Monitoring of neutron flux changes in short-lived neutron activation analysis
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It is well known variations in neutron fluxes can adversely affect the final result in neutron activation analysis. The monitoring of neutron flux changes are usually described for medium and long-lived NAA using foils of cobalt, gold, zirconium, etc. However, for short-lived neutron activation analysis there appears to be no systematic study of the variations of the neutron flux. With our new automatic pneumatic system, where irradiation timing, decay and counting and position are very reproducible, we have performed a series of experiments using thermal and epithermal neutrons using aluminum wire as a monitor to monitor the neutron fluxes. Our experiments confirm that neutron flux fluctuations in the worst case can be up to ±12 % with a SD of 2–3 %. This effect can be seen regardless of the irradiation time and must be taken into consideration to achieve the best result.
KeywordsNeutron activation analysis Neuron flux variations Flux monitoring
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