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Radiography apparatus using gamma rays emitted by water activated by fusion neutrons

United States Patent

5,572,559
November 5, 1996
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Argonne National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Development and Commercialization Website
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.
Smith; Donald L. (Plainfield, IL), Ikeda; Yujiro (Ibaraki, JP), Uno; Yoshitomo (Ibaraki, JP)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 583,150
December 28, 1995
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.