B. J. Quiter

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, United States

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Publications (25)20.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Near-monoenergetic photon sources at MeV energies offer improved sensitivity at greatly reduced dose for active interrogation, and new capabilities in treaty verification, nondestructive assay of spent nuclear fuel and emergency response. Thomson (also referred to as Compton) scattering sources are an established method to produce appropriate photon beams. Applications are however restricted by the size of the required high-energy electron linac, scattering (photon production) system, and shielding for disposal of the high energy electron beam. Laser-plasma accelerators (LPAs) produce GeV electron beams in centimeters, using the plasma wave driven by the radiation pressure of an intense laser. Recent LPA experiments are presented which have greatly improved beam quality and efficiency, rendering them appropriate for compact high-quality photon sources based on Thomson scattering. Designs for MeV photon sources utilizing the unique properties of LPAs are presented. It is shown that control of the scattering laser, including plasma guiding, can increase photon production efficiency. This reduces scattering laser size and/or electron beam current requirements to scale compatible with the LPA. Lastly, the plasma structure can decelerate the electron beam after photon production, reducing the size of shielding required for beam disposal. Together, these techniques provide a path to a compact photon source system.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.nimb.2015.01.013 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Non-destructive assay (NDA) of 239Pu in spent nuclear fuel is possible using the isotope-specific nuclear resonance fluorescence (NRF) integral resonance transmission (IRT) method. The IRT method measures the absorption of photons from a quasi-monoenergetic γ-ray beam due to all resonances in the energy width of the beam. According to calculations the IRT method could greatly improve assay times for 239Pu in nuclear fuel. To demonstrate and verify the IRT method, the IRT signature was first measured in 181Ta, whose nuclear resonant properties are similar to those of 239Pu, and then measured in 239Pu. These measurements were done using the quasi-monoenergetic beam at the High Intensity γ-ray Source (HIγS) in Durham, NC, USA. The IRT signature was observed as a decrease in scattering strength when the same isotope material was placed upstream of the scattering target. The results confirm the validity of the IRT method in both 181Ta and 239Pu.
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    ABSTRACT: We have measured a large number of proton-induced radionuclide production cross sections from tellurium targets of natural isotopic composition at incident energies of 0.80, 1.4, and 23 GeV. The results of these measurements are compared to semi-empirical calculations and the contribution of this cosmo-genic activity to the background of the CUORE experiment, presently being realized, is evaluated.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 11/2012; 295:16-21. DOI:10.1016/j.nimb.2012.10.008 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear resonance fluorescence (NRF), a process by which a nucleus is excited by absorption of a specific quantum of energy and then deexcites via the emission of one or more γ rays, may be applied to nondestructively measure the isotopic composition of a sample. NRF excitations in 240Pu were identified in the energy range of 2.1 to 2.8 MeV using a 3-MeV bremsstrahlung source. Utilizing high-purity germanium detectors at backward angles, nine resonances in 240Pu were identified in this energy range. The measured integrated cross sections range from 29 to 104 eV b. These resonances are of interest to nuclear structure physics and provide unique signatures for the assay of 240Pu content for nuclear forensics, nuclear safeguards, and counterterrorism applications.
    Physical Review C 09/2012; 86(3). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevC.86.034307 · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In nuclear resonance fluorescence (NRF) measurements, resonances are excited by an external photon beam leading to the emission of gamma rays with specific energies that are characteristic of the emitting isotope. NRF promises the unique capability of directly quantifying a specific isotope without the need for unfolding the combined responses of several fissile isotopes as is required in other measurement techniques. We have analyzed the potential of NRF as a non-destructive analysis technique for quantitative measurements of Pu isotopes in spent nuclear fuel (SNF). Given the low concentrations of 239Pu in SNF and its small integrated NRF cross sections, the main challenge in achieving precise and accurate measurements lies in accruing sufficient counting statistics in a reasonable measurement time. Using analytical modeling, and simulations with the radiation transport code MCNPX that has been experimentally tested recently, the backscatter and transmission methods were quantitatively studied for differing photon sources and radiation detector types. Resonant photon count rates and measurement times were estimated for a range of photon source and detection parameters, which were used to determine photon source and gamma-ray detector requirements. The results indicate that systems based on a bremsstrahlung source and present detector technology are not practical for high-precision measurements of 239Pu in SNF. Measurements that achieve the desired uncertainties within hour-long measurements will either require stronger resonances, which may be expressed by other Pu isotopes, or require quasi-monoenergetic photon sources with intensities that are approximately two orders of magnitude higher than those currently being designed or proposed.This work is part of a larger effort sponsored by the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative to develop an integrated instrument, comprised of individual NDA techniques with complementary features, that is fully capable of determining Pu mass in spent fuel assemblies.
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    ABSTRACT: Transmission nuclear resonance fluorescence measurements were made on targets consisting of Pb and depleted U with total areal densities near 86g/cm2. The 238U content in the targets varied from 0% to 8.5% (atom fraction). The experiment demonstrates the capability of using transmission measurements as a non-destructive technique to identify and quantify the presence of an isotope in samples with thicknesses comparable to the average thickness of a nuclear fuel assembly. The experimental data also appear to demonstrate the process of notch refilling with a predictable intensity. Comparison of measured spectra to previous backscatter 238U measurements indicates general agreement in observed excited states. Evidence of two new 238U excited states and possibly a third state have also been observed.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 05/2011; 269(10):1130-1139. DOI:10.1016/j.nimb.2011.02.081 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the use of nuclear resonance fluorescence (NRF) techniques for the isotopic and quantitative assaying of radioactive material. Potential applications include age-dating of an unknown radioactive source, pre- and post-detonation nuclear forensics and safeguards for nuclear fuel cycles Examples of age-dating a strong radioactive source and assaying a spent fuel pin are discussed. The modeling work has ben performed with the Monte Carlo radiation transport computer code MCNPX and the capability to simulate NRF has bee added to the code. Discussed are the limitations in MCNPX's photon transport physics for accurately describing photon scattering processes that are important contributions to the background and impact the applicability of the NRF assay technique.
    IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 05/2011; 58(2-58):400 - 403. DOI:10.1109/TNS.2011.2112777 · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are a variety of motivations for quantifying plutonium in used (spent) fuel assemblies by means of nondestructive assay including the following: shipper/receiver difference, input accountability at reprocessing facilities and burnup credit at repositories or fuel storage facilities. Twelve NDA techniques were identified for providing fuel assembly composition information. 1 Unfortunately, none of these techniques, in isolation, is capable of determining the Pu mass in an assembly. However, it is expected that the Pu mass can be quantified by combining a few of the techniques. Determining which techniques to combine and estimating the expected performance of such a system is the purpose of a research effort recently begun. The research presented here is a complimentarily experimental effort. This paper will focus on experimental results of one of the twelve non-destructive assay techniques -passive neutron albedo reactivity. The passive neutron albedo reactivity techniques works by changing the multiplication that the pin experiences between two separate measurements. Since a single spent fuel pin has very little multiplication, this is a challenging measurement situation for the technique. Singles and Doubles neutron count rate were measured at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for three different burnup pins to test the capability of the passive neutron albedo reactivity technique.
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    ABSTRACT: Minimization of radioactive backgrounds is critical for experiments attempting to measure neutrinoless double beta decay (0nubetabeta). To estimate cosmic ray-induced radionuclide production in 0nubetabeta experiments, we have irradiated targets composed of natural isotopic composition molybdenum and germanium with 800 MeV protons at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE). The targets were counted with high-purity germanium detectors at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory intermittently from 2 weeks to 1 year after irradiation to determine the cumulative cross sections for radionuclide production. In total, 30 radioactive products were observed in the Mo target and 20 in the Ge target. Our experimental results are compared with the predictions from the semi-empirical Silberberg and Tsao code as well as previously reported Mo experimental data.
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    ABSTRACT: The sensitivity for identification of high-Z objects in elemental form in the massive cargos of intermodal containers with continuous bremsstrahlung radiation depends critically on discriminating the weak signal from uncollided photons from the very intense flux of scattered radiations that penetrate the cargo. We propose that this might be accomplished by rejection of detected events with E ⩽ 2–3 MeV that contain the majority of multiply scattered photons along with a correction for single-scattered photons at higher energies. Monte Carlo simulations of radiographs with a 9 MeV bremsstrahlung spectrum demonstrate that rejection of detected events with E ⩽ 3 MeV removes the majority of signals from scattered photons emerging through cargos with Z ⩽ 30 and areal densities of at least 145 g cm−2. With analytical estimates of the single-scattered intensity at higher energies, accurate estimates of linear attenuation coefficients for shielded and unshielded uranium spheres with masses as small as 0.08 kg are found. The estimated maximum dose is generally so low that reasonable order tomography of interesting portions of a container should be possible.
    Journal of Applied Physics 03/2008; 103(6):064910-064910-8. DOI:10.1063/1.2876028 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sensitivity for identification of high-Z objects in elemental form in the massive cargo of intermodal containers with continuous bremsstrahlung radiation depends critically on discriminating the weak signal from uncollided photons from the very intense flux of scattered radiations that penetrate the cargo. We propose that this might be accomplished by rejection of detected events with E 2-3 MeV that contain the majority of multiply-scattered photons along with a correction for single-scattered photons at higher energies. Monte Carlo simulations of radiographs with a 9-MeV bremsstrahlung spectrum demonstrate that rejection of detected events with E 3 MeV removes the majority of signals from scattered photons emerging through cargo with Z 30 and areal densities of at least 145 g cm². With analytical estimates of the single-scattered intensity at higher energies, accurate estimates of linear attenuation coefficients for shielded and unshielded uranium spheres with masses as small as 0.08 kg are found. The estimated maximum dose is generally so low that reasonable order tomography of interesting portions of a container should be possible.
    Journal of Applied Physics 01/2007; 103(6). · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CUORICINO is an array of 62 TeO2 bolometers with a total mass of 40.7 kg (11.2 kg of 130Te), operated at about 10 mK to search for ββ(0ν) of 130Te. The detectors are organized as a 14-story tower and intended as a slightly modified version of one of the 19 towers of the CUORE project, a proposed tightly packed array of 988 TeO2 bolometers (741 kg of total mass of TeO2) for ultralow-background searches on neutrinoless double-beta decay, cold dark matter, solar axions, and rare nuclear decays. Started in April 2003 at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS), CUORICINO data taking was stopped in November 2003 to repair the readout wiring system of the 62 bolometers. Restarted in spring 2004, CUORICINO is presently the most sensitive running experiment on neutrinoless double-beta decay. No evidence for ββ(0ν) decay has been found so far and a new lower limit, T 1 2/0ν ≥ 1.8 × 1024 yr (90% C.L.), is set, corresponding to 〈m ν〉 ≤ 0.2–1.1 eV, depending on the theoretical nuclear matrix elements used in the analysis. Detector performance, operational procedures, and background analysis results are reviewed. The expected performance and sensitivity of CUORE is also discussed.
    Physics of Atomic Nuclei 11/2006; 69(12):2083-2089. DOI:10.1134/S1063778806120118 · 0.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the present results of the CUORICINO experiment, a cryogenic experiment on neutrinoless Double Beta Decay (DBD) of 130Te consisting of an array of crystals with a total active mass of . The array is framed inside a dilution refrigerator, heavily shielded against environmental radioactivity and high-energy neutrons, and it is operated at a temperature of in the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory. After several improvements the live time of the experiment is near 75%.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 04/2006; 559(2):352-354. DOI:10.1016/j.nima.2005.12.007 · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cited By (since 1996): 3
    Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements 01/2006; 150:214-218. DOI:10.1016/j.nuclphysbps.2004.11.387 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have measured cross sections for the 63Cu(alpha,gamma)67Ga reaction in the 5.9-8.7 MeV energy range using an activation technique. Natural Cu foils were bombarded with alpha beams from the 88 Cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Activated foils were counted using gamma spectrometry system at LBNL's Low Background Facility. The 63Cu(alpha,gamma)67Ga cross-sections were determined and compared with the latest NON-SMOKER theoretical values. Experimental cross sections were found to be in agreement with theoretical values.
    05/2005; 769(1). DOI:10.1063/1.1945258
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    ABSTRACT: We have measured cross sections for the 63Cu(α,γ)67Ga reaction in the 5.9- to 8.7-MeV energy range using an activation technique. Natural Cu foils were bombarded with α beams from the 88'' Cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Activated foils were counted using a γ-spectrometry system at LBNL's Low Background Facility. The 63Cu(α,γ)67Ga cross sections were determined and compared with the latest NON-SMOKER theoretical values. Experimental cross sections were found to be in agreement with theoretical values.
    Physical Review C 03/2005; 71(3). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevC.71.035801 · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CUORE is a proposed experiment, already partially funded, to search for 0ν-DBD of 130Te using 988 TeO2 bolometers. It aims at reaching a sensitivity on the effective neutrino mass of the order of few tens of meV. The crucial parameter on which this expectation is based is background. Different strategies are under development to reduce as much as possible its value, among which the comprehension of CUORICINO background, a single CUORE tower running since 2003, plays an important role. Present results already achieved and studies that are underway are here presented and discussed.
    Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements 01/2005; DOI:10.1016/j.nuclphysbps.2005.04.020 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Next Generation Safeguard Initiative (NGSI) of the U.S Department of Energy is supporting a multi-lab/university collaboration to quantify the plutonium (Pu) mass in spent nuclear fuel (SNF) assemblies and to detect the diversion of pins with non-destructive assay (NDA) methods. The following 14 NDA techniques are being studied: Delayed Neutrons, Differential Die-Away, Differential Die-Away Self-Interrogation, Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer, Neutron Multiplicity, Passive Neutron Albedo Reactivity, Total Neutron (Gross Neutron), X-Ray Fluorescence, ²²Cf Interrogation with Prompt Neutron Detection, Delayed Gamma, Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence, Passive Prompt Gamma, Self-integration Neutron Resonance Densitometry, and Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis. Understanding and maturity of the techniques vary greatly, ranging from decades old, well-understood methods to new approaches. Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence (NRF) is a technique that had not previously been studied for SNF assay or similar applications. Since NRF generates isotope-specific signals, the promise and appeal of the technique lies in its potential to directly measure the amount of a specific isotope in an SNF assay target. The objectives of this study were to design and model suitable NRF measurement methods, to quantify capabilities and corresponding instrumentation requirements, and to evaluate prospects and the potential of NRF for SNF assay. The main challenge of the technique is to achieve the sensitivity and precision, i.e., to accumulate sufficient counting statistics, required for quantifying the mass of Pu isotopes in SNF assemblies. Systematic errors, considered a lesser problem for a direct measurement and only briefly discussed in this report, need to be evaluated for specific instrument designs in the future. Also, since the technical capability of using NRF to measure Pu in SNF has not been established, this report does not directly address issues such as cost, size, development time, nor concerns related to the use of Pu in measurement systems. This report discusses basic NRF measurement concepts, i.e., backscatter and transmission methods, and photon source and -ray detector options in Section 2. An analytical model for calculating NRF signal strengths is presented in Section 3 together with enhancements to the MCNPX code and descriptions of modeling techniques that were drawn upon in the following sections. Making extensive use of the model and MCNPX simulations, the capabilities of the backscatter and transmission methods based on bremsstrahlung or quasi-monoenergetic photon sources were analyzed as described in Sections 4 and 5. A recent transmission experiment is reported on in Appendix A. While this experiment was not directly part of this project, its results provide an important reference point for our analytical estimates and MCNPX simulations. Used fuel radioactivity calculations, the enhancements to the MCNPX code, and details of the MCNPX simulations are documented in the other appendices.
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    ABSTRACT: In nuclear resonance fluorescence (NRF) measurements, resonances are excited by an external photon beam leading to the emission of rays with specific energies that are characteristic of the emitting isotope. The promise of NRF as a non-destructive analysis technique (NDA) in safeguards applications lies in its potential to directly quantify a specific isotope in an assay target without the need for unfolding the combined responses of several fissile isotopes as often required by other NDA methods. The use of NRF for detection of sensitive nuclear materials and other contraband has been researched in the past. In the safeguards applications considered here one has to go beyond mere detection and precisely quantify the isotopic content, a challenge that is discussed throughout this report. Basic NRF measurement methods, instrumentation, and the analytical calculation of NRF signal strengths are described in Section 2. Well understood modeling and simulation tools are needed for assessing the potential of NRF for safeguards and for designing measurement systems. All our simulations were performed with the radiation transport code MCNPX, a code that is widely used in the safeguards community. Our initial studies showed that MCNPX grossly underestimated the elastically scattered background at backwards angles due to an incorrect treatment of Rayleigh scattering. While new, corrected calculations based on ENDF form factors showed much better agreement with experimental data for the elastic scattering of photons on an uranium target, the elastic backscatter is still not rigorously treated. Photonuclear scattering processes (nuclear Thomson, Delbruck and Giant Dipole Resonance scattering), which are expected to play an important role at higher energies, are not yet included. These missing elastic scattering contributions were studied and their importance evaluated evaluated against data found in the literature as discussed in Section 3. A transmission experiment was performed in September 2009 to test and demonstrate the applicability of the method to the quantitative measurement of an isotope of interest embedded in a thick target. The experiment, data analysis, and results are described in Section 4. The broad goal of our NRF studies is to assess the potential of the technique in safeguards applications. Three examples are analyzed in Section 5: the isotopic assay of spent nuclear fuel (SNF), the measurement of ²³U enrichment in UF cylinders, and the determination of ²³Pu in mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. The study of NRF for the assay of SNF assemblies was supported by the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) of the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a large multi-lab/university effort to quantify the plutonium (Pu) mass in spent nuclear fuel assemblies and to detect the diversion of pins with non-destructive assay (NDA) methods. NRF is one of 14 NDA techniques being researched. The methodology for performing and analyzing quantitative NRF measurements was developed for determining Pu mass in SNF and is extensively discussed in this report. The same methodology was applied to the assessment of NRF for the measurement of ²³U enrichment and the determination of ²³Pu in MOX fuel. The analysis centers on determining suitable NRF measurement methods, measurement capabilities that could be realized with currently available instrumentation, and photon source and detector requirements for achieving useful NDA capabilities.

Publication Stats

51 Citations
20.81 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2015
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • Nuclear Science Division
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2005–2012
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • • Department of Nuclear Engineering
      • • Department of Materials Science and Engineering
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2009
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory
      Los Alamos, California, United States