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A series of transport calculations have been performed to characterize the neutron environment of two out-of-core metallurgical irradiation experiments performed by Materials Engineering Associates (MEA) at the reactor at the Buffalo Materials Research Center. The experiments are sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and are part of NRC's program to understand better the irradiation embrittlement of steels and weld metals. Spectrum-averaged activation cross sections, needed for the determination of neutron exposures of irradiated metal samples, have been determined, and their sensitivity to various changes in the irradiation environment during a three-year period have been examined. The transport calculations show small effects in the MEA experiment, generally below 1%, for cross-section changes in the metallurgical sample region because of changes in the core during the irradiations. Changes in the experimental surroundings have more influence on the neutron spectrum. Differences range from 1 to 5% for neutron detectors with thresholds below 4 MeV to 10% for the 63Cu(n, α)60Co reaction, whose energy threshold is about 6 MeV.
materials irradiations, neutron damage, neutron spectrum, calculations, neutron transport, steel embrittlement, test reactor irradiations
University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart,
McGarry, Emmert D.
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Hawthorne, J. Russell
Materials Engineering Associates, Lanham, MD