DETERMINATION OF THE BACKGROUND OF 3He-FILLED PROPORTIONAL COUNTERS USED FOR LOW-LEVEL NEUTRON MEASUREMENTS.
Low-level neutron measurements are required for applications such as environmental monitoring, measurements of weak sources and the determination of neutron fluxes at underground laboratories. When analyzing low-level neutron measurements, it is important to be able to distinguish the signal due to neutrons from any background term that may originate within the detector. A solution to this problem has been developed for the case of measurements carried out with 3He spherical proportional counters of the type which are often used in Bonner sphere spectrometers. To determine this background, measurements were carried out in the former UDO underground laboratory of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt located in the Asse salt mine. The analysis of the data was carried out using Bayesian parameter estimation. The result of the analysis is a very general parameterised function that can be used to describe the pulse height spectrum due to the background of the proportional counters.