On the Use of Rossi Alpha Critical Assembly Measurements for Validating and Constraining Nuclear Data

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Critical assemblies are exquisitely sensitive to details of the microscopic nuclear reactions that govern neutron multiplication. For this reason experimental studies of critical assemblies represent a cornerstone in the process of validating nuclear data. Several different characteristics of a critical system can be measured. The most commonly considered is the so-called effective k eigenvalue, k{sub eff}. Another well-measured property of these systems is {alpha}{sub 0}, the inverse e-folding time of the neutron population in the absence of {beta}-delayed neutrons. Through Monte Carlo calculations and appear to perturbation theory they show that for fast critical systems {alpha}{sub 0} and k{sub eff} ... continued below

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6 p. (0.2 MB)

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Pruet, J & Sleaford, B March 7, 2007.

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Description

Critical assemblies are exquisitely sensitive to details of the microscopic nuclear reactions that govern neutron multiplication. For this reason experimental studies of critical assemblies represent a cornerstone in the process of validating nuclear data. Several different characteristics of a critical system can be measured. The most commonly considered is the so-called effective k eigenvalue, k{sub eff}. Another well-measured property of these systems is {alpha}{sub 0}, the inverse e-folding time of the neutron population in the absence of {beta}-delayed neutrons. Through Monte Carlo calculations and appear to perturbation theory they show that for fast critical systems {alpha}{sub 0} and k{sub eff} can be viewed as lying on a single straight line for any reasonable assumptions about the underlying nuclear data. This means that the two quantities provide the same constraint on nuclear data. In principle, {alpha}{sub 0} could be associated with a very small uncertainty, and this would make the measurements for neutron multiplication rates more useful than k{sub eff} for constraining nuclear data. In practice, though, uncertainties in k{sub eff} and {alpha}{sub 0} are dominated by uncertainties in the representation of the critical system, and not by pure measurement errors for these quantities. This, together with the linear relation between {alpha}{sub 0} and k{sub eff}, implies that the two measured quantities provide exactly the same constraint on nuclear data. They do not consider other measured or inferred characteristics of critical assemblies, such as neutron generation times or spectral indices, that may be valuable in the validation process.

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6 p. (0.2 MB)

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PDF-file: 6 pages; size: 0.2 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: UCRL-TR-228835
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/940471 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 940471
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895062

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 7, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • April 17, 2017, 12:13 p.m.

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Pruet, J & Sleaford, B. On the Use of Rossi Alpha Critical Assembly Measurements for Validating and Constraining Nuclear Data, report, March 7, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895062/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.