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High Flux Neutron Generator Commissioning

Thursday, Oct 23rd 2014

This summer, the High Flux Neutron Generator (HFNG) was completed, installed and entered into commissioning phase in the NE Department nuclear laboratory.  Designed and constructed under NSF funding, the HFNG is a plasma-based source, producing 2.45 MeV neutrons from DD fusion. Several modes of operation are possible, including long-term irradiation of samples in the HFNG cathode where the neutron flux is highest, utilizing neutrons in a collimated beam from inside the vault, and spectroscopy of short-lived isotopes from irradiated samples by means of a rapid-transfer shuttle (a 'rabbit system').  The neutrons can also be thermalized.  The ultimate flux is expected to exceed 10^{11} n/sec/cm^2.  The HFNG is a collaboration of the UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering, the Berkeley Geochronology Center, LBNL and LLNL.