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Étude des neutrinos de réacteur : mise en place et caractérisation du détecteur Nucifer

Abstract : The major advances done in the understanding of neutrinos properties and in detector technology have opened the door to a new discipline: the Applied Antineutrino Physics. Indeed, this particle has the great advantage to carry information from its emission place without perturbation. Because neutrinos are inextricably linked to nuclear processes, new applications are in nuclear safeguards. In this context, the Nucifer project aims to test a small electron-antineutrino detector to be installed a few 10 meters from a reactor core for monitoring its thermal power and for testing the sensitivity to the plutonium content. Moreover, recent re-analysis of previous short-distance reactor-neutrino experiments shows a significant discrepancy between measured and expected neutrino count rates. Among the various hypotheses a new phenomenon as the existence of a fourth sterile neutrino can explain this anomaly. To be able to count neutrinos and get the corresponding energy spectrum, the detection is based on the inverse beta decay in about 850 kg of doped liquid scintillator. The experimental challenge is to operate such a small detector in a high background place, due to the closeness with the surface and the reactor radiations. The detector is now finished and data taking has begun at the Osiris research reactor in Saclay since april 2012. Sadly, unexpected low liquid attenuation length and high gamma background level prevented us to highlight neutrinos. We are now waiting for a liquid change and a new lead wall to study reactor monitoring and to test the sterile neutrino hypothesis.
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Jonathan Gaffiot. Étude des neutrinos de réacteur : mise en place et caractérisation du détecteur Nucifer. Autre [cond-mat.other]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012PA112286⟩. ⟨tel-00770675⟩

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