastic and resonance neutron scattering Radiation detectors
Multi-layer scintillator detectors
Nuclear safeguards
He-3 alternatives
Advisors
Date of Issue
2018
Date
Publisher
Elsevier
Language
Abstract
We developed and characterized a new type (designated ZEBRA) of multi-layer composite heavy-oxide scintillator detectors for fast neutron detection for homeland security and nuclear safeguards applications. In this heterogeneous detector medium, composite layers comprised of micro-granules of heavy-oxide scintillators (ZWO, CWO, PWO, BGO, GSO(Ce), GOS(Ce) and others) dispersed in transparent plastic are alternated with layers of clear plastic that serve as scintillation light guides and as a neutron moderator material. The physical peculiarities of the neutron interactions and the principal mechanisms of fast neutron registration in these detectors are discussed in detail. The fast neutron intrinsic detection efficiencies and sensitivities of ZEBRA-detectors based on BGO, ZWO and GSO(Ce) composite scintillators in response to neutrons from 239Pu–Be and 252Cf sources were measured. These detectors had cross-sectional areas ranging from 16 to 100 cm2. The sensitivities of such detectors of size 100 × 100 × 41 mm3 were found to be 40–51 cps/(nps × cm−2), a level that is comparable to the sensitivity of a typical 3He counter of 1600 cm2 area. The intrinsic efficiencies and sensitivities of the ZEBRA-detectors also compare favorably with those of fast neutron detectors based on large-size heavy-oxide single crystals, but the multi-layer composite ZEBRA structures are much less expensive and can be easily manufactured in much larger dimensions. This work represents a significant advance from earlier single-crystal detector types as part of our effort to explore alternatives and improvements to conventional 3He counters.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2018.06.074
Series/Report No
Department
Physics
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
10 p.
Citation
Ryzhikov, V. D., et al. "Multi-layer fast neutron detectors based on composite heavy-oxide scintillators for detection of illegal nuclear materials." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 903 (2018): 287-296.
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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