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Prediction of thermal neutron capture cross section by Monte Carlo method

Furutachi, Naoya; Minato, Futoshi; Iwamoto, Osamu

To establish the nuclear transmutation system for the long-lived fission products (LLFPs), it is desired to improve precision of the simulation calculation for the transmutation system. To achieve this, nuclear data of various nuclei produced via the nuclear transmutation of LLFPs are also important. However, it is expected that unstable nuclei with no available experimental data are produced via the nuclear transmutation. One of the physical quantity that is very difficult to predict with no experimental data is the thermal neutron capture cross section. The thermal neutron capture cross section is dominated by the energy and width of the first resonance, and slight variation of them can change the thermal neutron capture cross section drastically. While it is very difficult to determine them with high precision, it is known that a resonance width follows Porter-Thomas distribution because of complexity and randomness of a nuclear structure, and a resonance spacing follows Wigner distribution. In this work, we calculate the thermal neutron capture cross section by using the statistical property of the resonance parameters with Monte Carlo method. The calculation result is obtained as a probability distribution of the thermal neutron capture cross section. We calculated approximately 250 nuclei that have experimental data, and found that the dispersion of the experimental data is well explained by the calculated probability distribution.

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