Determination of Phoswich detector response using MCNP analysis to enhance Radioxenon measurement Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0r967734r

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  • As mandated by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the United States (US) is involved in the development and deployment of an International Monitoring System (IMS) for monitoring nuclear explosions. The US system, developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is known as the Automated Radioxenon Sampler/Analyzer (ARSA). The US plans to implement a large number of monitoring stations around the world, so reductions must be made in power requirements, complexity, size and cost. Research suggests the potential of using a Phoswich-based detector system that will meet these reduction requirements while increasing reliability of nuclear-detonation radioxenon detection. In 2005 the research team at Oregon State University began seeking ways to optimize detection of radioxenon gas produced during fission processes, including the detonation of nuclear weapons. The research described herein is part of this effort. The objectives of this research are as follows: (1) to review fission mechanisms for radioxenon production, (2) to model a triple-layer prototype phoswich detector and determine detector response on exposure to radioxenons, and (3) to predict detector responses from various energy deposition patterns. Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) version 5 was used to model the phoswich detector and to simulate energy deposition from radioxenon sources. The simulations revealed that the phoswich detection system achieves excellent detection of photon and electron energies associated with radioxenon decay. Probabilities of radioxenon photon interactions in the three scintillation crystals were determined. By tracking the history of a photon, the simulation data was correlated into pulse shapes. The pulses were analyzed by a component analysis (CA) algorithm yielding accurate pulse component discrimination.
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