Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis with Neutron Time of Flight


Topic  41
Main supervisor Eric Mauerhofer (
MLZ institution FZJ
Local supervisor 1
Michael Schüngel
RWE Power AG
Local supervisor 2
László Szentmiklósi
Budapest Neutron Center
Local supervisor 3
Giovanni Romanelli
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Local supervisor 4
Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis with Neutron Time of Flight
Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) is a non-destructive method for determination of elemental composition of samples of diverse origins. It is routinely applied at continuous neutron sources i.e. research reactors using either thermal or cold neutron beams without any neutron-time-of flight (TOF) information. However, selecting neutrons in the cold, thermal or resonance energy range can provide an elemental selectivity for accurate quantification by eliminating interferences or by increasing the signal-to-background ratio. Furthermore, neutrons with various energies have different sample penetration depths and therefore interrogate different sample volumes, providing information on the sample homogeneity. The emergence of high-current accelerator based pulsed neutron sources (HiCANS) like the High Brilliance neutron Source (HBS) will allow one to perform PGNAA with neutron-time-of-flight (PGNAA-TOF) to determine the elemental composition, in particularly of heterogeneous samples. Therefore, a PGNAA-TOF instrument coupled with neutron imaging is planned the 24 Hz target station of the HBS neutron source. The aim of this project is to optimize and study the performance of the instrument by means of numerical simulations using various tools such as MCNP, PHITS, Geant4T4, OpenMC, KDSource and VITESS.