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Lab Projects
LLNL (Livernore) Researchers develop a new mathematical tool for analyzing and evaluating nuclear material http://www.wessexlifescience.co.uk/news/...r-material liquid scintillator detector

Quote:Special nuclear materials (SNM)—highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium 239—are unique among radioactive materials in sustaining neutron-induced fission chain reactions. Only SNM naturally create self-perpetuating fission chain reactions and in turn emit bursts of many neutrons and gamma rays.

Their new methods are designed to exploit the burst timing pattern of neutrons and gamma rays emitted by fission chains in HEU and plutonium. One of the goals is to determine the mass and geometric properties of the unknown material and its configurations.

"Earlier formulations and methods have treated the fission chains as integral bursts, which is appropriate for traditional methods of thermal neutron counting," project leader Les Nakae said. "We have been developing new detection systems that can count neutrons and gamma-rays on the nanosecond time scale. This new counting capability can isolate individual fission events within a fission chain and requires a new theory to fully exploit and interpret this data, which includes both neutrons and gamma rays from fission and multiple time scales."

Using this theory, the team was able to accurately predict measurements from real systems with SNM in the form of time-correlated neutrons and gamma rays.
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