Performance assessment of amplification and discrimination electronic devices for passive neutron measurements
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 CEA, DEN, Cadarache, DTN, SMTA, Laboratoire de Mesures Nucléaires, F-13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance, France.
2 CEA, DEN, Cadarache, DER, SPESI, LDCI, F-13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance, France.
3 Orano Group, Recycling Business Unit, F-92084 Paris-La Défense, France.
Published online: 20 January 2020
The knowledge of the fissile material mass is a key challenge to enhance radioactive waste management and to ensure a high level of safety in nuclear industry. Data is analyzed according to the principles of the neutron measurement techniques. As proportional counters filled with 3He gas display high neutron detection efficiency and a good gamma-ray discrimination, they are the reference detector for passive neutron coincidence counting. A charge preamplifier or a current amplifier, depending on applications, collects the electric pulse produced by neutron interaction in the 3He gas and a threshold discriminator produces a logic pulse used for neutron counting. This paper describes the performance assessment of different commercially available electronics from Mirion Technologies, Precision Data Technology (PDT), Mesytec, as well as MONACO electronics originally developed by CEA LIST for fission chamber measurements in experimental reactors. Comparative passive neutron measurements are carried out with these electronics at CEA/DEN Nuclear Measurement Laboratory in Cadarache. Overall, PDT and Mesytec electronics show similar detection efficiency as the ACH-NA98 charge amplifier, which is commonly used in our laboratory for such applications. However, MONACO electronics have a lower detection efficiency, similar to Mirion 7820 current amplifier used in specific high-count rate applications. An optimisation of MONACO settings would probably be necessary to adapt to 3He counters instead of fission chambers.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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