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Search for Neutron Source in Urban Areas


Development of a Technology for Seeking a Neutron Source in Compactly Built-up Urban Areas and Design of a Prototype Survey Radiometer

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors
  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • INS-DET/Detection Devices/Instrumentation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Lapidus O V

Leading Institute
NIIIT (Pulse Techniques), Russia, Moscow


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore

Project summary

The objective of the project is to develop a technology of search for a neutron source in compactly built-up urban areas and a design of a prototype survey radiometer.

For the project goal to be achieved, it is necessary to do the following:

develop a procedure for measuring the neutron distribution over the territory of an urban locality (spatial scanning);
develop a special detector (field neutron scanner) for thermal to spontaneous fission neutrons (or for a narrower energy range);
develop design documentation and manufacture a model of the scanner;
develop software for data visualization and analysis;
perform a demonstration of the search for a neutron source in a town using the technology and the field neutron scanner developed in the course of the project implementation.

The project will be implemented by highly skilled specialists of NIIIT.

Over more than 30 years, Research Institute of Pulse Techniques (NIIIT) has been carrying out research and development works on the design of radiation monitoring equipment for various purposes.

The specialists of NIIIT have developed ground stationary and mobile radiation-monitoring systems for border control and customs inspection, radiation safety of transportation and transport facilities, on-site radiation monitoring, and for some special purposes. Moreover, NIIIT has wide experience in the support of inspection activities in the framework of the INF and START Treaties between Russia and the USA: radiation monitors used in the inspections and an inspection system installed and operated at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant.

All these instruments are based on different methods for detecting intrinsic neutron and -radiation of fissile materials.

NIIIT also pursued investigations on the development and refinement of mathematical tools for processing the data on the measured neutron and -ray fields of inspected objects, isolating weak signals against the background noise, and filtering spectral distributions of signals.

Expected results

The project proposal falls into the Category of Technology Development and Technology Demonstration. The main results of the project implementation will be the following:

a specimen of the field neutron scanner;
design documentation for the field neutron scanner;
software of the search for neutron sources in urban areas;
technical report with the findings and recommendations for their implementation.

The scanner that will be developed can be used in the following technology areas:

Nuclear Safety (FIR-NSS);
Monitoring and Instrumentation (ENV-MIN);
Detection Devices (INS-DET).

The scope of cooperation with potential foreign collaborators within the framework of the project is the following:

information exchange in the course of project implementation;
discussion of specifications for the equipment being developed with allowance for the specific features of similar problems;
participation in experiments and discussion of the results.

The project implementation meets the ISTC goals and objectives in supporting applied research and technology development for peaceful purposes and promoting integration of Russian scientists into the international scientific community. Eighteen scientists and engineers formerly involved in design, construction and performance of the equipment for nuclear testing will take part in the project for 1.5 years.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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