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Neutron Capture Experiments on Unstable Nuclei

Author: Heino Nitsche.Darleane C. Hoffman.Ralf Sudowe.Jon M. Schwantes.United States. Department of Energy. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs.All authors
Publisher: Washington, D.C : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs ; Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2003.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
A primary objective of this project is to study neutron capture cross sections for various stable and unstable isotopes that will contribute to the Science Based Stockpile Stewardship (SBSS) program by providing improved data for modeling and interpretation of nuclear device performance. The information obtained will also be important in astrophysical modeling of nucleosynthesis. During this reporting period, the  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Heino Nitsche.; Darleane C. Hoffman.; Ralf Sudowe.; Jon M. Schwantes.; United States. Department of Energy. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs.; United States. Department of Energy. Oakland Operations Office.; United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information.; University of California, Berkeley, CA (U.S.)
OCLC Number: 316485202
Notes: Published through the Information Bridge: DOE Scientific and Technical Information.
12/16/2003.
"DOE/NA/00075-1."
Heino Nitsche; Darleane C. Hoffman; Ralf Sudowe; Jon M. Schwantes.
University of California, Berkeley, CA (US).
Description: 2.8 MB pages.
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.

Abstract:

A primary objective of this project is to study neutron capture cross sections for various stable and unstable isotopes that will contribute to the Science Based Stockpile Stewardship (SBSS) program by providing improved data for modeling and interpretation of nuclear device performance. The information obtained will also be important in astrophysical modeling of nucleosynthesis. During this reporting period, the emphasis has been on preparing a radioactive target of {sup 155}Eu (half-life = 4.7 years), and several stable targets, including isotopically separated {sup 154}Sm, {sup 151}Eu, and {sup 153}Eu. Measurements of their neutron capture cross sections will be conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) facility using the Detector for Advanced Neutron Capture Experiments (DANCE). A suitable backing material (beryllium) for the targets has been selected after careful calculations of its contribution to the background of the measurements. In addition, a high voltage plating procedure has been developed and optimized. Stable targets of {sup 151}Eu and {sup 153}Eu and a target of natural Eu ({approx}50% {sup 151}Eu and {approx}50% {sup 153}Eu) have each been plated to a mass thickness of>1 mg/cm{sup 2} and delivered to the DANCE collaboration at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Natural Eu targets will be tested first to confirm that the target dimensions and backing are appropriate prior to performing measurements on the extremely valuable targets of separated isotopes. In order to prepare a target of the radioactive {sup 155}Eu, it must first be separated from the {sup 154}Sm target material that was irradiated in a very high neutron flux of 1.5x1015 neutrons/cm{sup 2}/s for 50 days. The reaction is {sup 154}Sm (n, f){sup 155}Sm (half-life = 22 minutes) {sup 155}Eu. Considerable progress has been made in developing a suitable high-yield and high-purity separation method for separating Eu from targets containing about twenty times as much Sm. An exhaustive review of the literature indicated that a multiprocess approach in which Eu(III) is reduced to Eu(II) prior to separation should provide an effective and efficient means of separation from the Sm(III). To date, three multiprocess methods have been developed and tested for their ability to meet the design requirements set forth by this project. These methods combine an initial reduction step using Zn(Hg) with either cation exchange resin in (1) column form or in (2) a batch reactor and hydroxyisobutyrate (?-HIB) as the eluant for trivalent lanthanides. Another multiprocess method uses solvent extraction with 0.1 M thenoyl trifluoroacetone (TTA) in benzene. Preliminary experiments indicate that: (a) A multiprocess approach using?-HIB as a complexing agent for trivalent lanthanides is ineffective for separating Eu from Sm because?-HIB stabilizes Eu(III) even in the presence of excess amounts of the reductant; (b) A multiprocess approach using solvent extraction shows promise, indicating that 0.1 M TTA in benzene favors extraction of trivalent over divalent metal ions by a factor of greater than 750. However, the reduction step using Zn(Hg), when combined with the TTA extraction, becomes less effective at reducing Eu during subsequent extractions and may also affect the stability of the TTA. Use of the amalgam also introduces Zn(II) contamination that must be separated from the Eu with additional solvent extraction steps. A PhD student from the group has visited the LANSCE facility, participated in several parameter checks of the DANCE, and acquainted himself with the data acquisition system. During these initial experiments, data were collected and brought back to UC Berkeley for analysis. A high purity P-type germanium detector was purchased, set up, and calibrated to assist with the determination of separation yields and efficiencies using?-ray spectroscopy measurements of suitable radioactive tracers.

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