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Fission fragment angular distribution and fission cross section validation

Abstract : The present knowledge of angular distributions of neutron-induced fission is limited to a maximal energy of 15 MeV, with large discrepancies around 14 MeV. Only 238U and 232Th have been investigated up to 100 MeV in a single experiment. The n_TOF Collaboration performed the fission cross section measurement of several actinides (232Th, 235U, 238U, 234U, 237Np) at the n_TOF facility using an experimental set-up made of Parallel Plate Avalanche Counters (PPAC), extending the energy domain of the incident neutron above hundreds of MeV. The method based on the detection of the 2 fragments in coincidence allowed to clearly disentangle the fission reactions among other types of reactions occurring in the spallation domain. I will show the methods we used to reconstruct the full angular resolution by the tracking of fission fragments. Below 10 MeV our results are consistent with existing data. For example in the case of 232Th, below 10 MeV the results show clearly the variation occurring at the first (1 MeV) and second (7 MeV) chance fission, corresponding to transition states of given J and K (total spin and its projection on the fission axis), and a much more accurate energy dependence at the 3rd chance threshold (14 MeV) has been obtained. In the spallation domain, above 30 MeV we confirm the high anisotropy revealed in 232Th by the single existing data set. I'll discuss the implications of this finding, related to the low anisotropy exhibited in proton-induced fission. I also explore the critical experiments which is valuable checks of nuclear data. The 237Np neutron-induced fission cross section has recently been measured in a large energy range (from eV to GeV) at the n TOF facility at CERN. When compared to previous measurements, the n TOF fission cross section appears to be higher by 5-7 % beyond the fission threshold. To check the relevance of n TOF data, we simulate a criticality experiment performed at Los Alamos with a 6 kg sphere of 237Np. This sphere was surrounded by enriched uranium 235U so as to approach criticality with fast neutrons. The simulation predicts a multiplication factor keff in better agreement with the experiment (the deviation of 750 pcm is reduced to 250 pcm) when we replace the ENDF/B- VII.0 evaluation of the 237Np fission cross section by the n TOF data. We also explore the hypothesis of deficiencies of the inelastic cross section in 235U which has been invoked by some authors to explain the deviation of 750 pcm. The large distortion that should be applied to the inelastic cross sections in order to reconcile the critical experiment with its simulation is incompatible with existing measurements. Also we show that the nubar of 237Np can hardly be incriminated because of the high accuracy of the existing data. Fission rate ratios or averaged fission cross sections measured in several fast neutron fields seem to give contradictory results on the validation of the 237Np cross section but at least one of the benchmark experiments, where the active deposits have been well calibrated for the number of atoms, favors the n TOF data set. These outcomes support the hypothesis of a higher fission cross section of 237Np.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 6, 2014 - 7:02:10 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00924483, version 1

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Lou Sai Leong. Fission fragment angular distribution and fission cross section validation. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013PA112186⟩. ⟨tel-00924483⟩

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