M.Sc. Diploma work project: Nuclear Security System for Terrorism Prevention and Nuclear Safeguards
placed at the Div. of Nuclear Physics, Department of Physics, KTH
Who are we looking for?
1) Someone who wants to make the world a better place.
2) Someone who is interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. The project is based on ideas with IP (patents) pending and a main objective is to develop prototypes for different commercial and other applications.
3) Someone who is interested in measurements and data analysis.
4) Someone who has good programming skills (C++, MATLAB, Python etc). Experience from real-time programming is a plus.
We think the KTH programmes in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or Engineering Physics or equivalent is a suitable background.
Starting date: The project is available from September 20, 2018
Global threats to human life in the form of nuclear terrorism and proliferation of nuclear weapons are gaining increasing awareness. Vast resources are being spent by governments worldwide on the development of new techniques for detection of radioactive and fissile materials that can be used to harm the public or to construct illicit nuclear weapons. Also on the international level is IAEA, the international atomic energy agency strongly involved in such developments and its member countries like Sweden are contributing with research and development in this field.
Development of sensitive detection systems are needed to:
1) Discover the presence of, locate, and quantify small amounts of radioactive and nuclear materials in radiation portal monitor (RPM) applications using radiation detection devices for the screening of persons, personal luggage, vehicles, cargo etc at airports and other border crossings or at secure facilities like nuclear plants.
2) Perform scanning of spent or fresh nuclear fuel assemblies for the purpose of nuclear safeguards or nuclear power plant operation using passive/active radiation detection devices. Nuclear safeguards are defined as the effort to prevent diversion of fissile material, i.e. nuclear non-proliferation.
The use of passive and active interrogation techniques to evaluate materials concerning their content of special nuclear materials (SNM), i.e. materials that can be used to produce nuclear weapons, is fundamental in fields such as nuclear safeguards and security. Detection of fast neutrons and γ rays, which are a characteristic signature of SNM, has several potential advantages compared with the commonly used systems based on thermal and epithermal neutron counters, the most important being the much shorter required coincidence times and the correspondingly reduced rate of background events due to accidental coincidences. The short flight times of γ rays and their high multiplicity in fission make the coincident detection of γ rays and fast neutrons a more sensitive probe of such materials than the detection of neutrons alone for some applications, in particular for nuclear security applications. Organic scintillator detectors are well suited for this purpose due to their fast timing properties and composition being based on carbon and hydrogen with large elastic scattering cross-sections for fast neutrons. Organic scintillators also have suitable detection efficiency for γ rays and it is possible to efficiently distinguish between different types of radiation using the signal characteristics (pulse shape).
The project aims at developing a prototype system for nuclear security using the novel approach of fast neutron-γ coincidence detection. It involves on-line signal processing via pulse shape analysis and timing algorithms, statistical analysis of signal patterns, image reconstruction and processing.
Master diploma works:
Blomqvist, David Monte Carlo Simulation of Proton and Neutron Transport Based on the PENELOPE Code 2016
Ksenia, Chechet Edge Illumination technique using direct conversion photon counting detectors for X-ray Phase Contrast imaging
Arzhanov, Alexander Gogny-Hartree-Fock-Bogolyubov Nuclear Mass Models with Application to r-Process Stellar Nucleosynthesis