Catching nuclear smugglers: Fast algorithm could enable cost-effective detectors at borders

EurekAlert  April 30, 2020
An international team of researchers (USA – University of Michigan, University of Illinois, Los Alamos National Laboratory, UK) developed an algorithm capable of identifying weak radiation signals, such as might be seen from plutonium encased materials that absorb radiation. It works even in the presence of a high radiation background, including everyday sources such as cosmic rays from space and radon from the rock underfoot. Based on their results, they believe the use of their algorithm could improve the ability of radiation portal monitors at national borders to tell the difference between potential smuggling activity and benign radiation sources. The algorithms can unmix and unmask if the radioactive source or special nuclear material is mixed in with naturally occurring radioactive materials. The research will be helpful in reducing the false positive alarms at radiation portal monitors…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

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