Nuclear-Optical Converters for Detecting Intense Neutron Fields
UDC: 53.083.94/.087; 621.039.531
In the design of nuclear-optical converters (NOC) for detecting intense neutron fields (fluxes over 1⋅1015 cm–2·s–1), it is proposed to use hybrid gas ionization chambers (IC), in which electrical and optical neutron detecting methods are combined. For hybrid ICs, a technology is proposed for obtaining radiation-resistant and mechanically strong radiator materials capable of operating at temperatures up to 1000°C. This technology is based on solid-phase boron diffusion saturation of steel. It is shown that, at thermal neutron fluxes from 1⋅1010 n/(cm2·s), the integral intensity of argon luminescence as a result of ionization by α-particles and 7Li ions from layers of boride phases is sufficient for detection. The combination of optical and radiation properties of multicomponent fluoride glasses makes it possible to use them as condensed active substances of NOCs. Choosing the elemental and isotopic composition, it becomes possible to use fluoride glasses for multichannel neutron detection as well as to significantly simplify the procedure for separating gamma and neutron components of radiation under conditions of intense radiation fluxes. It has been experimentally shown that upon irradiation with a neutron flux of 1⋅1017 n/(cm2·s), the intensity of Nd IR luminescence in glasses based on zirconium fluoride (ZBLAN) increases in the presence of Gd, which interacts with neutrons.
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