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Real-time digital pulse-shape discrimination in non-hazardous fast liquid scintillation detectors: prospects for safety and security

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Journal number4
Volume59
Number of pages7
Pages1245-1251
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Pulse-shape discrimination (PSD) in fast, organic scintillation detectors is a long-established technique used to separate neutrons and $gamma$ rays in mixed radiation fields. In the analogue domain the method can achieve separation in real time, but all knowledge of the pulses themselves is lost thereby preventing the possibility of any post- or repeated analysis. Also, it is typically reliant on electronic systems that are largely obsolete and which require significant experience to set up. In the digital domain, PSD is often more flexible but significant post-processing has usually been necessary to obtain neutron/ $gamma$-ray separation. Moreover, the scintillation media on which the technique relies usually have a low flashpoint and are thus deemed hazardous. This complicates the ease with which they are used in industrial applications. In this paper, results obtained with a new portable digital pulse-shape discrimination instrument are described. This instrument provides real-time, digital neutron/ $gamma$-ray separation whilst preserving the synchronization with the time-of-arrival for each event, and realizing throughputs of $3 times 10^{6}$ events per second. Furthermore, this system has been tested with a scintillation medium that is non-flammable and not hazardous.