Testing and performances of Spectroscopic Radiation Portal Monitor for homeland security
C. Deyglun works for the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, Fontenay-aux-Roses, BP 17 - 92 262, France (e-mail: clement.deyglun@ irsn.fr).
Published online: 20 January 2020
Each year States report to IAEA loss, theft or out of regulatory control radioactive materials. Most incidents are minor, but material is potentially available for criminal acts. Measures to reduce the radiological and nuclear threat are many-faceted. An important component is the ability to detect illicit transport of radioactive material. Spectroscopic Radiation Portal Monitors are deployed around the world to detect illegal radioactive material traffic. A combination of experimental data collected during testing campaigns and simulations is a good way to study the performance of Spectroscopic Radiation Portal Monitors in realistic conditions. The paper presents a process to evaluate the performances of a portal, based on a combination of experimental data and MCNP simulations to calculate the detection probability and the false alarm rate. IRSN developed platforms for testing Spectroscopic Radiation Portal Monitors for pedestrian control. Experimental data were collected from an available commercial Spectroscopic Radiation Portal Monitor, tested in the framework of the Illicit Trafficking Radiation Assessment Program phase II Round Robin Test. Many scenarios were tested with different sources using realistic setups and many experimental data were collected. The tested equipment was then simulated with MCNP only based on the data provided in the user manual and the standards found in the industry. To get a realistic idea of the uncertainty, all the variables inherent in the measurement were considered, their relative contributions were identified and quantified, then propagated to predict an overall uncertainty. The combination of experimental data, numerical simulations and uncertainty evaluation showed good agreement with experimental assays. The results were used to test the sensitivity of a Spectroscopic Radiation Portal Monitor to special nuclear materials for different alarm thresholds. This process applied to different scenarios according to defined targets should help in the selection of operating characteristics of the portal.
Key words: Safeguards / Homeland security / Nuclear security / Gamma-ray detection / Radioactive source detection
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.