F. Naqvi, P. Levine, A. Danagoulian, “Feasibility studies of doing NRTA measurements using an AmBe neutron source”, INMM/ESARDA Joint Annual Meeting, 22-26 May 2023, Vienna, Austria.
Neutron resonance transmission analysis technique (NRTA) uses the resonance phenomenon to identify the isotopic composition of unknown materials. Several mid-Z to high-Z elements have discrete energy levels 1 eV- 100 eV above the neutron separation energy. In this range, the transmission spectra of epithermal neutrons for these elements exhibit unique resonant signatures due to which NRTA has found its applications in the field of archaeology, warhead verification and spent fuel analysis. Presence and quantification of special nuclear materials such as U-235, U-238, Pu-239 and Pu-240 with NRTA is being explored, however its application is currently limited due to the availability of calibrated, strong neutron sources only at large experimental facilities. To eliminate this limitation, we have studied the feasibility of doing NRTA using an isotopic AmBe neutron source. The preliminary experimental results show promise for a mobile and compact NRTA setup capable of identifying isotopic composition of unknown material. Data from ongoing experiments and its implication on the future measurements will be discussed.