A portable prompt gamma neutron activation (PGNA) spectroscopy system has been developed to analyze the elemental composition (Ca, Si, Al, etc.) of reinforced concrete and to measure chloride contamination. The portable PGNA system consists of a high purity germanium (HPGe) gamma detector with a 70% relative efficiency, a 252Cf neutron source and moderator subsystem, and a portable multichannel analyzer system integrated with a laptop computer. Two types of activation experiments were performed to evaluate the device: first, a detector calibration using a Cl gamma standard provided by a PGNA facility; second, an evaluation of the actual performance of the complete system with the 252Cf source using full scale test slabs containing known amounts of chloride. Both methods indicate that it is feasible to use this device to measure the chloride content of reinforced concrete in the field. The chloride level for the corrosion threshold can be measured with a precision of 10% for a counting time of roughly 6 minutes. This makes the PGNA method competitive with the conventional destructive method.