Title: Performance evaluation of the KM-200 amplifier in a standard safeguards neutron well-counter
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC113637
ISBN: 978-92-79-98166-1 (online)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 29489 EN
OP KJ-NA-29489-EN-N (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC113637
DOI: 10.2760/404572
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: A novel amplifier circuit, named KM-200, suitable for 3He gas proportional counters for neutron detection was developed at LANL. The new circuit is proposed as a potential substitute for the standard Amptek A111 amplifier currently used in many neutron well-counters by Euratom and IAEA. It is expected that due to aging many such A111 units could need replacing in the coming years. The purpose of the Action Sheet 59 of the Euratom-DoE collaboration is the field testing of the new KM-200 amplifier circuit. Under AS-59 a test campaign of the KM-200 at high count rate had previously been performed at the JRC PUNITA facility in Ispra. The present report concerns the 2nd test campaign carried out jointly between LANL and JRC staff at the JRC laboratory in Karlsruhe. The intention was to test the compatibility of the KM-200 with a standard safeguards well-counter such as the AWCC, and to quantify the expected improvements of the new circuit in terms of the combined dead-time effect caused by the 3He detector tubes and the amplifier. The test campaign demonstrated that the KM-200 can indeed be directly accommodated in the EURATOM AWCC. Suitability was assessed by 1) evaluation of the KM-200 as a drop-in replacement for the original EURATOM safeguards system amplifiers, and 2) performance comparison of original vs KM-200 preamplifiers for normal and high rate measurements. The results from the Karlsruhe test campaign are reported. Clearly the KM-200 is a versatile amplifier suitable for gas proportional counters, and a potential candidate for substitution of aging A111 units used in field. The test results however are not conclusive with respect to reducing the dead-time effect at high counting rates. Further work is proposed to complete these investigations.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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