Nuclear Science Laboratory

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The Nuclear Science Laboratory

is equipped with modern detection systems designed for high efficiency or high resolution for measuring and analyzing radiation. HPGe,NaI, CZTe and gas-filled detectors are available with the necessary supporting electronics in CRATE or NIM configurations. These are housed in low background shielded containers, or can be reconfigured for specific research needs. Activation and reactor flux analysis are performed in an AGOT graphite pile with a PuBe neutron source. A gas low background alpha and beta counting system with automated inputs is available for radiation safety and surface counting measurements. A thermoluminescent dosimetry system is used to perform gamma dosimetry within the facility and to verify total dose measurements at off site locations.

A variety of standard alpha, beta, x-ray and gamma-ray radiation sources are available for calibrating radiation detector efficiency and performing other studies with radiation detectors, are radiochemistry laboratory. An environmentally controlled radon exposure chamber is also available to provide standard calibration of radon survey kits and detectors. PuBe neutron sources are available for neutron irradiations.

Our radiation effects on electronics and materials research encompasses transient and long term radiation damage effects on materials used in DoD applications. Our recent work is oriented on survivability of high speed and high energy components in the natural space and nuclear weapons enhanced environments, and includes measurements of ionizing interactions, electrostatic discharge, and EMP. Basic electronic characterization includes CV(T), IV(T) in-situ measurements, and in-situ measurement of transient radiation in electron, gamma and neutron irradiations. Post irradiation analysis can be performed on electronics and materials using micro-Ramman spectroscopy, cathode- and photo-luminescence, atomic force microscopy, Hall-effect, and ESR.

Environmental measurement tools for laboratory and field characterization of pollutants are being enhanced. These include a Packard scintillation spectrometer and two high-resolution gamma spectrometers with state-of-the-art Canberra multi-channel analyzers. The nuclear analytical research focus is focused on to making field measurements of nuclear fuels involving the development of highly sensitive alpha and neutron detectors as well as gamma-ray imaging systems to support future arms control efforts. Elemental analytical capabilities include a new laboratory BAIRD EX-6000 x-ray fluorescence spectrometer which will compliment the field-portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer.

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