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2023. 05. 05 -

Jevgenij Garankin becomes a PhD in Natural Sciences

Jevgenij Garankin, an engineer at the Department of Nuclear Research of FTMC, has today defended his PhD thesis (supervised by Dr. Artūras Plukis). Congratulations to our colleague, best wishes for continued success, enthusiasm and new discoveries!
Jevgenij's thesis topic is "Development of advanced methods based on polyethylene naphthalate scintillation detector for recording and identification of ionising radiation". You can read the thesis here.
His research concerns detectors that can distinguish unnatural neutrons from gamma radiation, which is widely found in nature. As the author writes in his thesis, the applications of such detectors are wide-ranging, from airport security systems to medicine, from measuring neutron fluxes in nuclear power plants to space radiation research and astronaut safety.
"Neutron flux is always accompanied by gamma radiation. It is everywhere, it passes through us, we are exposed to it. But neutron radiation is much rarer in nature. So, in terms of safety, it is necessary to see whether the pulse detected in the detector is coming from natural gamma radiation or from neutrons," says Dr. Garankin.
(Top right: Dr. Jevgenij Garankin. Photo: FTMC)
Helium-3 (3He) gas detectors are the most widely used in the world for this purpose. However, the only supplier of this gas is the United States, which, due to its increasingly depleting reserves, has almost no supply - and at very high prices. Scientists are therefore looking for other materials to replace 3He gas - materials that are cheaper and can be mass-produced.
Jevgenij's work suggests an alternative: plastic PEN (polyethylene naphthalate) detectors. This material, according to the author, can be an excellent substitute for neutron detectors and can be used as a detector that does not require any additional additives or sophisticated manufacturing techniques.
The researcher has found that neutron detection is possible with PEN detectors and that this technology can be used in nuclear safety and other applications.
"For example, it is possible to monitor neutron kinetics near nuclear reactors. Inside, this would not be possible because of the high temperature (PEN is an organic material), but outside, you can see what the neutron spectrum looks like around the reactor.
Security systems at airports are an area where PEN can already be used, as the concept is easy to implement. We would mould this plastic into any shape of detector and add photomultipliers that sense the light coming out of the detector. Using the analysis techniques I have presented, it is possible to determine whether one or, say, three consecutive pulses are due to neutrons. If this is the case, something near is dangerous. For example, someone may be trying to get uranium or plutonium through a security check," says J. Garankin.
The new PhD is grateful to all those who have contributed to his thesis, especially his family, who have always been supportive of Jevgenij and patiently put up with his sometimes long working hours.
(Top right: Dr. Jevgenij Garankin. Photo: FTMC)
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