Neutron capture gamma-ray libraries for nuclear applications

B. W. Sleaford, R. B. Firestone, N. Summers, J. Escher, A. Hurst, M. Krticka, S. Basunia, G. Molnar, T. Belgya, Z. Revay, H. D. Choi

Research output: Conference contribution


The neutron capture reaction is useful in identifying and analyzing the gamma-ray spectrum from an unknown assembly as it gives unambiguous information on its composition. This can be done passively or actively where an external neutron source is used to probe an unknown assembly. There are known capture gamma-ray data gaps in the ENDF libraries used by transport codes for various nuclear applications. The Evaluated Gamma-ray Activation file (EGAF) is a new thermal neutron capture database of discrete line spectra and cross sections for over 260 isotopes that was developed as part of an IAEA Coordinated Research Project. EGAF is being used to improve the capture gamma production in ENDF libraries. For medium to heavy nuclei the quasi continuum contribution to the gamma cascades is not experimentally resolved. The continuum contains up to 90% of all the decay energy and is modeled here with the statistical nuclear structure code DICEBOX. This code also provides a consistency check of the level scheme nuclear structure evaluation. The calculated continuum is of sufficient accuracy to include in the ENDF libraries. This analysis also determines new total thermal capture cross sections and provides an improved RIPL database. For higher energy neutron capture there is less experimental data available making benchmarking of the modeling codes more difficult. We are investigating the capture spectra from higher energy neutrons experimentally using surrogate reactions and modeling this with Hauser-Feshbach codes. This can then be used to benchmark CASINO, a version of DICEBOX modified for neutron capture at higher energy. This can be used to simulate spectra from neutron capture at incident neutron energies up to 20 MeV to improve the gamma-ray spectrum in neutron data libraries used for transport modeling of unknown assemblies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecond International Ulaanbaatar Conference on Nuclear Physics and Applications
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - aug. 8 2011
Event2nd International Ulaanbaatar Conference on Nuclear Physics and Applications - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Duration: júl. 26 2010júl. 30 2010

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other2nd International Ulaanbaatar Conference on Nuclear Physics and Applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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  • Cite this

    Sleaford, B. W., Firestone, R. B., Summers, N., Escher, J., Hurst, A., Krticka, M., Basunia, S., Molnar, G., Belgya, T., Revay, Z., & Choi, H. D. (2011). Neutron capture gamma-ray libraries for nuclear applications. In Second International Ulaanbaatar Conference on Nuclear Physics and Applications (pp. 71-77). (AIP Conference Proceedings; Vol. 1342).