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Control of Nuclear Materials


Development of an Apparatus for Nuclear Material Control Using a Pulsed Neutron Generator

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
All-Russian Research Institute of Automatics, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Sandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory / University of California, USA, CA, Livermore\nActivation Technology Corporation, USA, CO, Colorado Springs

Project summary

The work belongs to the field of nuclear materials (NM) accounting and control.

The work purpose is to develop high-performance transportable apparatus to control parts (samples) of NM using pulsed neutron generator (INQ). Active methods for NM control should underlie the apparatus.

Development of technique and equipment for NM control using ING requires carrying out the following works:

- comparative analysis of NM control technique developed under the project with other techniques; determination of its precision and application range; development of recommendation on this technique introduction;
- developing a meter of spatial-time distribution of studied medium response neutron flux;
- development of small-sized ING having high neutron output;
- development of small-sized high-precision monitor of ING neutron flux.

Pulsed neutron-neutron method is supposed to underlie the equipment. This method should allow estimation of NM mass and supposed isotopic composition in controlled part using data of measuring time dependence of secondary neutrons (prompt and delayed neutron of forced fission) and their spectrum.

The project assumes carrying out the works on optimization of neutron spectrum interrogating parts of NM and time intervals for recording secondary neutrons. Ratio between NM mass and isotopic composition and controlled parameters of neutron radiation should be also determined.

The development of meter of spatial-time distribution is intended to reduce part control time. Recording a series of repeated ING neutron pulses underlies the existing methods. The measurement time achieves ~ 103 s to provide sufficient statistics. The equipment under development should allow part control after one rather "powerful" neutron pulse.

The apparatus developed during the project and examined technique should be applied to real NM samples. Universality of equipment for recording neutron flux should allow its use in new tasks.

The development of a new effective apparatus using active method for NM control should allow substantial enhancing efficiency and reliability of control of parts of NM that will result in reducing a risk of NM theft and unauthorized removal. Risk of environment contamination should be also reduced.

Los-Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and American-Russia team on cooperation in the field of NM accounting, control, and protection have shown an interest in these works. This team has recommended submitting corresponding proposal to ISTC.


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