Conceptual design and initial evaluation of a neutron flux gradient detector
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A : Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Identification of the position of a localized neutron source, or that of local inhomogeneities in a multiplying or scattering medium (such as the presence of small, strong absorbers) is possible by measurement of the neutron flux in several spatial points, and applying an unfolding procedure. It was suggested earlier, and it was confirmed by both simulations and pilot measurements, that if, in addition to the usually measured scalar (angularly integrated) flux, the neutron current vector or its
... diffusion approximation (the flux gradient vector) is also considered, the efficiency and accuracy of the unfolding procedure is significantly enhanced. Therefore, in support of a recently started project, whose goal is to detect missing (replaced) fuel pins in a spent fuel assembly by non-intrusive methods, this idea is followed up. The development and use of a dedicated neutron detector for within-assembly measurements of the neutron scalar flux and its gradient are planned. The detector design is based on four small, fiber-mounted scintillation detector tips, arranged in a rectangular pattern. Such a detector is capable of measuring the two Cartesian components of the flux gradient vector in the horizontal plane. This paper presents an initial evaluation of the detector design, through Monte Carlo simulations in a hypothetical scenario.