A method and a system for detecting the presence of special nuclear materials in a suspect container. The system and its method include irradiating the suspect container with a beam of neutrons, so as to induce a thermal fission in a portion of the special nuclear materials, detecting the gamma rays that are emitted from the fission products formed by the thermal fission, to produce a detector signal, comparing the detector signal with a threshold value to form a comparison, and detecting the presence of the special nuclear materials using the comparison.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
A part of this invention was made with United States Government support from Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The United States has certain rights in this invention.