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Report No.

Optimization of a 9 MeV electron accelerator bremsstrahlung flux for photofission-based assay techniques using PHITS and MCNP6 Monte Carlo codes

Meleshenkovskii, I.*; Ogawa, Tatsuhiko; Sari, A.*; Carrel, F.*; Boudergui, K.*

For the purpose of fissile material detection, the technique to observe neutrons ejected from photo-fission induced by bremsstrahlung X-rays is being developed. This technique is advantageous in the sense that the machine can be compact compared to conventional neutron generators. However, photo-fission reaction cross sections are generally smaller than those of neutron-induced fission cross sections therefore optimization of the beam line is of high importance. In this study, we investigated the factors necessary to be optimized by using Monte-Carlo transport codes MCNP and PHITS. It was found that high-Z materials are advantageous to effectively produce bremsstrahlung X-rays but photons produce neutrons by secondary ($$gamma$$,n) reactions resulting in mixing of prompt and delayed fission reactions. Moreover, secondary neutrons are produced not only inside the target but also in the materials surrounding the target. Therefore it is necessary to select elements whose neutron separation energy is high to suppress parasitic secondary neutrons.



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