Delayed-Neutron Energy Spectra for Thermal Fission of URANIUM-235.
An experiment to measure delayed-neutron energy spectra resulting from thermal fission of U-235 has been carried out at the University of Lowell. Delayed neutrons, emitted by the radioactive fission fragments having halflives varying from 0.2 to 56 seconds, are important in the operation and control of fission reactors. In separate experiments at the University of Lowell 1-MW Fission Reactor and 5.5-MV Van de Graaff Accelerator, thermal fission was induced in a U-235 lined hemispherical fission chamber. The resulting fission fragments were transferred by a helium-jet system to a low-background counting area where composite delayed-neutron energy spectra were measured as a function of time after fission. Neutron energies were determined by the time-of-flight technique using beta-neutron correlations for timing. Two types of scintillators were used for neutron detection: Li-6 glass sensitive to neutrons in the energy range 10 - 300 keV, and plastic Pilot U sensitive to neutrons in the range 100 keV - 2.0 MeV. Spectra over the neutron energy range 0.1 - 2.0 MeV were measured for eight different time intervals after fission, each time interval containing varying contributions from the Six-Groups of delayed neutrons. Two of the eight time intervals were chosen to contain significant contributions from the shortest lived Groups 5 and 6. This work presents a brief outline of pertinent background material followed by a detailed discussion of the experimental technique and data analysis leading to final energy spectra. Measured composite energy spectra along with average energies are presented. Comparisons to spectra constructed from the Studsvik compilation are also presented.
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- Physics: Nuclear