Low background anti-neutrino monitoring with an innovative composite solid scintillator detector

Paul R. Scovell, Antonin Vacheret, A. Baird, Nick Ryder, Alfons Weber, Yu A. Shitov, Bernard Coupé, Silva Kalcheva, Edgar Koonen, A. S. Cucoanes, M. Fallot, Frederic Yermia, B. Freret, P. Signorotti

Research outputpeer-review


The detection of anti-neutrinos from nuclear reactors at close stand-off is a challenging measurement. The requirements for a remote monitoring device that could be used for close stand-off reactor core monitoring is difficult to meet with standard liquid scintillator technologies. Due to the low rate of anti-neutrinos detectable within 10 m from research reactors the detection efficiency has to be as high as possible with a relatively compact and safe design. The more practical aspects of the system are usually difficult to meet because these systems have to be deployed at low overburden where reactor gamma-ray and neutron backgrounds are a few orders of magnitude higher than the anti-neutrino rate. Large and costly passive shielding is usually needed to reduce these backgrounds closer to the anti-neutrino rate (typically 10 -4 Hz/tonne). A novel approach to measuring reactor anti-neutrinos was developed based on composite Polyvynil-Toluene and 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) scintillators. The system is highly segmented and read out by a network of wavelength shifting fibers and MPPCs which enables accurate localization of the outgoing positron and neutron. This more precise imaging of the interaction help with discriminating backgrounds and thus limits the required passive shielding around the detector. We report the expected performance from a Geant4 Monte-Carlo simulation of the system and the test of a 8 kg active mass prototype deployed at the BR2 reactor in Mol, Belgium. Measurements of the reactor on and off backgrounds rates and energy spectrum of signal candidates are presented using data collected at BR2 during summer 2013.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, NSS/MIC 2013
PublisherIEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781479905348
StatePublished - 2013
Event2013 60th IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, NSS/MIC 2013 - Seoul
Duration: 27 Oct 20132 Nov 2013

Publication series

NameIEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record
ISSN (Print)1095-7863


Conference2013 60th IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, NSS/MIC 2013
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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