Radiography apparatus includes an arrangement for circulating pure water continuously between a location adjacent a source of energetic neutrons, such as a tritium target irradiated by a deuteron beam, and a remote location where radiographic analysis is conducted. Oxygen in the pure water is activated via the .sup.16 O(n,p).sup.16 N reaction using .sup.14 -MeV neutrons produced at the neutron source via the .sup.3 H(d,n).sup.4 He reaction. Essentially monoenergetic gamma rays at 6.129 (predominantly) and 7.115 MeV are produced by the 7.13-second .sup.16 N decay for use in radiographic analysis. The gamma rays have substantial penetrating power and are useful in determining the thickness of materials and elemental compositions, particularly for metals and high-atomic number materials. The characteristic decay half life of 7.13 seconds of the activated oxygen is sufficient to permit gamma ray generation at a remote location where the activated water is transported, while not presenting a chemical or radioactivity hazard because the radioactivity falls to negligible levels after 1-2 minutes.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.