A comparison of Monte Carlo fission models for safeguards neutron coincidence counters

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Monte Carlo simulation is a powerful tool used to model neutron coincidence detectors for international safeguards. The simulation has typically sampled properties such as the fission neutron multiplicity, energy, and direction, from independent probability density functions. However, multiplicity counters detect event-based neutron correlations and thus more accurate fission event modeling is needed. To respond to this need, the Fission Reaction Event Yield Algorithm (FREYA) and the Cascading Gamma-ray Multiplicity with Fission (CGMF) models were added in the newest version of MCNP, MCNP6.2. The models simulate individual fission events conserving momentum, energy, and angular momentum such that correlated particles are emitted. The effects of the new models on simulations of safeguards neutron coincidence counters were studied and compared to standard MCNP simulations. The MCNPX-PoliMi model was also included in the comparison. The properties of fission neutrons from safeguards relevant isotopes were compared to literature references. Then a hypothetical simplified detector was modeled to isolate the effects of specific differences between models. Experimental measurements from previous work were modeled and agreements were compared. Finally, the probabilities of correlated events occurring in the experimental measurements were calculated with the different models. For example, the probability was calculated of detecting neutrons from both induced fission in uranium and spontaneous fission of Cf-252 in the same fission chain.




Weinmann-Smith, R. K., Swinhoe, M. T., Trahan, A., Andrews, M. T., Menlove, H. O., & Enqvist, A. (2018). A comparison of Monte Carlo fission models for safeguards neutron coincidence counters. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 903, 99–108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2018.06.055

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