LANL Project 1

Title: Assay of Impure Special Nuclear Material: High Precision Measurements and High Fidelity Simulations

Mentor: Vlad Henzl

Description: The “Improving Neutron Measurements” project strives to develop new measurement techniques as well as simulation and analysis algorithms. This research is done to support major nuclear watchdogs like the International Energy Atomic Agency in improving safeguards capabilities and discouraging illicit proliferation by rogue states and organizations.

As part of the project we anticipate a focused effort to improve our ability to experimentally verify, characterize, and simulate the assay of plutonium oxide samples containing various levels of impurities such as boron, fluorine, and aluminum. The student will be expected to model these samples and their assay using high fidelity simulation code and experimentally verify the results with currently deployed systems used for nondestructive assay (e.g. Active Well Coincidence Counter (AWCC), Epithermal Neutron Multiplicity Counter (ENMC), etc.).

Duration: 10-12 weeks

Number of students: 1