Measurements to determine the absolute D-D and D-7Li neutron production rates with a neutron generator running at 100-200 kV acceleration potential were performed using the threshold activation foil technique. This technique provides a clear measure of fast neutron flux and with a suitable model, the neutron output. This approach requires little specialized equipment and is used to calibrate real-time neutron detectors and to verify neutron output. We discuss the activation foil measurement technique and describe its use in determining the relative contributions of D-D and D-7Li reactions to the total neutron yield and real-time detector response and compare to model predictions. The D-7Li reaction produces neutrons with a continuum of energies and a sharp peak around 13.5 MeV for measurement techniques outside of what D-D generators can perform. The ability to perform measurements with D-D neutrons alone, then add D-7Li neutrons for inelastic gamma production presents additional measurement modalities with the same neutron source without the use of tritium. Typically, D-T generators are employed for inelastic scattering applications but have a high regulatory burden from a radiological aspect (tritium inventory, liability concerns) and are export-controlled. D-D and D-7Li generators avoid these issues completely.
In the present study a method used to normalize a collimated 14.7 MeV neutron beam is introduced. It combined a measurement of the fast neutron scalar flux passing through the collimator, using a copper foil activation, with a neutron transport calculation of the foil activation per unit source neutron, carried out by the discrete-ordinates transport code DOT 4.2. The geometry of the collimated neutron beam is composed of a D-T neutron source positioned 30 cm in front of a 6 cm diameter collimator, through a 120 cm thick paraffin wall. The neutron flux emitted from the D-T source was counted by an NE-213 scintillator, simultaneously with the irradiation of the copper foil. Thus, the determination of the normalization factor of the D-T source is used for an absolute flux calibration of the NE-213 scintillator. The major contributions to the uncertainty in the determination of the normalization factor, and their origins, are discussed.
The fusion reaction occurring in DD plasma is followed by emission of 2.45 MeV neutrons, which carry out information about fusion reaction rate and plasma parameters and properties as well. Neutron activation of beryllium has been chosen for detection of DD fusion neutrons. The cross-section for reaction 9Be(n, α)6He has a useful threshold near 1 MeV, which means that undesirable multiple-scattered neutrons do not undergo that reaction and therefore are not recorded. The product of the reaction, 6He, decays with half-life T1/2 = 0.807 s emitting β- particles which are easy to detect. Large area gas sealed proportional detector has been chosen as a counter of β-particles leaving activated beryllium plate. The plate with optimized dimensions adjoins the proportional counter entrance window. Such set-up is also equipped with appropriate electronic components and forms beryllium neutron activation counter. The neutron flux density on beryllium plate can be determined from the number of counts. The proper calibration procedure needs to be performed, therefore, to establish such relation. The measurements with the use of known β-source have been done. In order to determine the detector response function such experiment have been modeled by means of MCNP5-the Monte Carlo transport code. It allowed proper application of the results of transport calculations of β- particles emitted from radioactive 6He and reaching proportional detector active volume. In order to test the counter system and measuring procedure a number of experiments have been performed on PF devices. The experimental conditions have been simulated by means of MCNP5. The correctness of simulation outcome have been proved by measurements with known radioactive neutron source. The results of the DD fusion neutron measurements have been compared with other neutron diagnostics.
Two integrated neutron activation prediction code systems have been developed by modifying and integrating existing computer programs to perform the necessary computations to determine neutron induced activation gamma ray doses and dose rates in complex geometries. Each of the two systems is comprised of three computational modules. The first program module computes the spatial and energy distribution of the neutron flux from an input source and prepares input data for the second program which performs the reaction rate, decay chain and activation gamma source calculations. A third module then accepts input prepared by the second program to compute the cumulative gamma doses and/or dose rates at specified detector locations in complex, three-dimensional geometries.
Knowledge of neutron energy spectra is very important because neutrons with various energies have a different material impact or a biological tissue impact. This paper presents basic results of the neutron flux distribution inside the new experimental research stand SVICKA which is located at Brno University of Technology in Brno, Czech Republic. The experiment also focused on the investigation of the sandwich biological shielding quality that protects staff against radiation effects. The set of indium activation detectors was used to the investigation of neutron flux distribution. The results of the measurement provide basic information about the neutron flux distribution inside all irradiation channels and no damage or cracks are present in the experimental research stand biological shielding.
A new graphite pile designed to serve as a standard source of thermal neutrons has been built at the Czech Metrology Institute. Actual dimensions of the pile are 1.95 m (W)×1.95 m (L)×2.0 m (H). At its center, there is a measurement channel whose dimensions are 0.4 m×0.4 m×1.25 m (depth). The channel is equipped with a calibration bench, which allows reproducible placement of the tested/calibrated device. At a distance of 80 cm from the channel axis, six holes are symmetrically located allowing the placement of radionuclide neutron sources of Pu-Be and/or Am-Be type. Spatial distribution of thermal neutron fluence in the cavity was calculated in detail with the MCNP neutron transport code. Experimentally, it was measured with two active detectors: a small 3He proportional detector by the French company LMT, type 0.5 NH 1/1 KF, and a silicon pixel detector Timepix with 10B converter foil. The relative values of thermal neutron fluence rate obtained with active detectors were converted to absolute ones using thermal neutron fluence rates measured by means of gold foil activation. The quality of thermal neutron field was characterized by the cadmium ratio.
In situ calibration of the neutron activation system on the Large Helical Device (LHD) was performed by using an intense 252Cf neutron source. To simulate a ring-shaped neutron source, we installed a railway inside the LHD vacuum vessel and made a train loaded with the 252Cf source run along a typical magnetic axis position. Three activation capsules loaded with thirty pieces of indium foils stacked with total mass of approximately 18 g were prepared. Each capsule was irradiated over 15 h while the train was circulating. The activation response coefficient (9.4 ± 1.2) × 10-8 of 115In(n, n')115mIn reaction obtained from the experiment is in good agreement with results from three-dimensional neutron transport calculations using the Monte Carlo neutron transport simulation code 6. The activation response coefficients of 2.45 MeV birth neutron and secondary 14.1 MeV neutron from deuterium plasma were evaluated from the activation response coefficient obtained in this calibration experiment with results from three-dimensional neutron calculations using the Monte Carlo neutron transport simulation code 6.
The neutronic calculations and activation behavior of the proposed helium cooled ceramic breeder (HCCB) blanket were predicted for the Chinese Fusion Engineering Testing Reactor (CFETR) design model using the MCNP multi-particle transport code and its associated data library. The tritium self-sufficiency behavior of the HCCB blanket was assessed, addressing several important breeding-related arrangements inside the blankets. Two candidate first wall armor materials were considered to obtain a proper tritium breeding ratio (TBR). Presentations of other neutronic characteristics, including neutron flux, neutron-induced damages in terms of the accumulated dpa and helium production were also conducted. Activation, decay heat levels and contact dose rates of the components were calculated to estimate the neutron-induced radioactivity and personnel safety. The results indicate that neutron radiation is efficiently attenuated and slowed down by components placed between the plasma and toroidal field coil. The dominant nuclides and corresponding isotopes in the structural steel were discussed. A radioactivity comparison between pure beryllium and beryllium with specific impurities was also performed. After a millennium cooling time, the decay heat of all the concerned components and materials is less than 1 × 10-4 kW, and most associated in-vessel components qualify for recycling by remote handling. The results demonstrate that acceptable hands-on recycling and operation still require a further long waiting period to allow the activated products to decay.
The expected induced radioactivity of experimental material in low Earth orbit was studied for characteristics of activating particles such as cosmic rays, high energy Earth albedo neutrons, trapped protons, and secondary protons and neutrons. The activation cross sections for the production of long lived radioisotopes and other existing nuclear data appropriate to the study of these reactions were compiled. Computer codes which are required to calculate the expected activation of orbited materials were developed. The decreased computer code used to predict the activation of trapped protons of materials placed in the expected orbits of LDEF and Spacelab II. Techniques for unfolding the fluxes of activating particles from the measured activation of orbited materials are examined. 2b1af7f3a8