The Ion Beam Technology Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is conducting research on a broad range of electronic neutron sources, from compact devices to accelerator-driven systems, for homeland security and non-proliferation applications. New ion source technology has been developed and adapted for use in neutron generators. This includes permanent-magnet, microwave-driven ion sources that produce high mono-atomic fractions and high beam current densities, and the improvement of Penning ion sources by better magnetic confinement, optimization of electrode geometry, and choice of wall material. A field ionization source employing nanoemitter arrays is under development in pursuit of ultra-compact, low-power generators that are easily portable and can serve as replacement for radiological sources. The neutron generator R&D is performed in the context of active interrogation applications in nuclear safeguards, homeland security, well-logging and industrial process control. The development of a neutron generator based instrument for the determination of Pu in spent nuclear fuel assemblies utilizing delayed gamma-ray spectroscopy will be discussed. Also presented will be ongoing work towards a neutron generator for associated particle imaging and its use in nuclear safeguards and a concept for an accelerator-driven neutron beam source for stand-off detection of shielded special nuclear materials.
Dr. Bernhard Ludewigt is a Staff Physicist in the Accelerator & Fusion Research Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His current research focuses on active interrogation techniques for the non-destructive assay of nuclear materials, in particular delayed gamma-ray spectroscopy and nuclear resonance fluorescence, and the development of neutron and gamma sources for homeland security and nuclear safeguards applications. Other research interests and experience include advanced radiation detector systems, medical applications of ion beams and beam delivery systems for radiotherapy.