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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 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.
 [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:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0000979; AC52-07NA27344; 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:
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
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; reactor antineutrinos; water Cherenkov detector; electron scattering; directionality