Radiation Detectors and Instrumentation

  • Martin WilliamsonEmail author
  • Jeffrey Preston


Direct measurements of radiation signatures can be utilized as a key functional component to verify a country’s commitments in a transparency agreement. Special nuclear material comprises isotopes of uranium and plutonium, where each has unique signatures that differentiate it from the other isotopes when measured with radiation detection equipment. Depending on the type of confirmatory information desired, a wide range of radiation detection methods are available including several nondestructive methods of gamma spectroscopy, neutron and gamma counting, multiplicity counting, and imaging, and some destructive methods of alpha spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Each method provides information indicative of material composition, isotopic composition, or processing method where radiation detection equipment is often utilized in the laboratory and field to perform these analyses. This chapter aims to provide a brief introduction to the radiation signatures of interest for radiation detection, an overview of how these signatures are utilized for standard radiation detection-based verification techniques utilized in non-proliferation and arms control monitoring and verification, as well as a description of some of the challenges associated with implementation of these techniques into international agreements.


  1. 1.
    IAEA (2011) Safeguards Techniques and Equipment: 2011 Edition. IAEA. ViennaGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Forsburg CW, Lewis LC (1999) ORNL-6952: Uses for Uranium-233: What Should Be Kept for Future Needs? Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Oak RidgeGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    National Nuclear Data Center (2016) Interactive Chart of Nuclides. Brookhaven National Laboratory. Accessed 28 Feb 2019
  4. 4.
    Duderstadt J, Hamilton LJ (1976) Nuclear Reactor Analysis. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    T-2 Nuclear Information Service (2011) ENDF/B-VII.1 Incident-Neutron Data. Los Alamos National Laboratory. Accessed 28 Feb 2019
  6. 6.
    Online Spectrum Catalogs for Ge and Si(Li) (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Knoll GF (1999) Radiation Detection and Measurement, 3rd) ed. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Saint-Gobain (2018) Properties of Common Inorganic Scintillators. Saint-Gobain Crystals. Accessed 28 Feb 2019
  9. 9.
    Cantrell JA (2012) Uranium Enrichment Standards of the Y-12 Nuclear Detection Sensor Testing Center. In: Proceedings of the 53rd annual meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Material Management, Orlando.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reuter Stokes 3He Neutron Detectors for Homeland Security Radiation Portal Monitors. Fact Sheet. Accessed 28 Feb 2019
  11. 11.
    Canberra (2009) Model JCC-51 Active Well Neutron Coincidence Counter. Canberra Industries, Inc. Accessed 28 Feb 2019

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Consolidated Nuclear SecurityY-12 National Security ComplexOak RidgeUSA

Personalised recommendations