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Title: Precision Gamma-Ray Branching Ratios for Long-Lived Radioactive Nuclei

Abstract

Many properties of the high-energy-density environments in nuclear weapons tests, advanced laser-fusion experiments, the interior of stars, and other astrophysical bodies must be inferred from the resulting long-lived radioactive nuclei that are produced. These radioactive nuclei are most easily and sensitively identified by studying the characteristic gamma rays emitted during decay. Measuring a number of decays via detection of the characteristic gamma-rays emitted during the gamma-decay (the gamma-ray branching ratio) of the long-lived fission products is one of the most straightforward and reliable ways to determine the number of fissions that occurred in a nuclear weapon test. The fission products 147Nd, 144Ce, 156Eu, and certain other long-lived isotopes play a crucial role in science-based stockpile stewardship, however, the large uncertainties (about 8%) on the branching ratios measured for these isotopes are currently limiting the usefulness of the existing data [1,2]. We performed highly accurate gamma-ray branching-ratio measurements for a group of high-atomic-number rare earth isotopes to greatly improve the precision and reliability with which the fission yield and reaction products in high-energy-density environments can be determined. We have developed techniques that take advantage of new radioactive-beam facilities, such as DOE's CARIBU located at Argonne National Laboratory, to produce radioactive samplesmore » and perform decay spectroscopy measurements. The absolute gamma-ray branching ratios for 147Nd and 144Ce are reduced <2% precision. In addition, high-energy monoenergetic neutron beams from the FN Tandem accelerator in TUNL at Duke University was used to produce 167Tm using the 169Tm(n,3n) reaction. Fourtime improved branching ratio of 167Tm is used now to measure reaction-in-flight (RIF) neutrons from a burning DT capsule at NIF [10]. This represents the first measurement of RIF neutrons in any laboratory fusion system, and the magnitude of the signal has important implications for fundamental plasma science and for weapons physics.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1410017
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR-740533
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Tonchev, Anton. Precision Gamma-Ray Branching Ratios for Long-Lived Radioactive Nuclei. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1410017.
Tonchev, Anton. Precision Gamma-Ray Branching Ratios for Long-Lived Radioactive Nuclei. United States. doi:10.2172/1410017.
Tonchev, Anton. Thu . "Precision Gamma-Ray Branching Ratios for Long-Lived Radioactive Nuclei". United States. doi:10.2172/1410017. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1410017.
@article{osti_1410017,
title = {Precision Gamma-Ray Branching Ratios for Long-Lived Radioactive Nuclei},
author = {Tonchev, Anton},
abstractNote = {Many properties of the high-energy-density environments in nuclear weapons tests, advanced laser-fusion experiments, the interior of stars, and other astrophysical bodies must be inferred from the resulting long-lived radioactive nuclei that are produced. These radioactive nuclei are most easily and sensitively identified by studying the characteristic gamma rays emitted during decay. Measuring a number of decays via detection of the characteristic gamma-rays emitted during the gamma-decay (the gamma-ray branching ratio) of the long-lived fission products is one of the most straightforward and reliable ways to determine the number of fissions that occurred in a nuclear weapon test. The fission products 147Nd, 144Ce, 156Eu, and certain other long-lived isotopes play a crucial role in science-based stockpile stewardship, however, the large uncertainties (about 8%) on the branching ratios measured for these isotopes are currently limiting the usefulness of the existing data [1,2]. We performed highly accurate gamma-ray branching-ratio measurements for a group of high-atomic-number rare earth isotopes to greatly improve the precision and reliability with which the fission yield and reaction products in high-energy-density environments can be determined. We have developed techniques that take advantage of new radioactive-beam facilities, such as DOE's CARIBU located at Argonne National Laboratory, to produce radioactive samples and perform decay spectroscopy measurements. The absolute gamma-ray branching ratios for 147Nd and 144Ce are reduced <2% precision. In addition, high-energy monoenergetic neutron beams from the FN Tandem accelerator in TUNL at Duke University was used to produce 167Tm using the 169Tm(n,3n) reaction. Fourtime improved branching ratio of 167Tm is used now to measure reaction-in-flight (RIF) neutrons from a burning DT capsule at NIF [10]. This represents the first measurement of RIF neutrons in any laboratory fusion system, and the magnitude of the signal has important implications for fundamental plasma science and for weapons physics.},
doi = {10.2172/1410017},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Oct 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Oct 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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