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Detecting fission from special nuclear material sources

United States Patent

June 5, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A neutron detector system 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. The system includes a graphing component that displays the plot of the neutron distribution from the unknown source over a Poisson distribution and a plot of neutrons due to background or environmental sources. The system further includes a known neutron source placed in proximity to the unknown source to actively interrogate the unknown source in order to accentuate differences in neutron emission from the unknown source from Poisson distributions and/or environmental sources.
Rowland; Mark S. (Alamo, CA), Snyderman; Neal J. (Berkeley, CA)
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (Livermore, CA)
11/ 925,682
October 26, 2007
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 the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.