Design, Construction, and Modeling of a 252Cf Neutron Irradiator

Blake C. Anderson, Keith Holbert, Herbert Bowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Neutron production methods are an integral part of research and analysis for an array of applications. This paper examines methods of neutron production, and the advantages of constructing a radioisotopic neutron irradiator assembly using 252Cf. Characteristic neutron behavior and cost-benefit comparative analysis between alternative modes of neutron production are also examined. The irradiator is described from initial conception to the finished design. MCNP modeling shows a total neutron flux of 3 × 105 n/(cm2·s) in the irradiation chamber for a 25 μg source. Measurements of the gamma-ray and neutron dose rates near the external surface of the irradiator assembly are 120 μGy/h and 30 μSv/h, respectively, during irradiation. At completion of the project, total material, and labor costs remained below $50,000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9012747
JournalScience and Technology of Nuclear Installations
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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