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Novel Investigation of Iron Cross Sections via Spherical Shell Transmission Measurements and Particle Transport Calculations for Material Embrittlement Studies

Michael T. Wenner, Alireza Haghighat, James M. Adams, Allan D. Carlson, Steven M. Grimes, Thomas N. Massey

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 170 / Number 3 / Pages 207-233

March 2012

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We have carried out a multifaceted research project to improve our knowledge of the iron nonelastic scattering cross sections. Spherical shell transmission measurements were made using time-of-flight techniques with neutrons from the 15N(p,n)15O and D(d,n)3He source reactions. For the 15N(p,n)15O work, measurements were made with a proton energy of 5.1 MeV. Measurements were made from 3 to 7-MeV deuteron energy for the D(d,n)3He work. For both source reactions, the angular range was as large as 15 to 135 deg. Two shell thicknesses were used. Comparisons are given between Monte Carlo predictions and experimental data.

Utilizing a new tallying option, the estimated total iron cross sections at energies corresponding to the peak of the spectra for the 0-deg experiments were calculated to within 1% of the data in the ENDF/B-VII library. A processing code was developed to adjust ENDF format files to obtain closer agreement between measurements and calculations. Sensitivity analyses were performed at energies corresponding to the 0-deg beam angle neutrons. Using cross sections where the nonelastic and elastic cross sections were adjusted while constraining the total cross section to be constant, differences between experiment and calculation were reduced by ˜40% for a pressure vessel calculation. Such fluence calculations with adjusted cross sections indicate possible underestimation of neutron fluence, and therefore more material damage.

 
 
 
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