skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Reconstructing the direction of reactor antineutrinos via electron scattering in Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors

Abstract

The potential of elastic antineutrino-electron scattering in a Gd-doped water Cherenkov detector to determine the direction of a nuclear reactor antineutrino flux was investigated using the recently proposed WATCHMAN antineutrino experiment as a baseline model. The expected scattering rate was determined assuming a 13 km standoff from a 3.758 GWt light water nuclear reactor and the detector response was modeled using a Geant4-based simulation package. Background was estimated via independent simulations and by scaling published measurements from similar detectors. Background contributions were estimated for solar neutrinos, misidentified reactor-based inverse beta decay interactions, cosmogenic radionuclides, water-borne radon, and gamma rays from the photomultiplier tubes, detector walls, and surrounding rock. We show that with the use of low background PMTs and sufficient fiducialization, water-borne radon and cosmogenic radionuclides pose the largest threats to sensitivity. Directional sensitivity was then analyzed as a function of radon contamination, detector depth, and detector size. Lastly, the results provide a list of experimental conditions that, if satisfied in practice, would enable antineutrino directional reconstruction at 3 sigma significance in large Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors with greater than 10 km standoff from a nuclear reactor.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  3. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Nuclear Science and Security Consortium; Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1332127
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1244654; OSTI ID: 1397773; OSTI ID: 1407958
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-679610
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002; PII: S0168900216310555; TRN: US1601866
Grant/Contract Number:  
NA0000979; AC52-07NA27344; NA0003180
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 841; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; reactor antineutrinos; water Cherenkov detector; electron scattering; directionality; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; nuclear reactor antineutrinos

Citation Formats

Hellfeld, D., Bernstein, A., Dazeley, S., and Marianno, C. Reconstructing the direction of reactor antineutrinos via electron scattering in Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.027.
Hellfeld, D., Bernstein, A., Dazeley, S., & Marianno, C. Reconstructing the direction of reactor antineutrinos via electron scattering in Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.027.
Hellfeld, D., Bernstein, A., Dazeley, S., and Marianno, C. Mon . "Reconstructing the direction of reactor antineutrinos via electron scattering in Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.027. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1332127.
@article{osti_1332127,
title = {Reconstructing the direction of reactor antineutrinos via electron scattering in Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors},
author = {Hellfeld, D. and Bernstein, A. and Dazeley, S. and Marianno, C.},
abstractNote = {The potential of elastic antineutrino-electron scattering in a Gd-doped water Cherenkov detector to determine the direction of a nuclear reactor antineutrino flux was investigated using the recently proposed WATCHMAN antineutrino experiment as a baseline model. The expected scattering rate was determined assuming a 13 km standoff from a 3.758 GWt light water nuclear reactor and the detector response was modeled using a Geant4-based simulation package. Background was estimated via independent simulations and by scaling published measurements from similar detectors. Background contributions were estimated for solar neutrinos, misidentified reactor-based inverse beta decay interactions, cosmogenic radionuclides, water-borne radon, and gamma rays from the photomultiplier tubes, detector walls, and surrounding rock. We show that with the use of low background PMTs and sufficient fiducialization, water-borne radon and cosmogenic radionuclides pose the largest threats to sensitivity. Directional sensitivity was then analyzed as a function of radon contamination, detector depth, and detector size. Lastly, the results provide a list of experimental conditions that, if satisfied in practice, would enable antineutrino directional reconstruction at 3 sigma significance in large Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors with greater than 10 km standoff from a nuclear reactor.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nima.2016.10.027},
journal = {Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment},
number = C,
volume = 841,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share: