Design, Construction, and Modeling of a 252Cf Neutron Irradiator

Blake C. Anderson, Keith Holbert, Herbert Bowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9012747
JournalScience and Technology of Nuclear Installations
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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