Decay heat measurements using total absorption gamma-ray spectroscopy

S. Rice, E. Valencia, A. Algora, J. L. Taín, P. H. Regan, Z. Podolyák, J. Agramunt, W. Gelletly, A. L. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


A knowledge of the decay heat emitted by thermal neutron-irradiated nuclear fuel is an important factor in ensuring safe reactor design and operation, spent fuel removal from the core, and subsequent storage prior to and after reprocessing, and waste disposal. Decay heat can be readily calculated from the nuclear decay properties of the fission products, actinides and their decay products as generated within the irradiated fuel. Much of the information comes from experiments performed with HPGe detectors, which often underestimate the beta feeding to states at high excitation energies. This inability to detect high-energy gamma emissions effectively results in the derivation of decay schemes that suffer from the pandemonium effect, although such a serious problem can be avoided through application of total absorption γ-ray spectroscopy (TAS). The beta decay of key radionuclei produced as a consequence of the neutron-induced fission of 235U and 239Pu are being re-assessed by means of this spectroscopic technique. A brief synopsis is given of the Valencia-Surrey (BaF2) TAS detector, and their method of operation, calibration and spectral analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012056
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012
EventRutherford Centennial Conference on Nuclear Physics - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: Aug 8 2011Aug 12 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Rice, S., Valencia, E., Algora, A., Taín, J. L., Regan, P. H., Podolyák, Z., Agramunt, J., Gelletly, W., & Nichols, A. L. (2012). Decay heat measurements using total absorption gamma-ray spectroscopy. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 381(1), [012056].