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Abstract  

Due to a need for security screening instruments capable of detecting explosives and nuclear materials there is growing interest in neutron generator systems suitable for field use for applications broadly referred to as active neutron interrogation (ANI). Over the past two years Thermo Electron Corporation has developed a suite of different compact accelerator neutron generator products specifically designed for ANI field work to meet this demand. These systems incorporate hermetically-sealed particle accelerator tubes designed to produce fast neutrons using either the deuterium-deuterium (E n = 2.5 MeV) or deuterium-tritium (E n = 14.1 MeV) fusion reactions. Employing next-generation features including advanced sealed-tube accelerator designs, all-digital control electronics and innovative housing configurations these systems are suitable for many different uses. A compact system weighing less than 14 kg (MP 320) with a lifetime exceeding 1000 hours has been developed for portable applications. A system for fixed installations (P 325) has been developed with an operating life exceeding 4500 hours that incorporates specific serviceability features for permanent facilities with difficult-to-access shield blocks. For associated particle imaging (API) investigations a second-generation system (API 120) with an operating life of greater than 1000 hours has been developed for field use in which a high resolution fiber-optic imaging plate is specially configured to take advantage of a neutron point-source spot size of ∼2 mm.

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