A Compact, Portable, Reduced-Cost, Gamma Ray Spectroscopic System for Nuclear Verification

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Spire Corp.
One Patriots Park, Bedford, MA, 01730
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Mr. James Toney
 (781) 275-6000
Business Contact
 Mr. Richard S. Gregorio
Title: Vice President & CFO
Phone: (781) 275-6000
Research Institution
 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
 7000 East Avenue L-352
Livermore, CA, 94550
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
A Compact, Portable, Reduced-Cost, Gamma Ray Spectroscopic System for Nuclear Verification DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-98ER86083 Amount: $99,980 Small Business Spire Corporation One Patriots Park Bedford, MA 01730-2343 Dr. Rengarajan Sudharsanan, Principal Investigator Mr. Richard S. Gregorio, Business Official (781) 275-6000 Research Institution Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 7000 East Avenue L-352 Livermore, CA 94550 Current portable gamma-ray spectroscopic systems have either poor energy resolution and sensitivity or are bulky and inconvenient for uranium enrichment analysis. Scintillator based systems are not suitable due to poor energy resolution. Germanium-based systems have high energy resolution but require liquid nitrogen cooling; hence, they are bulky, inconvenient, and expensive. Cadmium zinc telluride (CdZnTe) detector based systems have great promise for this application but currently are limited by small detection volume; therefore the systems have poor sensitivity and require long collection times. This project will develop a compact, portable, gamma-ray spectroscopic system with high energy resolution and detection efficiency for uranium enrichment analysis using large volume (> 2 cm3) CdZnTe coplanar detectors, ultimately leading to low-cost commercial spectroscopic systems. The system will have a CdZnTe detector probe, low-power electronics for the detector, and a compact multi-channel analyzer and software for uranium enrichment analysis. Because of the large volume and high performance of these detectors, the system will provide accurate enrichment levels with a short measurement time. In Phase I, coplanar CdZnTe detectors of 2 cm3 volume, along with breadboard electronics, will be designed and fabricated. Detectors will be tested in the energy range 200 to 1000 keV using radionuclide sources. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will analyze the spectra using their software to determine the accuracy of uranium enrichment analysis. Based on these results, a compact portable system will be designed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: This effort will produce a high efficiency, large area, reduced-cost, compact portable system for uranium enrichment analysis. Other applications of this system include detection of nuclear smuggling/illicit nuclear materials; routine or special nuclear inspections; portable quantitative assay of holdup and in-process inventory; monitoring and verification of nuclear inventories; continuous, unattended gamma-ray monitoring; and domestic safeguards accountability close-out in decontamination and decommissioning._

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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