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Position-Sensitive Detection


The Inspectional Position-sensitive Detection Instruments for the Nuclear Materials Control.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
NIIIT (Pulse Techniques), Russia, Moscow


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore

Project summary

The reliable instruments for the detection, identification, and counting of nuclear weapons elements at any operation stage are needed for the control of fulfillment of the Strategic Arms Treaty, Treaty on nuclear arms unspreading and agreements between Russia, USA, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan on safety keeping and utilization of nuclear materials, in order to prevent the nuclear terrorism, contraband, and nuclear materials plundering.

The most effective methods of nuclear fissile materials inspection are the radiational ones. They are based on the absolute and relative measurements and spectral analysis of neutron and gamma-radiation of nuclear materials. There are many types of commercial radiometers and spectrometers for different applications. But in some variants of inspection for the reliable identification and quantitative determination of radioactive material the additional measurements of material shape, size and spatial distribution in the controlled volume are necessary. Such measurements may be done only with the special position-sensitive detection (PSD) instruments.

The aim of this project proposed by RIPT is development of portable special inspection instruments on the base of PSD that will permit to detect and identify nuclear materials including weapon materials assuming all their characteristics: shape, size, spatial distribution, radiation spectra, intensity of neutron and gamma-radiation. We hope to receive the visual image of the radioactive objects with size up to 1m (spatial resolution of image – nearly 2%), and detect neutrons and gamma-rays with their spectral analysis spectrometry (energy resolution 10–20%) in energy ranges typical for weapon nuclear materials. The time of inspection of the object with 1 m ґ 1 m size and with surface gamma radiation current density nearly 103 qu/cm2s is not more than 1 minute on the distance 0.2–0.5 m from the object to the detector.

The PSD construction is supposed to be based on the simplest scanning type one-coordinate detector consisting of the long scintillating bar with two photomultipliers (PM) at the ends of the bar. Such construction will provide minimal weight, size and power supply. We plan to use various combinations of scintillators having good n-gamma piding capability. It will allow to detect thermal and fast neutrons and gamma-rays with high efficiency and to define their spectra.

The device must also include image forming collimation system, scanning system, and electronic blocks for amplitude, coordinate, and pulse shape selection. The data processing system using autonomous portable PC and software will be developed. Using Si-photodiodes instead of PM and other types of PSD will be investigated in order to decrease the weight and size of the system.

After minimal correction of the construction the supposed autonomous instrument can be applied for solution of different tasks connected with ecology monitoring, defectoscopy, etc.

For the project realization RIPT has necessary production base and high qualified labor forces with experience in design and exploitation of detection devices for defense, including detector systems for nuclear materials diagnostic.

The objective of the project corresponds with ISTC aims in promotion of military science conversion.

Role of foreign collaborators:

The great interest in mutual development of advanced PSD-based control systems was expressed by collaborators of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The collaboration between the USA and the Russia in the project realization will be beneficial both economically and for the optimal technical solution according with the project aims. The usage the project results by any country will rise its nuclear safety.


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