Delayed Neutrons Energy Spectrum Flux Profile of Nuclear Materials in Ghana’s Miniature Neutron Source Reactor Core


A slightly prompt critical nuclear reactor would increase the neutron flux exponentially at a high rate causing the reactor to become uncontrollable, however due to the delayed neutrons, it is possible to leave the reactor in a subcritical state as far as only prompt neutrons are concerned and to also sustain the chain reaction when it is going to die out. The delay neutron flux spectrum of the compact core of the Ghana’s miniature neutron source reactor (MNSR) was studied using the Monte Carlo method. 20,484 energy groups combined for all three categories of the energy distribution, thermal, slowing down and fast regions were modeled to create small energy bins. The moderator, the inner irradiation channels, the annulus beryllium reflector and the outer irradiation channels were the regions monitored. The delay thermal neutrons recorded its highest flux in the inner irradiation channel with an average flux of (4.0127 0.0076) × 1008 n/cm2?s, followed by the outer irradiation channel with an average flux of (2.4524 0.0049) × 1008 n/cm2?s. The beryllium reflector recorded the lowest flux in the thermal region. These values of the thermal energy range occurred in the energy range (0 – 0.625× 10 – 07) MeV. The inner irradiation channel again recorded the highest average flux of (1.2050 ± 0.0501) × 1007 n/cm2?s at the slowing down region in the energy range (0.821 – 6.94) MeV. The outer irradiation channel recorded the lowest flux in this region. In the fast energy region, (6.96 – 20) MeV, the core, where the moderator is found, the same trend was observed with the inner irradiation channel recording the highest flux at an average flux of (2.0647 ± 0.3260) × 1006 n/cm2?s .The outer irradiation channel recorded the second highest flux while the annulus beryllium reflector recorded very low flux in this region. The final k-effective contribution from only delay neutrons is 0.00834 with the delay neutron fraction being 0.01357 ± 0.00049, hence the Ghana MNSR has good safety inherent feature.

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R. Sogbadji, R. Abrefah, E. Ampomah-Amoako, S. Birikorang, S. Agbemava, B. Nyarko and H. Odoi, "Delayed Neutrons Energy Spectrum Flux Profile of Nuclear Materials in Ghana’s Miniature Neutron Source Reactor Core," World Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, Vol. 1 No. 2, 2011, pp. 26-30. doi: 10.4236/wjnst.2011.12005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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