Neutron-induced capture cross sections of short-lived actinides with the surrogate reaction method
CENBG, Chemin du Solarium
2 CEA DAM DIF, F-91297 Arpajon, France
3 CEA-Cadarache, DEN/DER/SPRC/LEPh, 13108 Saint Paul lez Durance, France
4 CEA Saclay, DSM/DAPNIA/SPhN, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France
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Determination of neutron-capture cross sections of short-lived nuclei is opening the way to understand and clarify the properties of many nuclei of interest for nuclear structure physics, nuclear astrophysics and particularly for transmutation of nuclear wastes. The surrogate approach is well-recognized as a potentially very useful method to extract neutron cross sections for low-energy compound-nuclear reactions and to overcome the difficulties related to the target radioactivity. In this work we will assess where we stand on these neutron-capture cross section measurements and how we can achieve the short-lived Minor Actinides nuclei involved in the nuclear fuel cycle. The CENBG collaboration applied the surrogate method to determine the neutron-capture cross section of 233Pa (T1/2 = 27 d). The 233Pa (n,γ) cross section is then deduced from the measured gamma decay probability of 234Pa compound nucleus formed via the surrogate 232Th(3He,p) reaction channel. The obtained cross section data, covering the neutron energy range 0.1 to 1 MeV, have been compared with the predictions of the Hauser-Feshbach statistical model. The importance of establishing benchmarks is stressed for the minor actinides region. However, the lack of desired targets led us to propose recently the 174Yb (3He,pγ) reaction as a surrogate reaction for the (n,γ) predetermined benchmark cross section of 175Lu. An overview of the experimental setup combining gamma ray detectors such as Ge and C6D6 in coincidence with light charged particles ΔE-E Telescopes will be presented and preliminary results will be discussed.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2010