Neutron flux characterization of the Moroccan Triga Mark II research reactor and validation of the k 0 standardization method of NAA using k 0-IAEA program
The aim of this work was to implement and to validate the k 0 standardization method in neutron activation analysis (k 0-NAA) at the Moroccan TRIGA Mark II research reactor. This technique was used in order to determine, the calibration of several HPGe detectors and calibration of neutron flux parameters in the typical irradiation channels [rotary specimen rack (RSR) and the pneumatic tube system (PTS) facilities]. Calibrations and calculations of k 0-NAA results were carried out using the k 0-IAEA program. The two parameters of neutron flux in the selected irradiation channels used for elemental concentration calculation, f (thermal-to-epithermal ratio) and α (deviation from the 1/E distribution), have been determined as well in the PTS as in the RSR facilities using the zirconium bare triple method. Results obtained for f and α in two irradiation channels show that f parameter determined in this way is different in the RSR and the PTS facilities. This can be explained by the fact that the RSR channel is situated in a graphite reflector and is relatively far from the reactor core, while the PTS is in the core. Five reference materials of different origin obtained from USGS (basalt BE-N, bauxite BX-N, biotite mica-Fe, granite GS-N) and IAEA (Soil-7) were used to evaluate the validity of this method in our laboratory by analyzing the elemental concentrations with respect to the certified values. In general, good agreement was obtained between results of this work and values in certificates of the individual reference materials, thus proving the accuracy of our results and successful implementation of the method for analysis of real samples.
Keywordsk0 standardization k0-IAEA Neutron activation analysis f (thermal-to-epithermal ratio) α (deviation from the 1/E distribution) Reference materials
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