Description: The Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development (NA-22) has a research objective to:
Develop alternative technologies that reduce the risk from the malevolent use of high-activity radioactive sources.
This objective focuses on the R&D needed to replace high activity radioactive sources that are deemed to pose a significant risk if malevolently used. Our current emphasis is on emerging and innovative technologies and techniques for the replacement of these sources with non-radioisotope based technologies. Radioactive sources serve a number of critical functions including the treatment and diagnosis of disease, the inspection and certification of critical mechanical structures, the sterilization of food and medical products, and the exploration for petroleum. Replacements or alternatives proposed must provide equivalent (or improved) functionality and be less susceptible to malevolent use. Each proposal must address: economic feasibility of the proposed alternative or replacement, ease of maintenance (both the equipment and the source) and relative accessibility in and around the device.
b: Replacement for Ir-192 Radiography Sources
Description: Proposals are sought for new highly portable, low operating power, and high yield x-ray sources that can be used for replacement of Ir-192 sources for industrial radiography. The proposals must clearly state the advantage of the proposed source in terms of size, weight, power, and output compared with existing Ir-192 sources typically used for nondestructive evaluation.
c: Optimized Radiation Detectors for Well-Logging
Description: Design and demonstrate a bench-top prototype of a commercially viable radiation (neutron and gamma-ray detector) for (d,t) well logging applications.
Neutron sources for oil well logging currently utilize radioisotopes such as Am-Be and Cs-137. These sources are currently classified as high priority threats to the security of the United States. Compact neutron generators could potentially replace these sources and DT commercial generators are available that could offer a potential solution for logging-while-drilling and wire line well logging applications. Current gamma radiation detectors that have been used for inelastic scattering and neutron capture spectroscopy as well as quantification of both mineralogy and organic carbon. The detectors must be operated at high temperatures, nominally ~150C and survive high mechanical shocks and vibrations. Gamma detectors that have excellent resolution with high counting rates and the ability to measure high energy gamma-rays (see reference 4). Neutron detectors to replace helium-3 for epithermal and thermal neutrons are also needed to measure total neutrons or the neutron energy spectrum.
Description: In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.