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Scientific paper

Three-dimensional Positional Analysis of Weapons Grade Plutonium Using Gridded Arrays of Dosimeters

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

Details

Identification
ISSN: 1977-5296, DOI: 10.3011/ESARDA.IJNSNP.2020.10
Publication date
1 December 2020
Author
Joint Research Centre

Description

Volume: 61, December 2020, pages 32-38,

Authors: Ryan P. O’Mara1 and Robert B. Hayes2

1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2North Carolina State University

Abstract:

One of the primary challenges to preventing the covert proliferation of nuclear weapons is that no technology currently exists that can economically monitor nuclear activities continuously throughout time. Previous studies have shown that luminescence dosimetry can potentially be used to determine the energy of historical radiation environments and even source positions. This work serves to demonstrate that with an adequate number of radiation dose measurements, it may also be possible to image source material using luminescence dosimetry. To that end, a 4.5 kg sphere of weapons grade plutonium was used to expose two gridded arrays of commercial optically stimulated luminescence dosimeters (OSLDs). The measured position-wise dose was then used to reconstruct the 3-dimensional position of that source material. Expanding upon these findings it may be possible in the future to use luminescence dosimetry in ubiquitous, environmental materials to reconstruct the historical radiation fields in nearly any nuclear facility in the world. Developing such a capability could greatly increase the likelihood of detection of covert nuclear weapons development across broad time scales.

Keywords: Non-proliferation, verification technologies, radiation detection, passive detection

Reference guideline:

O'Mara, R.P., & Hayes, R.B. (2020). Three-dimensional Positional Analysis of Weapons Grade Plutonium Using Gridded Arrays of Dosimeters. ESARDA Bulletin - The International Journal of Nuclear Safeguards and Non-proliferation, 61, 32-38. https://doi.org/10.3011/ESARDA.IJNSNP.2020.10

THMB_Bulletin-61_p.32-38-O'Mara

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Three-dimensional Positional Analysis of Weapons Grade Plutonium Using Gridded Arrays of Dosimeters
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