Date of Award

Fall 2013

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

James M Ryan


The calibration and correction of the Neutron Spectroscope (NSPECT) time-of-flight (ToF) system are presented. This instrument is a double-scatter telescope designed to detect neutrons and gamma rays for the identification and location of radioactive materials. The ToF resolution is 0.72 ns FWHM. Results are reported for the ToF characterization using data obtained in the laboratory. An anomalous feature in the gamma-ray energy spectra measured with NSPECT neutron detectors is examined.

A design based on NSPECT is proposed for the assay of spent nuclear fuel, where portability is increased in exchange for source location capabilities. The proposed modular device is modifiable for numerous safety applications at participating facilities in the nuclear fuel cycle. Optimization of the instrument to characterize alpha-neutron reactions in irradiated fuel is discussed. A delicate balance between energy resolution and detector efficiency is required. Results from laboratory testing are reported and compared to NSPECT measurements.