Introduction: What do we use detectors for?
determining if radiation and/or radioactive material is
An example of this would be survey meters or portal monitors .
determining what isotopes are
generating the radiation that is present.
An example of this would be most handheld isotope identifiers .
determining the amount of each isotope present.
An example of this would be nuclear material accountancy measurements.
Each of these levels gets progressively more difficult to accurately achieve. We will consider each of these levels of measurement in this module, but for safeguards purposes we are most interested in being able to do quantification. In the case of nuclear materials, we must use the unique properties of these materials to allow us to detect, identify, and quantify the materials. The nuclear materials of primary interest to us are uranium (U) and plutonium (Pu). We are also interested in americium (Am), curium (Cm), neptunium (Np), and californium (Cf).
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