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

The potential of elastic antineutrino-electron scattering (ν¯ e + e → ν¯ e + e ) 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. Background was estimated via independent simulations and by appropriately scaling published measurements from similar detectors. Many potential backgrounds were considered, including solar neutrinos, misidentified reactor-based inverse beta decay interactions, cosmogenic radionuclide and water-borne radon decays, and gamma rays from the photomultiplier tubes, detector walls, and surrounding rock. The detector response was modeled using a GEANT4-based simulation package. The results indicate that with the use of low radioactivity PMTs and sufficient fiducialization, water-borne radon and cosmogenic radionuclides pose the largest threats to sensitivity. The directional sensitivity was then analyzed as a function of radon contamination, detector depth, and detector size. Lastly, the results provide a list of theoretical conditions that, if satisfied in practice, would enable nuclear reactor antineutrino directionality in a Gd-doped water Cherenkov detector approximately 10 km from a large power reactor.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  3. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344; NA0000979; NA0003180
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
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Nuclear Science and Security Consortium; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; nuclear reactor antineutrinos; water Cherenkov detector; electron scattering; directionality; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; reactor antineutrinos
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1244654; OSTI ID: 1397773; OSTI ID: 1407958