skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: How to produce a reactor neutron spectrum using a proton accelerator

A method for reproducing the neutron energy spectrum present in the core of an operating nuclear reactor using an engineered target in an accelerator proton beam is proposed. The protons interact with a target to create neutrons through various (p,n) type reactions. Spectral tailoring of the emitted neutrons can be used to modify the energy of the generated neutron spectrum to represent various reactor spectra. Through the use of moderators and reflectors, the neutron spectrum can be modified to reproduce many different spectra of interest including spectra in small thermal test reactors, large pressurized water reactors, and fast reactors. The particular application of this methodology is the design of an experimental approach for using an accelerator to measure the betas produced during fission to be used to reduce uncertainties in the interpretation of reactor antineutrino measurements. This approach involves using a proton accelerator to produce a neutron field representative of a power reactor, and using this neutron field to irradiate fission foils of the primary isotopes contributing to fission in the reactor, creating unstable, neutron rich fission products that subsequently beta decay and emit electron antineutrinos. A major advantage of an accelerator neutron source over a neutron beam from amore » thermal reactor is that the fast neutrons can be slowed down or tailored to approximate various power reactor spectra. An accelerator based neutron source that can be tailored to match various reactor neutron spectra provides an advantage for control in studying how changes in the neutron spectra affect parameters such as the resulting fission product beta spectrum.« less
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics Procedia, 66:471-480
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States