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New Fast Scintillators


Development of New Fast Scintillators for Nuclear Power Facility Monitoring, Radioactive Material Detection Systems and in Medicine

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-DET/Detection Devices/Instrumentation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIKhT (Chemical Technology), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • NPO Mayak, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Oziorsk\nInstitute of General Physics named after A.M. Prokhorov RAS, Russia, Moscow\nFIAN Lebedev, Russia, Moscow


  • Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg / Physikalisches Institut, Germany, Erlangen

Project summary

The aim of the project is the development of the technology of highly efficient fast scintillators production for solving the following problems:

1) development of scintillating dosimeters for current monitoring near active zones of nuclear power plants, in particular, for reliable evaluation of the dose power during an emergency damage of a nuclear reactor shielding. The developed dosimeters should have high radiation hardness and high light yield;

2) development of relatively cheap fast scintillating dosimeters for positron tomography with high light yield

3) development of scintillating detectors for accurate detection of radioactive pollutions with g-radioactive isotopes identification.

For solving first two problems it is planned in the project to study a wide range of oxide crystals, grown by the method of "cold container". This method is contained in a direct high frequency heating and melting of dielectric in a water-cooled container with further crystallization of the melt. This method allows growing refractory and chemically active compositions, which are impossible to obtain by normally used for scintillator growth "crucible" methods. It has the advantages of significantly increased production capacity of the process and possibility of high temperature crystal synthesis and a significant lowering of the cost of crystalline scintillators.

To solve the problem of a highly accurate remote detection of radioactive sources it is planned to develop a layered detector made of scintillating fluoride fiber lightguides.

The project will be carried out by using the technology and setup for crystal growth by the method of "cold container" and also the technology of fiber production developed in A-RICT, SIU "Mayak" and institutes of Academy of Science for military purposes.

Main Directions of Studies

- study of synthesis processes of high purity refractory oxide compositions with high density (compounds and solid solutions on the basis of high density HfO2, as well as other high density refractory compounds, doped with cerium);
- study of the growing process of these compositions by the method of "cold container";
- study of scintillating characteristics of the grown crystals depending on technological parameters and initial materials purity;
- study of the production of scintillating high density fluoride glasses for cores and envelopes, compatible in terms of refraction index and coefficient of thermal expansion;
- studies on development of production technology of scintillating fiber lightguides;
- development of scintillating detectors on the basis of oxide scintillator and scintillating fiber lightguides.

The work is finished by tests of the developed detectors by foreign partners and SIU "Mayak" and issuing instructions on the application and industrial production.

Expected Results

The following items will be developed:

- production technology of scintillators by the method of 'cold container' with the following properties:

density - 7.0 g/cm3
light yield under gamma excitation - 20 000 ph/MeV
decay time - < 50 ns
radiation hardness - > 108 rad
cost - < 15 $/cm3

- experimental samples of the scintillating detectors for PET and active core control in nuclear reactors;
- compositions of the glasses for the core and envelope of scintillating lightguides;
- production technology of scintillation fluoride fiber lightguides with the following properties:

diameter -0.3 mm
optical losses in peak max. emission Ce3+ (l = 330 nm) - 3 dB/m
light yield under gamma excitation - 0.7% of NaI(Tl)

- experimental sample of the scintillation detector for control of the radioactive pollution sources with a coordinate resolution less than 0.5 mm.

28 high qualified experts in the field of chemistry, technology and physics, engaged in the nuclear weapon production and 8 scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences having an experiences in the project's problematic would be involved in the project.

The foreign partner's goals are:

- joint discussion of obtained results;
- evaluation of technological decisions and correction of the working schedule if necessary;
- conducting of tests on the developed materials with the project's framework;
- participation in issuing instructions on the industrial production and application of scintillation detectors.

Involvement in the project of different profile from the four mentioned institutes create preconditions for its successful completion.


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