Photoneutron source based on a compact 10 MeV betatron

V. L. Chakhlov, Z. W. Bell, V. M. Golovkov, Mikhail Mikhailovich Shtein

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Accelerator-based photoneutron sources have enjoyed wide use and offer the advantages of long term stability, ease of control and absence of radioactive materials. We report here measurements of the yield of photoneutrons from a neutron generator using a compact betatron. Electrons were accelerated to energies up to 10 MeV and produced a bremsstrahlung beam with a dose rate of 0.16 Gy/min (at 10 MeV, 1 m from the bremsstrahlung target) to irradiate LiD, Be, depleted U, and Pb neutron-producing targets. The angular distributions of photoneutrons produced by bremsstrahlung beams were measured with a "long" counter and integrated to determine neutron yield. In addition, neutron time of flight spectra were recorded from all targets using a 15.5 m flight path perpendicular to the photon beam. The maximum observed yields were 4.6 × 107 n/s obtained with 1 kg of LiD, 5.7 × 107 n/s from a 3.3 kg Be block, 6.2 × 106 n/s from 1.5 kg of depleted U, and 7.0 × 106 n/s from 10.7 kg of Pb. Optimization of target dimensions, shape, and positioning is expected to increase the yield from the LiD target by a factor of 35, while optimization of the other targets is expected to yield at most a factor of 10. With the increased yield and a deuteride target, this compact betatron-based system could find application in the interrogation of waste containers for fissile material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-9
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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