Cygnus Performance in Subcritical Experiments
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB NM
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The Cygnus Dual Beam Radiographic Facility consists of two identical radiographic sources with the following specifications 4-rad dose at 1 m, 1-mm spot size, 50-ns pulse length, 2.25-MeV endpoint energy. The facility is located in an underground tunnel complex at the Nevada Test Site. Here SubCritical Experiments SCEs are performed to study the dynamic properties of plutonium 1, 2. The Cygnus sources were developed as a primary diagnostic for these tests. Since SCEs are single-shot, high-value events - reliability and reproducibility are key issues. Enhanced reliability involves minimization of failure modes through design, inspection, and testing. Many unique hardware and operational features were incorporated into Cygnus to insure reliability. Enhanced reproducibility involves normalization of shot-to-shot output also through design, inspection, and testing. The first SCE to utilize Cygnus, Armando, was executed on May 25, 2004. A year later, April - May 2005, calibrations using a plutonium step wedge were performed.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods