Detection of Neutron Sources in Cargo Containers

J. I. Katz, "Detection of Neutron Sources in Cargo Containers," Science & Global Security, 14, no. 2-3, (2006): 145-149.
We investigate the problem of detecting the presence of clandestine neutron sources, such as would be produced by nuclear weapons containing plutonium, within cargo containers. Small, simple, and economical semiconductor photodiode detectors affixed to the outsides of containers are capable of producing statistically robust detections of unshielded sources when their output is integrated over the durations of ocean voyages. It is possible to shield such sources with thick layers of neutron-absorbing material, and to minimize the effects of such absorbers on ambient or artificial external neutron fluxes by surrounding them with neutron-reflective material.

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