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Fundamentals of Nondestructive Assay

Learn about neutron and gamma ray based nondestructive assay concepts used for the measurement of nuclear materials for safeguards, security, and safety applications. 


Spontaneous Fission


This course is an introduction to the nondestructive assay (NDA) of uranium and plutonium-bearing materials using gamma-ray and neutron based measurement techniques.  The fundamental principles of gamma-ray spectrometry and neutron counting are covered in this course.

The course is composed of lectures that describe underlying theories followed by hands-on laboratory exercises covering select measurement techniques.

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Target Audience

Individuals that perform, manage, or supervise NDA measurements. Auditors, regulators, and policy makers may also benefit from attending this course.


To provide the participant with the fundamental principles of generic nondestructive assay techniques and instrumentation used in accounting and control of nuclear materials and the ability to apply these concepts to the participant’s needs.


  • Fundamental principles of gamma-ray spectrometry
  • Uranium enrichment measurements with the enrichment meter technique
  • Transmission-corrected gamma-ray assay measurements of plutonium
  • Fundamental principles of neutron counting
  • Active neutron coincidence counting of uranium
  • Passive neutron coincidence counting of plutonium
  • Introduction to calorimetry for safeguards applications

NDA Equipment Covered: NaI, HLNC, AWCC, HPGe (optional)

Course Prerequisites

This course does not have any prerequisites. 


4.5 days

Typical Course Format

The Fundamentals of Nondestructive Assay Training Course will meet at 8:30 AM on:

Monday, February 8, 2021 (February 2021 Course)

Monday, April 12, 2021 (April 2021 Course)

Monday, July 12, 2021 (July 2021 Course)

Monday, October 25, 2021 (October 2021 Course)

at TA-66, Bldg 1, Conference Room A101.

Course schedule: 

Monday - Thursday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and Friday, 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM.

Please do not plan to leave the course earlier than noon on Friday, February 12/Friday, April 16/Friday July 16/Friday, October 29.

A schedule will be provided on the first day of the course. Coffee, tea, and water will be available during the morning and afternoon breaks. An option for attending a no-host lunch at the training site will be provided for all students. The anticipated cost for these lunches will be approximately $5-10/person. The money will be collected on the day the lunch is served.

We will be entering into the laboratory to perform some measurements. For safety purposes, please be sure to wear closed toe shoes.