A neutron detector system and method for discriminating fissile material from non-fissile material wherein a digital data acquisition unit collects data at high rate, and in real-time processes large volumes of data directly into information that a first responder can use to discriminate materials. The system comprises counting neutrons from the unknown source and detecting excess grouped neutrons to identify fission in the unknown source. Comparison of the observed neutron count distribution with a Poisson distribution is performed to distinguish fissile material from non-fissile material.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC.