New method for measuring the time integral of neutron flux in a reactor

Sylvian Kahane, Yacov Finkelstein, Raymond Moreh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A new method for measuring the time integral of thermal neutron flux of a nuclear reactor is proposed. This method utilizes two consecutive (n,γ) reactions on the 58Ni isotope of a natural nickel sample placed near the core of a reactor, 58Ni(n,γ)→59Ni(n,γ)→60Ni(n,γ). Natural nickel contains 68% 58Ni producing an intense 8.999 MeV γ-line leading to the 59Ni ground state via the 58Ni(n,γ) reaction. The 59Ni isotope produced in this manner undergoes another (n,γ) reaction, emitting a γ-line at 11.388 MeV leading to the 60Ni ground state. By measuring the intensity ratio of the two γ-lines at 8.999 and 11.388 MeV using a HPGe detector, it is possible to deduce the integral over time of the neutron flux necessary for producing the 59Ni isotope. Good accuracy can be obtained with this method due to the low gamma background at such high energies.

Keywords

  • Gamma detection
  • HPGe
  • Neutron flux
  • Ni(n,γ) reaction
  • Ni(n,γ) reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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