Neutron capture cross section measurement of 238U at the n TOF CERN facility in the energy region from 1 eV to 700 keV

The n_TOF Collaboration

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    The aim of this work is to provide a precise and accurate measurement of the 238U(n,) reaction cross section in the energy region from 1 eV to 700 keV. This reaction is of fundamental importance for the design calculations of nuclear reactors, governing the behaviour of the reactor core. In particular, fast 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 most recent evaluations disagree due to inconsistencies in the existing measurements of up to 15%. 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 proposed and carried out within the 7th Framework Project ANDES of the European Commission. The results of one of these 238U(n,) measurements performed at the n TOF CERN facility are presented in this work. The gamma-ray cascade following the radiative neutron capture has been detected exploiting a setup of two C6D6 liquid scintillators. Resonance parameters obtained from this work are on average in excellent agreement with the ones reported in evaluated libraries. In the unresolved resonance region, this work yields a cross section in agreement with evaluated libraries up to 80 keV, while for higher energies our results are signicantly higher.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number034604
    JournalPhysical Review C (Nuclear Physics)
    Early online date10 Mar 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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