Skip to main content
European Commission logo
ESARDA
Scientific paper

Impact of Concrete Building Structures on Neutron Radiation and its Mitigation

ESARDA Bulletin - The International Journal of Nuclear Safeguards and Non-Proliferation

Details

Identification
ISSN: 1977-5296, DOI: 10.3011/ESARDA.IJNSNP.2022.8
Publication date
26 October 2022
Author
Joint Research Centre

Description

Volume: 64, issue 2, December 2022, pages 2-9

Authors: Svenja Sonder, Simon Hebel, Carina Prünte and Gerald Kirchner

Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker-Zentrum für Naturwissenschaft und Friedensforschung, Universität Hamburg

Abstract: A key technique for nuclear disarmament verification is neutron counting. Such measurements take place in nuclear facilities with concrete rooms. Neutron scattering in building structures can create a significant background, leading to higher measured neutron flux densities as well as a moderated energy distribution. Since neutron measurements may become a major tool in nuclear disarmament verification, assessing the influence of concrete is important for this application. Using Monte Carlo simulations, the impact of concrete building structures on the neutron radiation has been analysed for different scenarios. For a single wall it is shown that for energies between 1 eV and 14 MeV the ratio between reflected and transmitted neutrons depends on the source energy. Moreover, scattering in the concrete causes thermalisation of the neutron energy spectrum. Exchanging regular Portland concrete with radiation protection concrete leads to less reflected and transmitted neutrons, but in the MeV range the difference between the concrete types is small. In a closed room, neutron flux densities depend on the thickness of the walls, the room size, and the concrete composition. In a small room flux densities may be nearly an order of magnitude higher than in an open environment. Different concrete compositions can alter flux densities by a factor of 2 and significantly impact their energy spectra. The effect of the walls can be mitigated by enclosing both measurement sample and detector in a standardised neutron absorbent casing.

Keywords: nuclear disarmament; neutron counting; concrete; neutron scattering

Reference guideline:

Sonder, S., Hebel, S., Prünte, C., & Kirchner, G. (2022, December). Impact of Concrete Building Structures on Neutron Radiation and its Mitigation. ESARDA Bulletin - The International Journal of Nuclear Safeguards and Non-proliferation, 64(2), 2-9. https://doi.org/10.3011/ESARDA.IJNSNP.2022.8

THMB_Bulletin-64_2_p.2-9-Sonder

Files

Impact of Concrete Building Structures on Neutron Radiation and its Mitigation
English
(1.44 MB - PDF)
Download