Active Interrogation for Nuclear Materials Detection
Department of Defense
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
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Small Business Information
2904 WestCorp Blvd., Suite 206, Huntsville, AL, 35805
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AbstractPhysitron proposes the development of a Thermal Neutron Beam Concentrator for use in detecting strategic nuclear material (SNM) such as U, Pu, Th, etc. A compact neutron generator developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab will provide 2.4 MeV neutrons that will be moderated, concentrated into a high flux beam, and propagated in air across distances up to three meters. Any SNM in the beam's path will produce a neutron-gamma conversion process that can be detected and analyzed by a gamma spectrometer leading to the identification of the SNM. Phase I will be used to design, analyze and predict the properties of a TNBC. This unit will consist of three major subassemblies: the neutron generator, a moderator to lower the neutron's average energy, and a concentrating optic to form a high flux beam of thermal neutrons. Scientists from LBNL have been researching high fluence neutron generators while Physitron has developed both photon and neutron optics for concentrating, collimating and/or bending them for many different applications. The collaboration between LBNL and Physitron will allow these two areas to be combined and provide a significant increase in the available neutron fluence for detecting SNM.
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