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This practice details the recommended method for calculating the equivalent boron content (EBC) values of nuclear elements and materials that are of potential significance as thermal neutron poisons. EBC factors are determined from the atomic weight of elements and the thermal neutron absorption cross section in barns. These may be used depending upon the actual neutron energy characteristics of the applicable reactor system. The elements aluminum, fluorine, rubidium, barium, lead, silicon, beryllium, neon, tin, bismuth, oxygen, zirconium, carbon, magnesium, cerium, and phosphorus are not required to be included in the EBC calculations as their contribution to the total poison effect is not considerably significant.
This abstract is a brief summary of the referenced standard. It is informational only and not an official part of the standard; the full text of the standard itself must be referred to for its use and application. ASTM does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents of this abstract are accurate, complete or up to date.
Significance and Use
4.1 Use of this standard practice yields an equivalent boron content (EBC) that can be used to characterize the neutron-absorbing properties of a nuclear material. The elements included in the calculation are typically chosen so that the EBC represents either the entire material (for example, for a moderator) or the impurities in the material (for example, for a nuclear fuel). This practice is typically used for materials in which thermal neutron absorption is undesirable. The EBC is not intended for use as an input to any neutronic calculation. The EBC factors in were selected to represent neutron absorption in water reactors under normal operating conditions. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate their suitability for other purposes.
1.1 This standard details a recommended practice for the calculation of the Equivalent Boron Content (EBC) for nuclear materials. The EBC is used to provide a measure of the macroscopic neutron absorption cross section of a nuclear material. EBC factors for the natural elements are determined from their atomic masses and thermal neutron absorption cross sections. This practice is illustrated by using EBC factors that are based on thermal neutron (2200 m/s) absorption cross sections. Other EBC factors may be used depending upon the actual neutron energy spectrum.
1.2 The EBC is a characteristic of a homogeneous material. Characterization of inhomogeneous materials and calculation of neutron multiplication factors require techniques that are beyond the scope of this practice.
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
C696 Test Methods for Chemical, Mass Spectrometric, and Spectrochemical Analysis of Nuclear-Grade Uranium Dioxide Powders and Pellets
C698 Test Methods for Chemical, Mass Spectrometric, and Spectrochemical Analysis of Nuclear-Grade Mixed Oxides ((U, Pu)O2)
C799 Test Methods for Chemical, Mass Spectrometric, Spectrochemical, Nuclear, and Radiochemical Analysis of Nuclear-Grade Uranyl Nitrate Solutions
ICS Number Code 27.120.30 (Fissile materials and nuclear fuel technology)
ASTM C1233-15, Standard Practice for Determining Equivalent Boron Contents of Nuclear Materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015, www.astm.orgBack to Top