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DEVELOPMENT OF IMPROVED X-RAYS COUNTERS FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF PLUTONIUM IN LUNGS

Objective



WORK CURRENTLY FUNDED (BIO-A-434-81-UK) HAS LED TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PROTOTYPE FOR AN IMPROVED X-RAY PROPORTIONAL COUNTER FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF PLUTONIUM IN LUNGS. COMPARED WITH GAS COUNTERS PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYED FOR THESE PURPOSES, THE DETECTOR EMBODIES NOVEL FEATURES, ORIGINALLY APPLIED SUCCESSFULLY IN X-RAY ASTRONOMY.
THE OBJECT IS TO SECURE A REDUCED BACKGROUND RESPONSE, COMPARED WITH THAT PREVIOUSLY ATTAINED WITH LARGE-AREA GAS COUNTERS, AND TO PRODUCE AN INSTRUMENT WITH BETTER SENSITIVITY FOR ASSESSMENT OF INTERNAL PLUTONIUM THAN THE SCINTILLATION COUNTERS CURRENTLY IN WIDESPREAD USE FOR THIS PURPOSE.
VARIOUS DELAYS HAVE OCCURED IN THE DEVELOPMENT, AND AS A RESULT THE WORK HAS PROGRESSED ONLY TO THE STAGE WHERE THE COUNTER HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED IN A FORM SUITABLE FOR TESTING OF ITS INTERNAL FUNCTIONS. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ITS VARIOUS ANTICOINCIDENCE ARRANGEMENTS HAS BEEN AMPLY DEMONSTRATED, ALTHOUGH NOT YET UNDER CONDITIONS WHICH ALLOW A RELIABLE PROJECTION TO BE MADE OF ITS BACKGROUND PERFORMANCE IN OPERATIONAL PRACTICE.
THE PRESENT PROPOSAL IS FOR AN EXTENSION OF FUNDING
(I) TO PERMIT ESSENTIAL CHANGES TO THE COUNTER'S PRESENT INTERIM CONSTRUCTION,
(II) TO INVESTIGATE WHAT FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS COULD BE MADE IN ANCILLARY ELECTRONICS AND (III) TO PERMIT AN ASSESSMENT OF THE COMPLETED COUNTER'S PROJECTED PERFORMANCE IN OPERATIONAL PRACTICE. ITEM (III) WILL INCLUDE CALIBRATION OF THE COUNTER BY REFERENCE TO A PHANTOM THORAX WHOSE VALIDITY IN THIS CONTEXT HAS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED BY ADMINISTERING KNOWN AMOUNTS OF X-RAY EMITTERS TO HARWELL VOLUNTEERS.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Address
11 Charles Ii Street
SW1Y 4QP London
United Kingdom