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NRE 4206 Laboratory 6 Pulsed Neutron Die-Away

March 25th, 27th and 28th, 2013



2. 50 Hz oscillator 3. He-3 tube neutron detectors 4. Ortec model 142IH preamplier 5. Ortec 3 kV high voltage power supply 6. Oscilliscope

To provide the students with a familiarity using pulsed neutron source to determine experimental parameters of subcritical reactor facilities.

7. Tail pulse generator Use of a pulsed neutron source provides an alternative method for determining experimental parameters such as buckling length, diusion length and the criticality eigenvalue. Pulsed neutron experiment consists of recording at one or more points in an assembly the ux variation in time during and after extraneous source bursts. In a subcritical assembly analysis, it is often needed to separate prompt and delayed neutrons. During the lecture, four main regions were identied for the time behavior curve of the thermal neutron population in a subcritical assembly. One of the regions can be used to determine the eigenvalue, , of the exponential dieaway of the prompt neutrons: Np = N0 et (1) 8. Multi-channel Scalar 9. Delay box (nanosecond)

1. Warm up the DT generator according to manufacturers specs 2. Set the generator to a 10 Hz repetition rate 3. Turn on the high voltage to the He-3 tubes 4. Set the multi-channel scalar to a 9 us bin width and a 20,000 channel sweep external trigger with the input as discriminator input, 0.1 V positive trigger 5. Attach the oscillator out signal from the generator to the external trigger in port on the tail pulse generator 6. Set the tail pulse generator to external sync 7. Take the output pulse into the multichannel scalar sweep start signal 8. Route the amplied He-3 summed channels into the discriminator input 9. Set the neutron generator for 90,000 pulses 10. Start the neutron generator by using the manual start button 11. Wait 30 minutes 12. Save the resulting le and export to ASCII for analysis 13. Shutdown the generator according to manufacturers specs 14. Shutdown the high voltage and NIM bin running the remainder of electronics 15. Analyze data

where Np is the prompt neutron density. Sjostrand-Gozani (SG) method utilizes the curve to measure the reactivity of the subcritical system. If R i (where R is the repetition rate, source pulses per second, and i is the decay constant of the delayed neutrons), Gozani shows that: RNp0 = Nd


assuming no contribution from higher harmonics. Note that Nd is the delayed neutron density and Np0 is the Np0 prompt fundamental-mode value. In this analysis, is equivalent to area A1 , ascribed to prompt neutrons, and Nd R is equivalent to area A2 , ascribed to delayed neutrons. Note that while SG method can provide a good measure of the reactivity in the subcritical state, it may give inaccurate results in assemblies that are not close to critical.

1. Pulsed neutron source (D-T neutron generator)


For this worksheet, answer the following questions. Your worksheet is due during the week of April 1st. 1. Explain the principle of neutron generator operation. How are the neutrons emitted (energy, direction, etc)? 2. Dene the following as applied to the pulsed neutron source in a subcritical pile experiment: (a) Prompt neutron harmonics (b) Delayed neutron harmonics (c) Kinetic distortion 3. How would you check for harmonic contamination in this experiment?

4. Create a plot of the time behavior of the neutrons in the subcritical pile. The plot should be Log n(t) vs. time. Explain the four major parts of the plot using the theory covered in the lecture.

5. Using the plot, calculate the eigenvalue .

6. Using the Sjostrand-Gozani (SG) method, calculate the reactivity of the subcritical system.

7. How does the value of reactivity calculated with the SG method compare with your results from the 1/M experiment?