A company from the Vosges Department in France, NEOTEC, received the 2009 "Outstanding Implementations" award, at the International MIDEST Exhibition attended by the Industry Minister, Christian Estrosi, for their production of very special chambers. This equipment forms part of an important component of the Double-Chooz experiment which, before the end of the year, will measure neutrinos emitted by the reactor at the Chooz nuclear power station in the Ardennes.
Figure 1: Unable to "see" neutrinos, physicists instead detect the characteristic gamma radiation produced by their interactions, corresponding to miniscule deposits of energy. To do this, mineral-oil based, liquid scintillation detectors are used, which transform these energy deposits into visible light emissions that are then detected by 400 photo-sensors (photomultiplier tubes). The scintillating liquid in the target chamber is doped with gadolinium nuclei which emit a characteristic light when they capture a neutron.