Centrifugal tensioned metastable fluid detectors for trace radiation sources: experimental verification and military employment
Chiaverotti, Dominic J.
Smith, Craig F.
Pollman, Anthony G.
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Centrifugal tensioned metastable fluid detectors (CTMFDs) promise a compact, easy to use, highly sensitive, robust, discriminatory, mobile sensor platform that could detect the presence of special nuclear materials in real time. CTMFDs could help in the detection of fast neutrons or alpha particles that are telltale signs of nuclear material, while remaining blind to gamma radiation that could otherwise interfere with the desired measurement. CTMFDs have a simple, easy-to-use equipment string that costs on the order of hundreds of dollars compared with traditional detectors with similar capabilities, which cost on the order of thousands of dollars. This study involved laboratory testing comparing the CTMFD's capabilities of actinide spectroscopy and neutron detection against other detection systems with similar capabilities. The CTMFD was found to have a comparable neutron detection efficiency, and was found to be much more effective at discriminating between highly diluted actinide solutions using alpha particle spectroscopy. Employment of the proper CTMFD setup could involve use at military checkpoints, or aiding in determining origins of a nuclear weapon in a post-detonation analysis scenario.
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