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Identification of an Unknown Material in a Radiation Shield Using the Schwinger Inverse Method

Jeffrey A. Favorite, Keith C. Bledsoe

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 152 / Number 1 / January 2006 / Pages 106-117

Technical Note /

The Schwinger method for solving inverse gamma-ray transport problems was proposed in a previous paper. The method is iterative and requires a set of uncoupled forward and adjoint transport calculations in each iteration. In this paper, the Schwinger inverse method is applied to the problem of identifying an unknown material in a radiation shield by calculating its total macroscopic photon cross sections. The gamma source (its energy and spatial distribution as well as the composition of the material) is known and the total (angle-independent) gamma leakage is measured. In numerical one-dimensional spherical and slab test problems, the Schwinger inverse method successfully calculated the photon cross sections of an unknown material. Material identification was successfully achieved by comparing the calculated cross sections with those in a precomputed material cross-section library, although there was some ambiguity when realistic measurements were used. The Schwinger inverse method compared very favorably with the standard single-energy transmission technique.

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