Monte Carlo calculation and analysis of neutron and gamma fields at spallation neutron sources for simulating cosmic radiation

Hong, Qian (2015) Monte Carlo calculation and analysis of neutron and gamma fields at spallation neutron sources for simulating cosmic radiation. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

[thumbnail of Thesis document]
PDF (Thesis document) - Submitted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



The research of the neutron induced Single Event Effect (SEE) at aircraft altitudes or at ground level are very important since the neutron radiation is able to cause serious errors or damages on electronic components and system. TheWeapons Neutron Research (WNR) facility at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), and ANITA (Atmospheric-like Neutrons from thIck TArget) facility at The Svedberg Laboratory (TSL) both provide spallation neutron source for radiation testing of electronic components. A local beam monitoring system was successfully developed by S. Platt and L. Zhang in the University of Central Lancashire for measuring neutron dosimetry during accelerated SEE testing of electronic devices with using silicon photodiode. However, such silicon photodiode is sensitive to gamma-ray as well. For above reasons, characterization of neutron and gamma fields at spallation neutron sources used for accelerated SEE testing has become the purpose of this work.
Monte Carlo calculation of radiation fields at spallation neutron source was used to characterize neutron and gamma energy spectra for accelerated single event effect testing. Geant4 (GEometry ANd Tracking version 4) toolkit, using Monte Carlo method, was used to simulate a preliminary model of spallation neutron source at LANSCE (ICE House, WNR) and TSL (ANITA) for understanding physical mechanisms of neutron and gamma interactions with matter. At first, two preliminary spallation neutron sources on basis of WNR (ICE House) and ANITA facilities were modeled with using two intra-nuclear cascade models (bertini, binary) provided by Geant4 reference physics lists. The result of neutron spectrum with binary INC model agrees well with LANSCE measurement data and independent calculation results in each case. In this computation, gamma dose rates at WNR and ANITA were calculated, and gamma dose rate from the simulation is consistent with the ANITA measurement results. The results of photon energy spectra with using
Geant4 toolkit presents a continuum between 0.1MeV and 10MeV, and the annihilation peak at 0.5MeV. However, calculation results of neutron spectrum at ANITA facility with using binary INC model match ANITA measurements less well in absolute neutron yield above 20MeV, which is likely due to the missing geometry components in preliminary spallation neutron source simulation.
A more complex model of ANITA facility was constructed with adding bending magnet, shielding components, detector system, and collimator, which makes modelling as realistically as possible. The discrepancy in absolute neutron yield between simulation results and measurements data has improved at Standard User Position (SUP) of ANITA facility, in contrast with the preliminary modelling of ANITA neutron source. At the same time, a new position referred as Close User Position (CUP) was investigated in order to compare with ANITA measurement informed by Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended (MCNPX) simulation results. The neutron spatial distribution, radius effect for neutrons, neutron beam profiles, and time of flight spectra were calculated at the SUP and CUP positions for different collimator apertures of 3 cm, 10.2 cm, and 30 cm, respectively. A comparison of simulated neutron beam profiles folded with 238U (n, f) cross-section with ANITA measurements at the SUP and CUP-TOF positions was used for validating improved ANITA neutron source modelling. The neutron beam profiles in the horizontal direction were predicted with using Geant4, which filled the gap of geometrical limitation at ANITA facility for accelerated single event effect testing.
It is the first time to predict gamma dose rate at the SUP and CUP positions for 3 cm, 10.2 cm, and 30 cm collimators with using Geant4 modelling of ANITA neutron source. In addition, the gamma dose rate at the SUP position is consistent with ANITA measurement data. Finally, the gamma yield, photon spatial distribution, dose rate against energy are considered for gamma field at the SUP and CUP positions, which have contributed to understand and analyse gamma interactions with matter.

Repository Staff Only: item control page