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Passive, non-intrusive assay of depleted uranium

Author:
Parker, H.M.O., Beaumont, J.S., Joyce, M.J.
Source:
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.364 pp. 293-299
ISSN:
0304-3894
Subject:
detectors, liquids, neutrons, radionuclides, uranium
Abstract:
The ability to detect neutrons from the spontaneous fission of 238U in samples of depleted uranium with organic liquid scintillation detectors is presented. In this paper we introduce a small modular organic liquid scintillator detector array that can detect changes in mass of 238U between 3.69 g and 14.46 g. To do this, 18-h assays of various masses of 0.3% wt. of depleted uranium dioxide were assessed using four EJ-309 detectors, a mixed field analyser operated in pulse gradient analysis mode, and associated counting components. We observe a background-corrected fast neutron count sensitivity of (2.0 ± 0.3) × 10−4 n g−1 s−1 per detector. This research demonstrates a proof of concept for depleted uranium quantity to be assessed passively on a non-intrusive basis via its spontaneous fission decay.
Agid:
6132379