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Non-Destructive Control of Toxic Chemicals


Development of Technology and Means for Non-destructive Assay of Chemical Weapons and Capacities with Toxic Chemicals Using Radiation Method with Portable Neutron Generator Use

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Zykov S A

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

Supporting institutes

  • VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov


  • Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, USA, ID, Idaho Falls\nEG&G ORTEC / Integrated Systems, USA, TN, Oak Ridge\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore

Project summary

The project purpose is the development of technology and means for non-destructive assay of chemical weapons and capacities with toxic chemicals using nuclear-physics analysis methods with external neutron source use. Non-destructive assay methods intrusion would significantly simplify toxic chemical identification, which is currently mainly performed by direct sampling method.

From all types of neutron sources the use of pulsed neutron generators in combination with moderators, collimators, converters of neutrons and the special measuring means can give the best result. Analyzed chemical type is defined by presence and quantitative ratios of key elements characteristic for it. Recording gamma-radiation of inelastic scattering of neutrons, (n, n’), their radiation capture (n, g), and also induced gamma-radiation of nuclei activated by neutrons underlies the elements determination. High penetration of neutron and gamma-radiation’s will allow chemical type determination through capacity walls.

Pulsed neutron generator use will extend neutron methods capabilities, for instance, at the expense of carbon and oxygen determination using recording gamma-radiation with energy of 4,43 MeV (n, n’) and 6,1 MeV (n, p) respectively. It is possible, pulsed neutron generator use will allow rejection of using expensive semiconductor Ge detector requiring liquid nitrogen for its operation.

Establishing presence of key elements allowing chemical type identification is performed by comparison of obtained spectra with spectrum library (prototype - spectrometer of EG&G Ortec Plus MCA type) which should be developed in the course of carrying out the project.

Upon fulfillment of the project the following results should be obtained:

- optimum complex of experimental methods for toxic chemical non-destructive assay and inspection should be developed. The complex will allow the determination of qualitative and quantitative characteristics enabling unambiguous identification of analyzed chemicals in munitions and other capacities;
- pulsed neutron generators the operating characteristics of which (continuous operation lifetime, neutron output, dimensions, etc.) enable their use in non-destructive assay installations should be developed and manufactured;
- radiation-hygienic ground of permissible radiation level for service personnel should be given;
- software for data analysis in different modes of the installation operation should be developed.

Final result of carrying out the project will be the development of technology for non-destructive toxic chemical assay using pulsed neutron generators and multichannel gamma-spectrometers. This technology is realized in pilot-scale installation prototype.

Scientific novelty of the project is the development of non-destructive toxic chemicals identification method based on recording gamma-spectra of inelastic fast neutrons scattering, radiation capture of thermal neutrons, and induced gamma-radiation arising while interrogating studied object with fast neutron flux of the generator.

Suggested method allows toxic chemicals determination independently on elemental composition of capacity shell.

Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), Livermore Lorentz National Laboratory (LLNL), and EG&G ORTEC have shown interest in this work.


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