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Neutron Detection Systems and Instruments

ORTEC’s line of neutron detection instruments are simple to use and designed for nuclear search and emergency response.  Whether you need to search for elevated sources of neutron activity or to resolve whether a neutron alarm is the result of cosmic background, neutrons emitted from an industrial source, or from special nuclear material, with ORTEC’s top of the line detection systems, you can be certain of a correct answer every time.

The detection of illicit radioactive material is highly important in homeland security applications worldwide. There is great concern about Radioactive Dispersal Devices (RDDs), but the destructive power of these terrorist weapons is small compared to that of a nuclear explosion produced by an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) or state-built nuclear weapon. Even a crude nuclear device could have an explosive power equivalent to 250 Kilotons of TNT. A nuclear explosion requires the presence of so-called Special Nuclear Material (SNM), which is, Uranium or Plutonium. The major technical challenge is to detect and identify SNM rapidly and with certainty. The most common approach to the detection of RDD or IND devices is through their gamma-ray signatures. However, heavy metal shielding may ultimately defeat such methods.

The Sodium Iodide Search System (NAI-SS) combines highly sensitive gamma and neutron search with GPS mapping and track, gamma nuclide identification, and background correction to limit false alarms.  The expandable system can employ up to four NaI gamma and He-3 neutron detectors, and can be configured to meet any need.

The Fission Meter is unique among neutron all detection systems in that it can reject interference from normal cosmic background neutrons.  This capability increases its sensitivity to neutrons produced by fission events in Special Nuclear Material, such as plutonium and uranium.  The Fission Meter allows a user to unambiguously tell the difference between neutron alarms caused by industrial sources and those from suspect illicit nuclear material.

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