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Calviani, Marco (2009) Measurement of fission cross-section of actinides at n_TOF for advanced nuclear reactors. [Tesi di dottorato]

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Abstract (inglese)

The subject of this thesis is the determination of high accuracy neutron-induced fission cross-sections of various isotopes - all of which radioactive - of interest for emerging nuclear technologies. The measurements had been performed at the CERN neutron time-of-flight facility n_TOF. In particular, in this work, fission cross-sections on 233U, the main fissile isotope of the Th/U fuel cycle, and on the minor actinides 241Am, 243Am and 245Cm, have been analyzed. Data on these isotopes are requested for the feasibility study of innovative nuclear systems (ADS and Generation IV reactors) currently being considered for energy production and radioactive waste transmutation.
The measurements have been performed a high performance Fission Ionization Chamber (FIC), in conjunction with an innovative data acquisition system based on Flash-ADCs.
The first step in the analysis has been the reconstruction of the digitized signals, in order to extract the information required for the discrimination between fission fragments and the background, as well as for the determination of the neutron's energy from its time-of-flight.
Fission cross-sections for the various isotopes have been determined relative to the 235U(n,f) reaction, which is considered a standard of measurement in a wide energy range. In order to minimize systematic uncertainties, this reaction has been measured with the same detector and at the same time of the reactions subject of this thesis.
A fundamental part of the thesis work has been the analysis of the 235U(n,f) reaction, which has allowed to study the response of the fission chamber, thanks also to the use of detailed Monte Carlo simulations, performed with state-of-the-art codes for neutron transport and interaction. Moreover, the analysis of the 235U(n,f) reaction has allowed the energy calibration of the neutron beam, the determination of the incident neutron flux and an accurate estimate of the background.
In the present thesis the final results for the 233U(n,f) cross-section are shown, as well as the preliminary results for the 241Am(n,f), 243Am(n,f) and 245Cm(n,f) cross-sections. The characteristics of the n_TOF neutron beam have allowed to obtain results in a wide energy range, from about 30 meV to 1 MeV, in a single measurement. For the 233U(n,f) case, the final uncertainties on the cross-section are slightly larger than 3\%, a value required for the development of innovative nuclear systems. In order to reach such an accuracy, corrections for sample-dependent efficiencies, as well as for reaction-related dead-time effects, have been applied.

Abstract (italiano)

Il lavoro oggetto della presente tesi ha riguardato la determinazione ad alta accuratezza della sezione d'urto per la reazione di fissione indotta da neutroni su vari isotopi - tutti radioattivi - di interesse per le tecnologie nucleari emergenti. Le misure erano precedentemente state effettuate presso la facility per tempi di volo di neutroni n_TOF, presso il CERN di Ginevra. In questo lavoro sono state in particolare analizzate le misure di fissione per il 233U, il principale isotopo fissile alla base del ciclo di combustibile Th/U, e quelle sugli attinidi minori 241Am, 243Am e 245Cm, le cui sezioni d'urto sono richieste per lo sviluppo di sistemi nuclear innovativi (ADS e reattori di IV Generazione) attualmente in fase di studio per la produzione di energia e per la trasmutazione delle scorie radioattive.
Le suddette reazioni sono state misurate con una camera a ionizzazione per frammenti di fissione (Fission Ionization Chamber), in combinazione con un sistema di acquisizione basato su Flash-ADC.
Il primo passo dell'analisi ha riguardato la ricostruzione dei segnali della camera di fissione, al fine di estrarre informazioni necessarie per la discriminazione dei frammenti di fissione dal background, nonché per la determinazione dell'energia dei neutroni, a partire dal loro tempo di volo.
Le sezioni d'urto di fissione per i vari isotopi sopra citati sono state determinate relativamente alla sezione d'urto della reazione 235U(n,f), considerata standard di misura in un vasto intervallo energetico. Al fine di minimizzare gli errori sistematici, tale reazione è stata misurata con lo stesso rivelatore, e contemporaneamente alle reazioni oggetto della tesi.
Una parte fondamentale del lavoro di tesi ha quindi riguardato l'analisi dei dati della reazione 235U(n,f), che ha permesso in primo luogo di studiare la risposta della camera a fissione, grazie anche all'utilizzo di dettagliate simulazioni effettuate con i più sofisticati codici Monte Carlo per il trasporto dei neutroni. L'analisi della reazione di fissione sul 235U ha permesso inoltre la calibrazione energetica del fascio di neutroni, la determinazione del flusso neutronico incidente sul rivelatore ed una stima accurata del background.
Nella presente tesi sono presentati i risultati finali della sezione d'urto della reazione 233U(n,f), nonché i risultati preliminari della sezione d'urto per le reazioni 241Am(n,f), 243Am(n,f) e 245Cm(n,f). Le caratteristiche del fascio di neutroni di n_TOF hanno permesso di ottenere risultati in un vasto intervallo energetico, da circa 30 meV fino a 1 MeV, in una singola misura. Nel caso del 233U(n,f), la sezione d'urto è stata determinata con una incertezza di circa il 3\%, un valore prossimo a quello attualmente richiesto per lo sviluppo di sistemi nucleari innovativi. Al fine di raggiungere l'accuratezza richiesta, è stato necessario correggere i dati per effetti dipendenti dal bersaglio, legati all'efficienza del rivelatore. Inoltre sono state applicate correzioni dovute al dead-time, anch'esso dipendente dalla reazione studiata.

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Tipo di EPrint:Tesi di dottorato
Relatore:Montagnoli, Giovanna
Correlatore:Colonna, Nicola - Mastinu, Pierfrancesco
Dottorato (corsi e scuole):Ciclo 21 > Scuole per il 21simo ciclo > FISICA
Data di deposito della tesi:30 Gennaio 2009
Anno di Pubblicazione:30 Gennaio 2009
Parole chiave (italiano / inglese):n_TOF, fission cross-section, actinides, Generation-IV, ADS, uranium
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/04 Fisica nucleare e subnucleare
Struttura di riferimento:Dipartimenti > Dipartimento di Fisica "Galileo Galilei"
Codice ID:1748
Depositato il:30 Gen 2009
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