The Multiplicity Counter for Thermal and Fast neutrons (MC-TF), from Radiation Monitoring Devices (RMD) Inc.*, is a field-deployable device first responders can use to quickly assess in real-time and with high confidence the threat level posed by a suspected nuclear weapon. It is designed to detect time-correlated fast and thermal neutrons unique to special nuclear material (SNM), the core of a nuclear weapon.
The MC-TF is a first-of-its-kind technology that offers unprecedented access to fission-chain evolution data. The MC-TF leverages 90 state-of-the-art scintillators. Half are meant for fast neutron detection and the other half are for thermal neutron detection. Should a first responder ever need to immediately determine whether an unknown source of radiation is in fact SNM and obtain its fissile-mass and multiplication – the MC-TF can quickly and with high confidence make that determination, which greatly aids the response protocol process. The MC-TF breaks the barrier for neutron multiplicity counter response time and event-time interval analysis when compared to the state-of-the-art He3-based system.
*Co-developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Defense Threat Reduction Agency