Optimization of HANARO cold neutron induced prompt gamma activation analysis system by using Monte Carlo code
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Prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) is a nuclear analytical technique for non-destructive determination of elemental and isotopic compositions. The principle of PGAA technique is based on detection of captured gamma-ray emitted from an analytical sample while being irradiated with neutrons. Use of a cold neutron beam guide greatly reduces the gamma-ray background at the analytical sample while maintaining a neutron capture rate is comparable to that of standard thermal neutron PGAA. A new cold neutron induced prompt gamma activation analysis (CN-PGAA) system has been under construction since April of 2009 at the HANARO Cold Neutron Building (KAERI, Republic of KOREA). In this study, the Compton suppression factor of the CN-PGAA system was estimated to be 5.5 using a 60Co radioactive source in conjunction with the MCNPX simulations. Several parameters of the CN-PGAA system were studied to estimate and optimize the performance of the system: scintillation material in the guarded detector of a Compton suppression spectrometer (CSS); the relative positions of the HPGe detector and annular detector; and the distance between the HPGe detector and back catcher BGO detectors of the CSS. In addition, the neutron ray-trace simulation package, McStas, was adopted to predict the neutron flux and wavelength distribution at the end of the cold neutron beam guide. These results served as input for the MCNPX simulation of the CN-PGAA system.
KeywordsPGAA Compton suppression factor MCNPX McStas Cold neutron HPGe detector
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST).
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