Radiative neutron capture cross section on 238U at the n_TOF CERN facility: a high precision measurement

by Federica and#60;1987and#62 Mingrone

Institution: Università di Bologna
Year: 2015
Keywords: FIS/01 Fisica sperimentale
Record ID: 1225359
Full text PDF: http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/6775/1/mingrone_federica_tesi.pdf


The aim of this work is to provide a precise and accurate measurement of the 238U(n,gamma) reaction cross-section. This reaction is of fundamental importance for the design calculations of nuclear reactors, governing the behaviour of the reactor core. In particular, fast neutron reactors, which are experiencing a growing interest for their ability to burn radioactive waste, operate in the high energy region of the neutron spectrum. In this energy region inconsistencies between the existing measurements are present up to 15%, and the most recent evaluations disagree each other. In addition, the assessment of nuclear data uncertainty performed for innovative reactor systems shows that the uncertainty in the radiative capture cross-section of 238U should be further reduced to 1-3% in the energy region from 20 eV to 25 keV. To this purpose, addressed by the Nuclear Energy Agency as a priority nuclear data need, complementary experiments, one at the GELINA and two at the n_TOF facility, were scheduled within the ANDES project within the 7th Framework Project of the European Commission. The results of one of the 238U(n,gamma) measurement performed at the n_TOF CERN facility are presented in this work, carried out with a detection system constituted of two liquid scintillators. The very accurate cross section from this work is compared with the results obtained from the other measurement performed at the n_TOF facility, which exploit a different and complementary detection technique. The excellent agreement between the two data-sets points out that they can contribute to the reduction of the cross section uncertainty down to the required 1-3%.