A system and method are disclosed for determining the enrichment of .sup.235U in Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) utilizing synthesized X-rays which are directed at a container test zone containing a sample of UF6. A detector placed behind the container test zone then detects and counts the X-rays which pass through the container and the UF6. In order to determine the portion of the attenuation due to the UF6 gas alone, this count rate may then be compared to a calibration count rate of X-rays passing through a calibration test zone which contains a vacuum, the test zone having experienced substantially similar environmental conditions as the actual test zone. Alternatively, X-rays of two differing energy levels may be alternately directed at the container, where either the container or the UF6 has a high sensitivity to the difference in the energy levels, and the other having a low sensitivity.
STATEMENT OF FEDERAL RIGHTS
The United States government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 between the United States Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory.