High-flux electronically generated thermal neutron source for radiographic applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W15QKN-08-C-0515
Agency Tracking Number: A2-3534
Amount: $2,333,080.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: A07-040
Solicitation Number: 2007.2
Small Business Information
8123 Forsythia St, Suite 140, Middleton, WI, -
DUNS: 612389572
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Piefer
 (608) 826-4267
Business Contact
 Gregory Piefer
Title: President
Phone: (608) 826-4267
Email: greg.piefer@phoenixnuclearlabs.com
Research Institution
Neutron radiography offers the potential to inspect small features located inside of materials that would be highly shielding to x-rays. In addition, the use of neutrons allows the radiographer to view elements in high detail that are nearly invisible to x-rays. Radiographers at the ARDEC have demonstrated that it would be possible to inspect Army munitions on a large scale provided that a neutron source of sufficient intensity could be developed. Current state-of-the-art tube-based neutron sources are not capable of this intensity and further suffer from short operational lifetimes, making them unsuitable for this application. Phoenix Nuclear Labs (PNL) is currently developing a thermal neutron source that will be capable of achieving the ARDEC’s goals. This technology, called FLAME, will be able to produce up to 1014 n/s steady state with a power usage of < 50kW, and has no foreseeable limitations on lifetime. PNL is also developing advanced neutron moderators that allow for highly efficient moderation, ensuring that the neutrons created by FLAME are efficiently used. When combined, these systems will be able to generate a thermal flux exceeding 1*108 n/cm2/s at a distance of 1 meter from the edge of the moderator and achieving the ARDEC’s goal.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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