Measuring material nuclear properties for Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation (PGNA) spectroscopy

The objective of the research project is to design a method of measuring the neutron and photon attenuation properties of complex samples (such as toxic waste or mining ore) with a wide range of shapes and masses. Measuring these properties will permit accurate analysis of the sample’s elemental composition via Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA). Currently, accurate analysis of samples via PGNAA is typically restricted to low mass (<100g) samples with controlled geometries. This limits the usefulness of PGNAA. If it were possible to measure larger samples of any shape, PGNAA could become useful in a variety of industries, including mining, medical isotope production and waste disposal. The partner organization, Heliocentric Technologies, is developing an innovative PGNAA‐based instrument that could be employed in the industries listed above with the benefit of the method being a low/no‐contact, non‐destructive and highly accurate elemental analysis. The results of this research project would improve the accuracy of Heliocentric’s instrument and possibly reduce the sample measurement time. This project is in partnership with PRECARN.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Glenn McRae


Adam Bell


Heliocentric Technologies






Carleton University



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