Nuclear Data: Fission Yields, Decay Heat and Neutron Reaction Cross Sections

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Physics


The UK now has little capability in nuclear data measurement and evaluation despite the fact that these data are absolutely critical in underpinning many industrial nuclear applications. The nuclear industry in particular now faces a number of challenges connected with new nuclear build, plutonium disposition, and geological disposal. These areas rely on nuclear data codes which have served the UK well over the years but, due to compensating errors and correcting factors, are likely to depart from observation as the envelope of operation is extended into the new areas of application.This outline proposal will allow the UK to re-engage with international efforts to measure neutron absorption ad fission cross sections, fission yields, and gamma decay heat measurements at a number of European research facilities. This consortium will also help the analysis and evaluation work to ensure the nuclear industry in the UK benefits from the new measurements in a timely manner.The three strands of the proposed research programme are: (i) measurements of neutron capture cross sections on actinide targets through UK membership of the neutron Time-of-Flight collaboration working at CERN; (ii) Gamma decay heat measurements using a Total Absorption Spectrometer, and (iii) measurements of neutron-induced fission cross sections and fission yields using the UK's STEFF spectrometer at the SPIRAL2 pulsed neutron facility at GANIL (France).
Description New nuclear data has been obtained for neutron cross-sections on a variety of different isotopes. We have been associated with a large number of publications. This work is of benefit to industries who make use of nuclear data.
Exploitation Route The nuclear data obtained is of use to those working in the nuclear energy and healthcare sectors. A grant from STFC was awarded in 2016 to establish a UK Nuclear Data Network which York will be part of and will allow us to continue our involvement in nuclear data and nToF experiment at CERN. A student was recruited and started in May 2016. We are now seeking to lead new initiatives in nuclear data within the UK and further afield.
Sectors Energy,Environment,Security and Diplomacy

Description A large number of publications have resulted from the work we have been engaged in. The PhD student working on the project has been awarded his PhD. He is now working as a postdoctoral researcher for the JAEA in Tokai, Japan. A publication from the PhD work is in preparation.
Sector Energy,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Economic

Description IPS Networking: UK Nuclear Data Network
Amount £45,000 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 04/2020
Description Nuclear physics outreach work 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact For the last ten years, I have been involved in a whole range of outreach activities related to nuclear physics, from lectures to local groups e.g. astronomical societies to lectures at major science festivals. A major focus has been on providing continuous professional development courses for teachers. These have taken place at several science learning centres including National Science Learning Centre in York. In addition, they have been given at Rutherford Lab and elsewhere. Around 500 teachers have been reached over the years.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010