Analysis of surrogate post-detonation urban debris (SPUD) gamma rays and self-attenuation
Kane, Nathan Lee
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Despite the importance of post-detonation nuclear forensics, there is a dearth of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) suitable for such measurements that are traceable back to a national standard. Accordingly, the nuclear forensics community has requested SRMs be produced that mimic the post-detonation fallout debris that includes actinides, urban materials, fission products, and activation products. The National Institute of Standards in Technology (NIST) in concert with partner labs (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National Physics Laboratory (NPL)) and with support from the FBI have developed two Surrogate Post-Detonation Urban Debris (SPUD) SRMs to mimic the debris of a city after an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) detonation. NIST SPUD samples were irradiated at the University of Texas at Austin TRIGA reactor, then analyzed via gamma-ray spectroscopy for short-lived, medium-lived and long-lived fission and activation products. Upon completion of gamma-ray analysis, a self-attenuation analysis used to model the efficiency of a High-Purity Germanium detector (HPGe) as a function of source density and volume was conducted using MCNP.