Comparison of the phoswich and ARSA-type detectors for radioxenon detection
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The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty verification regime mandates atmospheric monitoring for the four radioxenon isotopes that are produced in high abundance in a nuclear explosion: [superscript 131m]Xe, [superscript 133m]Xe, [superscript 133g]Xe, and [superscript 135g]Xe. This mandate has driven the development of improved xenon detectors, including a phoswich detector, which has potential to replace the ARSA detector in the International Monitoring System. In this experiment, the four relevant radioxenon isotopes were produced through neutron activation and the phoswich detector was used to attain spectra from the gas. Spectral characteristics and resolution of the phoswich spectra were compared to an ARSA-type [beta]-[gamma] coincidence detector to perform an overall evaluation of the phoswich detector. The results indicated that spectral characteristics and resolutions for the phoswich were comparable to the ARSA-type detector, with slightly improved beta detection. As an additional test of the new detector's capabilities, a tailored spectrum designed to mimic a nuclear explosion signature was produced and analyzed with the detector.