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Nuclear Material Tracers

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Disclosed herein are embodiments of systems and methods for creating tracer nuclear materials. In one aspect, a Compact Fusion Neutron Source (CFNS) as described herein, can be used to create tracer isotopes to be added to fissile fuels to aid in anti-proliferation, though other methods of creating isotopes are contemplated. The generation of the isotopes require (n,2n) reactions, which can be caused by the high energy neutrons created by fusion. Potential tracer isotopes include U232, Th228 and Pu236, although other isotopes may be used. Such tracer isotopes can be created (such as by a CFNS), and then added to fissile materials at some stage of their processing. This abstract is intended for use as a scanning tool only and is not intended to be limiting.
Kotschenreuther, Michael T. (Austin, TX), Mahajan, Swadesh M. (Austin, TX), Valanju, Prashant M. (Austin, TX)
12/ 412,284
March 26, 2009
[0001] This invention was made with U.S. government support under Grant Nos. DE-FG02-04ER54742 and DE-FG02-04ER54754 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The U.S. government has certain rights in the invention.