C.M. Ryan , C.M. Marianno, W.S. Charlton, A.A. Solodov, J. Livesay, and B. Goddard, “Predicting Concrete Roadway Contribution to Gamma-ray Background in Radiation Portal Monitor Systems”, Nuclear Technology, 186, 3 (2014).
class=’first’The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in an era of interest in the security of the radiological and nuclear material holdings of the Russian Federation and other countries of the Former Soviet Union. Additionally, the increasing sophistication of international criminal and terrorist organizations highlighted the need to secure these materials and prevent them from being smuggled from their point of origin and across international boundaries. To combat the growing threat of radiological and nuclear smuggling, radiation portal monitors (RPMs) are deployed at ports of entry (POEs) around the world to passively detect gamma and neutron radiation signatures from cargo and pedestrian traffic. In some locations, RPMs are reporting abnormally high gamma-ray background count rates, a situation that has been attributed, in part, to the building materials surrounding the RPMs. The primary objective of this work was to determine the impact of different types of concrete on the gamma-ray background readings in a particular RPM. Secondary objectives include developing an adaptable model to estimate the gamma-ray background contribution from any composition of concrete in any RPM configuration and determining the elemental composition of different concrete samples through neutron activation analysis (NAA) techniques. The specific activities of