American Nuclear Society

Home / Publications / Journals / Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 188 / Number 1

Fission Chain Restart Theory

K. S. Kim, L. F. Nakae, M. K. Prasad, N. J. Snyderman, J. M. Verbeke

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 188 / Number 1 / October 2017 / Pages 57-84

Technical Paper /

Received:November 1, 2016
Accepted:June 6, 2017
Published:August 21, 2017

Fast nanosecond timescale neutron and gamma-ray counting can be performed with a (liquid) scintillator array. Fission chains in metal evolve over a timescale of tens of nanoseconds. If the metal is surrounded by moderator, neutrons leaking from the metal can thermalize and diffuse in the moderator. With finite probability, the diffusing neutrons can return to the metal and restart the fast fission chain. The timescale for this restart process is microseconds. A theory describing time evolving fission chains for metal surrounded by moderator, including this restart process, is presented. This theory is sufficiently simple for it to be implemented for real-time analysis.