Monte Carlo investigation of a high-efficiency, two-plane Compton camera for long-range localization of radioactive materials

Alexis Poitrasson-Rivière, Ben A. Maestas, Michael C. Hamel, Shaun D. Clarke, Marek Flaska, Sara A. Pozzi, Guntram Pausch, Claus Michael Herbach, Andrey Gueorguiev, Martin F. Ohmes, Juergen Stein

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Abstract

Compton cameras have become an instrument of interest for long-range localization of radioactive materials in nuclear-nonproliferation applications. In this work, a specialized simulation tool was developed for the optimization of a Compton camera through realistic Monte Carlo simulations. This tool can be used for Compton cameras with different geometries. The MCNPX-PoliMi code was used to simulate Compton scatters and photoelectric absorptions in the camera's detectors. The imaging capability is derived from the physics of Compton scattering and the full-energy information obtained in photoelectric absorptions. The simulated system is a 1 × 1 m2 Compton camera consisting of two planar arrays of photon detectors. Several scintillators were evaluated: LaBr3, CaF2, and NaI(Tl) (all inorganic scintillators), and C9H10 (plastic organic scintillator). The investigation was carried out with a 137Cs source. A minimum detectable activity (MDA) was defined and used to assess the performance of cameras based on different detectors. The simulation results show that C9H10 is a reliable, low-cost, scatter-plane material, increasing the MDA by ∼0.2 mCi when compared to a CaF2 scatter plane. On the other hand, the intrinsic background of LaBr3 undermines its above-average energy resolution as the MDA increased by ∼0.5 mCi when compared to a NaI(Tl) absorption plane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
Volume81
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2015

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Poitrasson-Rivière, A., Maestas, B. A., Hamel, M. C., Clarke, S. D., Flaska, M., Pozzi, S. A., Pausch, G., Herbach, C. M., Gueorguiev, A., Ohmes, M. F., & Stein, J. (2015). Monte Carlo investigation of a high-efficiency, two-plane Compton camera for long-range localization of radioactive materials. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 81, 127-133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnucene.2015.01.009