Design of an epithermal neutron velocity selection system for the Penn State Breazeale Reactor

N. Grenci, D. Cortes, M. Flaska

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A series of mechanical neutron choppers to operate as a velocity selection system have been developed for the Pennsylvania State Breazeal Reactor (PSBR). This chopper system will provide pulsed epithermal neutrons in the energy range of 0.5-40 eV with 2% or better energy resolution, and with a transmission of 1E-6 or better. Four different chopper geometries have been evaluated for their utility as mechanical neutron choppers. Specifically, Fermi, ring, piston, and disc choppers have been evaluated to assess their potential neutronics performance and mechanical constructability. A series of high-speed disc choppers were selected for the final design, and optimization work was performed to maximize the neutron pulse intensity. It is estimated that the optimized system will produce an epithermal neutron intensity of approximately 96 n/s. This system can also be operated in a time of flight (TOF) configuration such that the neutrons arriving at the source have a white spectrum. This operation can be accomplished by leaving the second stage of choppers in the open position, or by removing it from the beam completely. Such unique source of epithermal neutrons produced by this chopper system will have applications in both prompt and delayed epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA), as well as in neutron resonance transmission analysis (NRTA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberP06035
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Mathematical Physics

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