Identifying short-lived fission products by delayed gamma-ray emission
samples were irradiated for approximately 45 minutes to allow for the saturation of fission products. The first method used the beam port shutter and allowed for longer counting and irradiation times, but was unsuitable for examining fission products with half-lives below 10 seconds. The on/off method used a cycle of equal irradiation and counting times of one minute. The second method is able to measure track the production of fission products with half-lives of less than 10 seconds. This method used a borated aluminum wheel beam chopper to stop the irradiation of the sample during counting. The beam chopper was set to cycle for approximately one second of counting following half a second of irradiation.
The spectra from both methods were analyzed and the peaks were assigned to the appropriate fission products. The majority of the peaks were composed of gamma-rays from multiple nuclides. The peaks created by gamma-rays from decays of a single nuclide were used to calculate the detection limits of the system. Using the beam chopper system, 21 peaks would be above the detection limits of our system 95% of the time for uranium samples of less than one kilogram.