53 research outputs found

    Time-of-flight and activation experiments on 147Pm and 171Tm for astrophysics

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    The neutron capture cross section of several key unstable isotopes acting as branching points in the s-process are crucial for stellar nucleosynthesis studies, but they are very challenging to measure due to the difficult production of sufficient sample material, the high activity of the resulting samples, and the actual (n,Îł) measurement, for which high neutron fluxes and effective background rejection capabilities are required. As part of a new program to measure some of these important branching points, radioactive targets of 147Pm and 171Tm have been produced by irradiation of stable isotopes at the ILL high flux reactor. Neutron capture on 146Nd and 170Er at the reactor was followed by beta decay and the resulting matrix was purified via radiochemical separation at PSI. The radioactive targets have been used for time-of-flight measurements at the CERN n-TOF facility using the 19 and 185 m beam lines during 2014 and 2015. The capture cascades were detected using a set of four C6D6 scintillators, allowing to observe the associated neutron capture resonances. The results presented in this work are the first ever determination of the resonance capture cross section of 147Pm and 171Tm. Activation experiments on the same 147Pm and 171Tm targets with a high-intensity 30 keV quasi-Maxwellian flux of neutrons will be performed using the SARAF accelerator and the Liquid-Lithium Target (LiLiT) in order to extract the corresponding Maxwellian Average Cross Section (MACS). The status of these experiments and preliminary results will be presented and discussed as well

    Characterization of the n-TOF EAR-2 neutron beam

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    The experimental area 2 (EAR-2) at CERNs neutron time-of-flight facility (n-TOF), which is operational since 2014, is designed and built as a short-distance complement to the experimental area 1 (EAR-1). The Parallel Plate Avalanche Counter (PPAC) monitor experiment was performed to characterize the beam prole and the shape of the neutron 'ux at EAR-2. The prompt Îł-flash which is used for calibrating the time-of-flight at EAR-1 is not seen by PPAC at EAR-2, shedding light on the physical origin of this Îł-flash

    New measurement of the 242Pu(n,Îł) cross section at n-TOF-EAR1 for MOX fuels : Preliminary results in the RRR

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    The spent fuel of current nuclear reactors contains fissile plutonium isotopes that can be combined with 238U to make mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. In this way the Pu from spent fuel is used in a new reactor cycle, contributing to the long-term sustainability of nuclear energy. The use of MOX fuels in thermal and fast reactors requires accurate capture and fission cross sections. For the particular case of 242Pu, the previous neutron capture cross section measurements were made in the 70's, providing an uncertainty of about 35% in the keV region. In this context, the Nuclear Energy Agency recommends in its "High Priority Request List" and its report WPEC-26 that the capture cross section of 242Pu should be measured with an accuracy of at least 7-12% in the neutron energy range between 500 eV and 500 keV. This work presents a brief description of the measurement performed at n-TOF-EAR1, the data reduction process and the first ToF capture measurement on this isotope in the last 40 years, providing preliminary individual resonance parameters beyond the current energy limits in the evaluations, as well as a preliminary set of average resonance parameters

    The measurement programme at the neutron time-of-flight facility n-TOF at CERN

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    Neutron-induced reaction cross sections are important for a wide variety of research fields ranging from the study of nuclear level densities, nucleosynthesis to applications of nuclear technology like design, and criticality and safety assessment of existing and future nuclear reactors, radiation dosimetry, medical applications, nuclear waste transmutation, accelerator-driven systems and fuel cycle investigations. Simulations and calculations of nuclear technology applications largely rely on evaluated nuclear data libraries. The evaluations in these libraries are based both on experimental data and theoretical models. CERN's neutron time-of-flight facility n-TOF has produced a considerable amount of experimental data since it has become fully operational with the start of its scientific measurement programme in 2001. While for a long period a single measurement station (EAR1) located at 185 m from the neutron production target was available, the construction of a second beam line at 20 m (EAR2) in 2014 has substantially increased the measurement capabilities of the facility. An outline of the experimental nuclear data activities at n-TOF will be presented

    Measurement of the 72Ge(n,Îł) cross section over a wide neutron energy range at the CERN n_TOF facility

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    The Ge72(n,Îł) cross section was measured for neutron energies up to 300keV at the neutron time-of-flight facility n_TOF (CERN), Geneva, for the first time covering energies relevant to heavy-element synthesis in stars. The measurement was performed at the high-resolution beamline EAR-1, using an isotopically enriched GeO272 sample. The prompt capture Îł rays were detected with four liquid scintillation detectors, optimized for low neutron sensitivity. We determined resonance capture kernels up to a neutron energy of 43keV, and averaged cross sections from 43 to 300keV. Maxwellian-averaged cross section values were calculated from kT=5 to 100keV, with uncertainties between 3.2% and 7.1%. The new results significantly reduce uncertainties of abundances produced in the slow neutron capture process in massive stars

    Radiative Neutron Capture Cross-Section Measurement of Ge Isotopes at n_TOF CERN Facility and Its Importance for Stellar Nucleosynthesis

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    This work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF (J3503), the Adolf Messer Foundation (Germany), the UK Science and Facilities Council (ST/M006085/1), and the European Research Council ERC-2015-StG No. 677497. We also acknowledge the support of the National Science Centre, Poland, under the grant UMO-2016/22/M/ST2/00183, the MSMT of the Czech Republic and the Croatian Science Foundation under the project IP-2018-01-8570.This manuscript summarizes the results of radiative neutron capture cross-section measurements on two stable germanium isotopes, Ge-70 and Ge-73. Experiments were performed at the n_TOF facility at CERN via the time-of-flight technique, over a wide neutron energy range, for all stable germanium isotopes (70,72,73,74, and 76). Results for Ge-70 [Phys. Rev. C 100, 045804 (2019)] and Ge-73 [Phys. Lett. B 790, 458 (2019)] are already published. In the field of nuclear structure, such measurements allow to study excited levels close to the neutron binding energy and to obtain information on nuclear properties. In stellar nucleosynthesis research, neutron induced reactions on germanium are of importance for nucleosynthesis in the weak component of the slow neutron capture processes.Austrian Science Fund (FWF) J3503Adolf Messer Foundation (Germany)UK Science and Facilities Council ST/M006085/1European Research Council (ERC)European Commission 677497National Science Centre, Poland UMO-2016/22/M/ST2/00183Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports - Czech RepublicCroatian Science Foundation IP-2018-01-857

    Alpha Decays Impact on Nuclear Glass Structure

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    International audienceThis paper reviews the main results on the long-term behavior of SON68 nuclear glass towards alpha decay accumulation. The effects of the radiation damage induced by alpha decay were investigated by doping a glass with a short-lived actinide 244^{244}Cm, by using ionic irradiations and by molecular dynamic simulations. The analysis of the behavior of the glass structure subjected to ballistic effects with various spectroscopic studies has identified some local order changes around born and silicon atoms. Moreover a modification of the medium-range order has also been demonstrated through changes in the bond angles between network formers and broadening of the ring size distributions, indicating increasing disorder of the glass structure. This structural evolution induced by alpha decays would be driven by the reconstruction of the glass disorganized by displacement cascades of the recoil nuclei, freezing a glass structure with a higher fictive temperature. This “ballistic disordering (BD) fast quenching” event induce a new glassy state characterized by a higher enthalpy state

    Measurement of the 171Tm beta spectrum.

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    The beta spectrum of the main transition of the ÎČ <sup>-</sup> decay of <sup>171</sup> Tm was measured using a double focalizing spectrometer. The instrument was lately improved in order to reduce its low energy threshold to 34 keV. We used the spectrometer to measure the beta spectrum end-point energy of the main transition of <sup>171</sup> Tm decay using the Kurie plot formalism. We report a new value of 97.60(38) keV, which is in agreement with previous measurements. In addition, the spectrum shape was compared with the Ο-approximation calculation where the shape factor is equal to 1 and good agreement was found between the theory and the measurement at the 1% level

    Effect of 10B(n, α)7Li irradiation on the structure of a sodium borosilicate glass

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    International audienceThe effects of the nuclear reaction 10B(n, α)7Li on the properties and structure of a sodium borosilicate glass were analysed by density, hardness and fracture toughness measurements, Raman and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and Transmission Electronic Microscopy (TEM) characterization. The TEM observations showed a homogeneous irradiated glass structure up to the nanometer scale. Modifications of the local order around the main cations were noticed, mainly a slight decrease of the mean boron coordination number and an increase of non-bridging oxygen concentrations. At the glass medium range order, the appearance of the D2 Raman band and a modification of the Si–O–Si angle distribution were also observed after irradiation. A comparison with other irradiation conditions with Swift Heavy Ions (Kr with 74 MeV) and Gold irradiation (with energies ranging from 1 to 7 MeV) is presented. Raman spectroscopy showed a similar final structure for irradiation conditions under which the glass evolutions are controlled by electronic energy loss in the ion tracks formation regime or nuclear energy loss. Despite important differences in energy deposition regimes, the similarities observed between the final glass structures suggest that structural evolutions are controlled by the glass relaxation mechanisms during the high quenching rate step that follows the energy deposition ste

    Preparation and characterization of three  7^{7}Be targets for the measurement of the  7^{7}Be(n, p) 7^{7}Li and  7^{7}Be(n, α\alpha) 7^{7}Li reaction cross sections

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    International audienceThis manuscript describes the production of three targets obtained by implantation of different activities of 7^7Be into thin aluminium disks. Two of the produced targets were used to measure the 7^7Be(n, p)7^7Li cross section in the energy range of interest for the Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis. A third target was used to measure the cross sections of 7^7Be(n, p)7^7Li and 7^7Be(n, α\alpha)7^7Li nuclear reactions with cold and thermal neutrons, respectively. This paper describes also the characterization of the first two targets, performed after the neutron irradiation, in terms of implanted 7^7Be activities and spatial distributions
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