Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten

Studying neutron-induced fission at IGISOL-4: From neutron source to yield measurements and model comparisons

  • Datum: 2017-10-13 kl 09:15
  • Plats: 4001, Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Föreläsare: Mattera, Andrea
  • Webbsida
  • Arrangör: Tillämpad kärnfysik
  • Kontaktperson: Mattera, Andrea
  • Disputation

This thesis was developed in the framework of the AlFONS project, the objective of which was to measure neutron-induced fission yields of relevance for partitioning and transmutation of spent fuel.

Fission yields represent the probability of producing a certain nuclide in a fission event, and are important observables for fission research. For applications, accurate knowledge of the yields is fundamental at all stages of the fuel cycle of nuclear reactors, e.g., for reactivity calculations, or to estimate (spent) fuel inventory. Fission yields also help in the basic understanding of the fission process, for nucleosynthesis models, and for radioactive ion beam production.

This thesis was developed in the framework of the AlFONS project, the objective of which was to measure neutron-induced fission yields of relevance for partitioning and transmutation of spent fuel. The work is performed at the IGISOL-4 facility in JYFL (University of Jyväskylä).

The first part of this thesis work is dedicated to the development and characterisation of a suitable 9Be(p(30MeV),nx) neutron source for IGISOL-4. The neutron energy spectrum and the neutron yield from a 5mm thick converter were studied with Monte Carlo simulations. Two characterisation campaigns that validated the MCNPX code were also performed. At the maximum current available from the cyclotron at JYFL, a total neutron yield between 2 and 5×1012 neutrons/(sr s) can be obtained. This satisfies the design goal for studies of fission yields.

The neutron source was used in the measurement of fission yields from high-energy neutron-induced fission of natU at IGISOL-4, discussed in the second part of this thesis. The fission products were online-separated with a dipole magnet. The isobars, with masses in the range A = 128-133, were identified using γ-spectroscopy. Data for the relative yields of tin and antimony, as well as isomeric yield ratios for five nuclides will be reported. The yields show trends not observed in the ENDF/B-VII.1 evaluation, and only in part confirmed by the GEF model.

The final part of this thesis concerns a study of the performance of different nuclear model codes, that aim at describing the states of the fission fragments right after scission. Reproduction of experimental data serves to benchmark the models and it indicates, to some extent, how reliably the results can be extrapolated to regions where no data exist.

A methodology to compare and test these models has been developed, which was implemented in the DEℓFIN code. DEℓFIN takes the excited fission fragments, defined by the model under test, and de-excites them in a standardised way using the nuclear model code TALYS. Eliminating any variability in the way the final observables are extracted helps focusing on each model's assumptions. DEℓFIN was tested on five models, and interesting features in the prompt neutron multiplicity were found for some of them. This study will promote a better understanding of the ideas used in the development of fission models.