Xenon International

 Xenon International is a fully automated, unattended system designed to collect, separate, enrich, quantify, and perform nuclear counting on radioxenon isotopes, as well as transmit data using two way communications. Xenon International is designed to stringent requirements* that make it an improved-performance next-generation-system for use in nuclear explosion monitoring networks such as the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Detection of xenon isotopes is a proven and important method for distinguishing nuclear explosions from earthquakes, and detecting undeclared underground nuclear explosive testing. The radioxenon isotopes 131mXe, 133Xe, 133mXe and 135Xe are used in identifying nuclear explosions which make them the focus of current noble gas detection systems. The Xenon International system incorporates the important lessons learned during the previous two decades including the International Noble Gas Experiment (INGE).  Its design increases sensitivity to minor xenon isotopes, increases sampling frequency, improves system reliability and performance.

The Xenon International is a compact integrated system consisting of eight functions. These internal functions include the following:

Air Intake and Compression
Air Drying
Collection and Cooling
Purification and Enrichment
Nuclear Detection (beta-gamma coincidence)
Xenon Quantification
Xenon Archiving

External to the Xenon International system is the uninterruptible power supply (the UPS is the smaller white unit in the figure above),and a nitrogen generator (the larger white unit in the figure). Xenon International uses a nitrogen generator to eliminate replacing expendable carrier-gas cylinders.

System Details:

*Size:  81 cm wide x 124 cm deep x 192 cm high
*Weight:  1225 Kg
*Power:  208 VAC (160-275 volt), 50.60 Hz, 30 amp circuit
*Collection time:  6 hours
*Air Flow:  100 L/min
*Xenon Volume in Detector:  2.5 cc
*Measurement Time:  12 hours (4 nuclear detectors)
*Minimal detectable concentration (MDC):
     •0.15 mBq/m3 (threshold) for 133Xe, 133mXe, and 131mXe
     •0.5 mBq/m3 (threshold) for 135Xe 

Xenon International is a result of collaboration between Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) to build a system that meets stringent requirements for a robust and maintainable instrument which incorporates excellence in science, engineering, and manufacturing.

Teledyne Brown Engineering
(865) 934-0400

*Requirements for Xenon International: Revision 1, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PNNL-22227 (Rev 1),  doi:10.2172/1122330