Neutron production methods are an integral part of research and analysis for an array of applications. This paper examines methods of neutron production, and the advantages of constructing a radioisotopic neutron irradiator assembly using 252Cf. Characteristic neutron behavior and cost-benefit comparative analysis between alternative modes of neutron production are also examined. The irradiator is described from initial conception to the finished design. MCNP modeling shows a total neutron flux of 3 × 105 n/(cm2·s) in the irradiation chamber for a 25 μg source. Measurements of the gamma-ray and neutron dose rates near the external surface of the irradiator assembly are 120 μGy/h and 30 μSv/h, respectively, during irradiation. At completion of the project, total material, and labor costs remained below $50,000.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering