Solid-State Neutron Detector for Nuclear Material Accounting
Small Business Information
MA, Watertown, MA, 02472-4699
AbstractNeutron detectors, traditionally pressurized He-3 tubes, are a common instrument used in nuclear material accounting within the domestic nuclear fuel cycle. Due to the worldwide shortage and high demand of 3He supply, low-cost alternative neutron detection technologies are required to replace He-3 detectors to ensure public safety and proper material management. Based on Cs2LiYCl6:Ce (CLYC) crystalline scintillator technology developed at RMD and state-of-the-art photodetector technologies, we propose to develop a solid-state neutron detector that replaces He-3 tubes and provides spectral information. CLYC provides high intrinsic detection efficiency for thermal neutrons comparable to (or higher than) He-3 tubes, and being a scintillation material, the kinetic energy transferred to the material will produce a light flash dependent on the type of radiation (i.e. gamma rays generate an unambiguous pulse shape compared to neutron events). Commercial Application and Other Benefits: We foresee many potential commercial and marketable applications for the new neutron detectors in areas within and beyond nuclear material management. As potential He-3 replacements, these new detectors can be used in nuclear material tracking and monitoring for homeland security, such as portal monitors, and hand-held monitors for detection of nuclear weapons or dangerous radioactive materials. Along with providing spectral information, advance dosimetry applications, such as tracking dose for neutron capture therapy, can use this technology. The program will provide basic research on potential for neutron imaging devices using CLYC.
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