土屋 晴文; 榎戸 輝揚*; 和田 有希*; 古田 禄大; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 楳本 大悟*; 牧島 一夫*; GROWTH collaboration*
Proceedings of Science (Internet), 358, 6 Pages, 2021/07
Since 2006, the GROWTH experiment has been successfully operating at the coastal area of Japan Sea. The GROWTH experiment aims at elucidating how particles in lightning and thunderclouds are accelerated to relativistic energies to produce gamma rays and occasionally neutrons. According to observations done by the GROWTH experiment, it is found that there are two types of radiation bursts associated with winter thunderstorms. One is long bursts lasting for a few tens of seconds to a few minutes, being not clearly related to lightning. The other is short bursts in association with lightning. To better understand the production mechanism of these radiation bursts, we have developed a small-type of radiation detectors and increased observational points with the new detectors. In this presentation, we show an overview of observations done by the GROWTH experiment. Then we focus on recent several findings observed by the new detectors. One, which is categorized into long bursts, implies a relationship between a long burst and an intra/inter-cloud discharge. Another is a combination of short bursts and long ones, showing simultaneous detections of prompt gamma rays extending up to 10 MeV and the 511-keV annihilation ones. These gamma-ray signals demonstrate the occurrence of photonuclear reactions in lightning. Based on these results, we discuss the production mechanism of gamma rays related to thunderstorms.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 久保 守*; 中澤 知洋*; 篠田 太郎*; 米徳 大輔*; 澤野 達哉*; 湯浅 孝行*; 牛尾 知雄*; 佐藤 陽祐*; et al.
Geophysical Research Letters, 48(7), 11 Pages, 2021/04
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中澤 知洋*; 小高 裕和*; 古田 禄大; 土屋 晴文
Journal of Geophysical Research; Atmospheres, 125(20), 17 Pages, 2020/10
We report simulation results of photonuclear reactions in the atmosphere triggered by a downward terrestrial gamma-ray flash in lightning. Possible channels of reactions in the atmosphere and their cross sections are verified with the ENDF/B-VII.1 library. Monte-Carlo simulations with two stages are then performed with the Geant4 framework. In the first stage, electrons following the relativistic runaway electron avalanche spectrum are produced in a mass model of the atmosphere, and production of photoneutrons and -decay nuclei is calculated based on the nuclear data library. In total 1 neutrons and 4 -decay nuclei are produced by energetic electrons above 1 MeV. In the second stage, propagation of the photoneutrons and positrons from the -decay nuclei in the previous stage is calculated. As a result, we model on-ground distributions of fluxes and energy spectra for neutrons, neutron-related gamma rays, and annihilation ones. The simulation model is to be compared with photonuclear events detected in low-charge-center winter thunderstorms.
湯浅 孝行*; 和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 古田 禄大; 土屋 晴文; 久富 章平*; 辻 結菜*; 奥田 和史*; 松元 崇弘*; 中澤 知洋*; et al.
Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (Internet), 2020(10), p.103H01_1 - 103H01_27, 2020/10
We designed, developed, and deployed a distributed sensor network aiming at observing high-energy ionizing radiation, primarily gamma rays, from winter thunderclouds and lightning in coastal areas of Japan. Starting in 2015, we have installed, in total, more than 15 units of ground-based detector system in Ishikawa Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture, and accumulated 551 days of observation time in four winter seasons from late 2015 to early 2019. In this period, our system recorded 51 gamma-ray radiation events from thundercloud and lightning. Highlights of science results obtained from this unprecedented amount of data include the discovery of photonuclear reaction in lightning which produces neutrons and positrons along with gamma rays, and deeper insights into the life cycle of a particle-acceleration and gamma-ray-emitting region in a thunder-cloud. The present paper reviews objective, methodology, and results of our experiment, with a stress on its instrumentation.
和田 有希*; 中澤 知洋*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 古田 禄大; 湯浅 孝行*; 牧島 一夫*; 土屋 晴文
Physical Review D, 101(10), p.102007_1 - 102007_6, 2020/05
During a winter thunderstorm on November 24, 2017, a downward terrestrial gamma-ray flash took place and triggered photonuclear reactions with atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen nuclei, coincident with a lightning discharge at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station in Japan. We directly detected neutrons produced by the photonuclear reactions with gadolinium orthosilicate scintillation crystals installed at sea level. Two gadolinium isotopes included in the scintillation crystals, Gd and Gd, have large cross sections of neutron captures to thermal neutrons such as Gd(n,)Gd and Gd(n,)Gd. De-excitation gamma rays from Gd and Gd are self-absorbed in the scintillation crystals, and make spectral-line features which can be distinguished from other non-neutron signals. The neutron burst lasted for 100 ms, and neutron fluences are estimated to be 58 and 31 neutrons cm at two observation points at the power plant. Gadolinium orthosilicate scintillators work as valid detectors for thermal neutrons in lightning.
Ma, F.; Kopecky, S.*; Alaerts, G.*; 原田 秀郎; Heyse, J.*; 北谷 文人; Noguere, G.*; Paradela, C.*; alamon, L.*; Schillebeeckx, P.*; et al.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 35(3), p.478 - 488, 2020/03
The use of Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis to characterize homogeneous samples not fulfilling good transmission geometry conditions is discussed. Analytical expressions for such samples have been derived and implemented in the resonance shape analysis code REFIT. They were validated by experiments at the time-of-flight facility GELINA using a set of metallic natural copper samples. The expressions were used to derive sample characteristics by a least squares adjustment to experimental transmission data. In addition, the resonance parameters of Cu for energies below 6 keV, which are reported in the literature and recommended in evaluated data libraries, were verified. This research was implemented under the subsidiary for nuclear security promotion of MEXT.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中澤 知洋*; 古田 禄大; 湯浅 孝行*; 中村 佳敬*; 森本 健志*; 松元 崇弘*; 牧島 一夫*; 土屋 晴文
Physical Review Letters, 123(6), p.061103_1 - 061103_6, 2019/08
During a winter thunderstorm on 2017 November 24, a strong burst of gamma-rays with energies up to 10 MeV was detected coincident with a lightning discharge, by scintillation detectors installed at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant at sea level in Japan. The burst had a sub-second duration, which is suggestive of photoneutron productions. The leading part of the burst was resolved into four intense gamma-ray bunches, each coincident with a low-frequency radio pulse. These bunches were separated by 0.71.5 ms, with a duration of 1 ms each. Thus, the present burst may be considered as a "downward" terrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF), which is analogous to up-going TGFs observed from space. Although the scintillation detectors were heavily saturated by these bunches, the total dose associated with them was successfully measured by ionization chambers, employed by nine monitoring posts surrounding the power plant. From this information and Monte Carlo simulations, the present downward TGF is suggested to have taken place at an altitude of 2500500 m, involving avalanche electrons with energies above 1 MeV which is comparable to those in up-going TGFs.
土屋 晴文; 小泉 光生; 北谷 文人; 原田 秀郎
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, 932, p.16 - 26, 2019/07
A large-volume (12.0 cm12.7 cm) LaBr scintillation detector equipped with a specially-designed radiation shield was evaluated for neutron resonance capture analysis at the neutron time-of-flight (TOF) facility GELINA. By using the LaBr detector with and without the shield, measurements were carried out at a 13-m TOF station with three metallic samples, namely, Ni, Cr, and Fe. In addition, Monte Carlo simulations with Geant4 were performed, and the results were compared with the measurements to analyze the observed energy spectra and TOF spectra. Energy spectra obtained with the shield showed that prompt -ray peaks emitted from each sample can be used to identify the isotopes. Moreover, the signal-to-noise ratios of resonance peaks in a TOF spectrum with the shield were enhanced 1.5-2.5 in comparison with those without the shield. Furthermore, simultaneous measurements conducted using the three samples demonstrated that the shield employed herein was indispensable for identifying impurities in a composite sample such as particle-like fuel debris.
藤 暢輔; 大図 章; 土屋 晴文; 古高 和禎; 北谷 文人; 米田 政夫; 前田 亮; 小泉 光生
Proceedings of INMM 60th Annual Meeting (Internet), 7 Pages, 2019/07
Nuclear material accountancy plays a key role in nuclear safeguards and security. The collaboration between the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission aims to develop an active neutron NDA system for Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) and Minor Actinides (MA) in highly radioactive nuclear materials. Several active neutron NDA techniques, namely Differential Die-Away Analysis (DDA), Prompt Gamma-ray Analysis (PGA), Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis (NRCA), Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA) and Delayed Gamma-ray Analysis (DGA) have been developed. The different methods can provide complementary information. In the first phase of the project, we developed a combined NDA system, which enables the simultaneous measurements of DDA and PGA. The DDA technique can determine very small amounts of the fissile mass. PGA is valuable for the measurement of light elements. In the second phase, we will continue to conduct additional research to improve the methodology and develop a new integrated NDA system which can use for NRTA as well as DDA and PGA. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the project and report the recent results, especially the design of new integrated NDA system. This research was implemented under the subsidiary for nuclear security promotion of MEXT.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中村 佳敬*; 古田 禄大; 湯浅 孝行*; 中澤 知洋*; 森本 健志*; 佐藤 光輝*; 松元 崇弘*; 米徳 大輔*; et al.
Communications Physics (Internet), 2(1), p.67_1 - 67_9, 2019/06
Two types of high-energy events have been detected from thunderstorms. One is "terrestrial gamma-ray flashes" (TGFs), sub-millisecond emissions coinciding with lightning discharges. The other is minute-lasting "gamma-ray glows". Although both phenomena are thought to originate from relativistic runaway electron avalanches in strong electric fields, the connection between them is not well understood. Here we report unequivocal simultaneous detection of a gamma-ray glow termination and a downward TGF, observed from the ground. During a winter thunderstorm in Japan on 9 January 2018, our detectors caught a gamma-ray glow, which moved for 100 s with ambient wind, and then abruptly ceased with a lightning discharge. Simultaneously, the detectors observed photonuclear reactions triggered by a downward TGF, whose radio pulse was located within 1 km from where the glow ceased. It is suggested that the highly-electrified region producing the glow was related to the initiation of the downward TGF.
土屋 晴文; Ma, F.; 北谷 文人; Paradella, C.*; Heyse, J.*; Kopecky, S.*; Schillebeeckx, P.*
Proceedings of 41st ESARDA Annual Meeting (Internet), p.374 - 377, 2019/05
From a viewpoint of nuclear safeguards and nuclear security, non-destructive assay (NDA) techniques are needed to quantify special nuclear materials (SNMs) in nuclear fuels such as spent fuels and fuel debris. Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA) is an NDA technique and it measures the amount of U isotopes in a UO sample within 1% accuracy and Pu isotopes in a PuO sample within 5% accuracy. However, NRTA measurements done so far were mainly applied to homogeneous samples with a constant thickness. Spent fuel and especially debris have irregular shapes that affect the NRTA measurements. In order to investigate the influence of irregular-shaped samples, NRTA experiments were done with a copper bar sample with different rotation angles with respect to neutron beams, at a neutron Time-Of-Flight (TOF) facility GELINA (Belgium). Analytical models for irregular shaped samples proposed by Harada et al. (JNST, 2015) were applied to the experimental data. It has been found that the experimental data can be well reproduced by the proposed models. In this presentation, we report how analytical models are applied to a real NRTA experiment with a Cu bar sample and discuss a future prospect of a compact NRTA system for SNM quantification. This research was implemented under the subsidiary for nuclear security promotion of MEXT.
榎戸 輝揚*; 和田 有希*; 土屋 晴文
日本物理学会誌, 74(4), p.192 - 200, 2019/04
北谷 文人; 土屋 晴文; 藤 暢輔; 堀 順一*; 佐野 忠史*; 高橋 佳之*; 中島 健*
KURRI Progress Report 2017, P. 99, 2018/08
As a non-destructive analytical technique for nuclear material in the field of nuclear security and nuclear nonproliferation, a neutron resonance transmission analysis (NRTA) attracts attention of researchers. It is important to downsize a NRTA system when it is deployed at various facilities. For this aim, we have developed a compact NRTA system which utilizes a D-T neutron generator. Its pulse width of 10s is much longer than that of a large electron beam accelerator. It is necessary to understand the influence of pulse widths on the NRTA measurement. Therefore, we conducted the experiments of the simulated nuclear fuel pin samples to evaluate how the NRTA measurement is influenced by the pulse width of neutron beam. Experiments were performed in Kyoto University. The simulated fuel pellet sample was made from metallic powders of Ag (around 1%) and Al (around 99%). The energy of the irradiation neutron is determined by a Time of Flight technique. We used three pulse widths of the neutron beam of 0.1, 1 and 4 s. A resonance dip of Ag at 5.19 eV is observed in the all spectra. And the dip of the TOF spectrum shifts towards low energy, with pulse width changed to a longer one. In this work, we confirmed that neutron pulse width affected the NRTA measurement of the fuel pin sample. On the basis of this work, we will be able to quantify the effects of long-pulse width in a resonance analysis.
土屋 晴文; 北谷 文人; 藤 暢輔; Paradela, C.*; Heyse, J.*; Kopecky, S.*; Schillebeeckx, P.*
Proceedings of INMM 59th Annual Meeting (Internet), 6 Pages, 2018/07
In fields of nuclear safeguards and nuclear security, non-destructive assay (NDA) techniques are needed in order to quantify special nuclear materials (SNMs) in nuclear fuels. Among those techniques, active NDA ones would be preferable to passive ones. One candidate of active NDA techniques is neutron resonance transmission analysis (NRTA). In fact, experiments done at GELINA have shown that NRTA has high potential enough to quantify SNMs in complex materials. Currently, such a NRTA system requires a large electron accelerator facility to generate intense neutron sources. In other words, it is very difficult to perform NRTA at various facilities that need to measure SNMs. Thus, downsizing a NRTA system would be one solution of its difficulty. In order to realize a compact NRTA system, we develop a prototype with a D-T neutron generator that has a pulse width of 10 s. For this aim, numerical calculations to optimize the compact NRTA system were done. In addition, NRTA measurements with simulated fuel pins were made at neutron time-of-flight facilities such as GELINA. In this presentation, we present results of the numerical calculations and the experimental results. On the basis of those results we discuss a future prospect of a compact NRTA system that would be applicable to SNM quantification. This research was implemented under the subsidiary for nuclear security promotion of MEXT.
藤 暢輔; 大図 章; 土屋 晴文; 古高 和禎; 北谷 文人; 米田 政夫; 前田 亮; 小泉 光生; Heyse, J.*; Paradela, C.*; et al.
Proceedings of INMM 59th Annual Meeting (Internet), 9 Pages, 2018/07
Nuclear material accountancy is of fundamental importance for nuclear safeguards and security. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no established technique that enables us to accurately determine the amount of Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) and Minor Actinides (MA) in high radioactive nuclear materials. Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission Collaboration Action Sheet-7 started in 2015. The purpose of this project is to develop an innovative non-destructive analysis (NDA) system using a D-T pulsed neutron source. Active neutron NDA techniques, namely Differential Die-Away Analysis (DDA), Prompt Gamma-ray Analysis (PGA), Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis (NRCA), Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA) and Delayed Gamma-ray Analysis (DGA) have been studied and developed. The different methods can provide complementary information which is particularly useful for quantification of SNM and MA in high radioactive nuclear materials. The second phase of the project has started. In the second phase, we will continue to conduct additional research to improve the methodology and develop an integrated NDA system. This presentation gives an overview of the project and the NDA system and reports the recent results. This research was implemented under the subsidiary for nuclear security promotion of MEXT.
和田 有希*; Bowers, G. S.*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 鴨川 仁*; 中村 佳敬*; 森本 健志*; Smith, D.*; 古田 禄大*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; et al.
Geophysical Research Letters, 45(11), p.5700 - 5707, 2018/06
An on-ground observation program for high energy atmospheric phenomena in winter thunderstorms along Japan Sea has been performed via lightning measurements of -ray radiation, atmospheric electric field and low-frequency radio band. On February 11, 2017, the radiation detectors recorded -ray emission lasting for 75 sec. The -ray spectrum extended up to 20 MeV and was reproduced by a cutoff power-law model with a photon index of 1.36, being consistent with a Bremsstrahlung radiation from a thundercloud (as known as a -ray glow). Then the -ray glow was abruptly terminated with a nearby lightning discharge. The low-frequency radio monitors, installed 50 km away from Noto School, recorded intra/inter-cloud discharges spreading over 60km area with a 300 ms duration. The timing of the -ray termination coincided with the moment when a sequence of intra/inter-cloud discharges passed 0.7 km horizontally away from the radiation monitors. The atmospheric electric-field measurement presented that negative charge was located in the cloud base and not neutralized by the lightning discharge. This indicates that the -ray source was located at an higher region than the cloud base.
土屋 晴文; 北谷 文人; 前田 亮; 藤 暢輔; 呉田 昌俊
Plasma and Fusion Research (Internet), 13(Sp.1), p.2406004_1 - 2406004_4, 2018/02
榎戸 輝揚*; 和田 有希*; 古田 禄大*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 奥田 和史*; 牧島 一夫*; 佐藤 光輝*; 佐藤 陽祐*; 中野 俊男*; et al.
Nature, 551(7681), p.481 - 484, 2017/11
Relativistic electrons accelerated by electric fields of lightnings and thunderclouds emit bremsstrahlung rays, which have been detected at ground observations. The energy of the rays is sufficiently high to potentially invoke atmospheric photonuclear reactions N(, n)N, which would produce neutrons and eventually positrons via decay of generated unstable radioactive isotopes, especially N. However, no clear observational evidence for the reaction has been reported to date. Here we report the first detection of neutron and positron signals from lightning with a ground observation. During a thunderstorm on 6 February 2017 in Japan, an intense -ray flash (1 ms) was detected at our monitoring sites. The subsequent initial burst quickly subsided with an exponential decay constant of 40-60 ms, followed by a prolonged line emission at 0.511MeV, lasting for a minute. The observed decay timescale and spectral cutoff at 10 MeV of the initial emission are well explained with de-excitation rays from the nuclei excited by neutron capture. The centre energy of the prolonged line emission corresponds to the electron-positron annihilation, and hence is the conclusive indication of positrons produced after the lightning. Our detection of neutrons and positrons is unequivocal evidence that natural lightning triggers photonuclear reactions.
Paradela, C.*; Heyse, J.*; Kopecky, S.*; Schillebeeckx, P.*; 原田 秀郎; 北谷 文人; 小泉 光生; 土屋 晴文
EPJ Web of Conferences, 146, p.09002_1 - 09002_4, 2017/09
Neutron-induced reactions can be used to study the properties of nuclear materials in the field of nuclear safeguards and security. The elemental and isotopic composition of these materials can be determined by using the presence of resonance structures in the reaction cross sections as fingerprints. This idea is the basis of two non-destructive analytical techniques which have been developed at the GELINA neutron time-of-flight facility of the JRC-IRMM: Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis (NRCA) and Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA). A full quantitative validation of the NRTA technique was obtained by determining the areal densities of enriched reference samples used for safeguards applications with an accuracy better than 1%. Moreover, a combination of NRTA and NRCA has been proposed for the characterisation of particle-like debris of melted fuel formed in severe nuclear accidents. In order to deal with the problems due to the diversity in shape and size of these samples and the presence of strong absorbing matrix materials, new capabilities have been implemented in the resonance shape analysis code REFIT. They have been validated by performing a blind test in which the elemental abundance of a combined sample composed of unknown quantities of materials such as cobalt, tungsten, rhodium or gold was determined with accuracies better than 2%.
北谷 文人; 土屋 晴文; 小泉 光生; 高峰 潤; 堀 順一*; 佐野 忠史*
EPJ Web of Conferences, 146, p.09032_1 - 09032_3, 2017/09
The use of a short flight path is effective in the neutron resonance analysis. On the other hand, such a short path would reduce a time resolution in Time-Of-Flight (TOF) measurements. In order to investigate the effect of neutron flight-path length, we carried out Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA) experiments with a short neutron flight path at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute - Linear Accelerator (KURRI-LINAC). In measurements of Neutron Resonance Densitometry, the quantity of nuclear materials is determined from TOF spectra obtained in the neutron energy range below 30 eV. Performing NRTA experiments with a 7-m flight path at KURRI-LINAC, we examined effects of flight path and pulse width on a TOF spectrum. A resonance dip of W at 27 eV in a TOF spectrum was successfully observed with an electron pulse width less than 2 s. In this presentation, we will discuss importance of the pulse width and short flight path to study design of a compact TOF facility to quantify nuclear materials.