High-flux electronically generated thermal neutron source for radiographic applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W15QKN-08-C-0045
Agency Tracking Number: A072-040-1553
Amount: $119,600.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: A07-040
Solicitation Number: 2007.2
Small Business Information
PHOENIX NUCLEAR LABS LLC
8123 Forsythia St, Suite 140, Middleton, WI, 53562
DUNS: 612389572
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Piefer
 President
 (608) 826-4267
 greg.piefer@phoenixnuclearlabs.com
Business Contact
 Gregory Piefer
Title: President
Phone: (608) 826-4267
Email: greg.piefer@phoenixnuclearlabs.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
An innovative approach to generating a high thermal neutron flux (108 n/cm2/s) at a distance of 1 m from the source via D-T nuclear fusion reactions is proposed. By making use of Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) technology, which creates reactions between a re-circulating ion beam and a gas target, the limitations on lifetime of fusion sources that use solid targets can be overcome, while still possessing the advantages of being electronic. Additionally, substantial improvements in neutron moderator efficiency are proposed that can relax the requirements on total output for isotropic sources, improving efficiency and decreasing leakage radiation. Preliminary studies using the MCNPX code indicate that creative moderator designs can increase thermal neutron efficiency by over 50 times that from existing moderators. The goal of this proposal is to increase IEC neutron production rates by a factor of 4 in phase I, and a factor of 5 in phase II to reach a final rate of > 1013 n/s. Furthermore, moderator efficiency will increase by an additional factor of 4 in phase 1, and 20 in phase 2. These enhancements will allow the thermal flux on a target to be 2*106 n/cm2/s after phase I, and 1*108 n/cm2/s after phase II.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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