A non-radio-isotopic radiological source using a dense plasma focus (DPF) to produce an intense z-pinch plasma from a gas, such as helium, and which accelerates charged particles, such as generated from the gas or injected from an external source, into a target positioned along an acceleration axis and of a type known to emit ionizing radiation when impinged by the type of accelerated charged particles. In a preferred embodiment, helium gas is used to produce a DPF-accelerated He2+ ion beam to a beryllium target, to produce neutron emission having a similar energy spectra as a radio-isotopic AmBe neutron source. Furthermore, multiple DPFs may be stacked to provide staged acceleration of charged particles for enhancing energy, tenability, and control of the source.
II. FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.