Uranium-232 Beryllide Neutron Source
Bechtel, Ryan Daniel
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A [U-232]UBe13 neutron source was designed and modeled and the fluence and flux distributions were calculated. The [U-232]U decay chain emits six high energy alpha particles in quick succession and is ideal for use in a beryllium (a,n) neutron source. [U-232]U is an undesirable byproduct in the production of [U-233]U in the thorium fuel cycle; its concentrations can vary from 5-3000 ppm in bred [U-233]U. A 1.1018-cm diameter by 1.1018-cm tall cylinder of [U-233]UBe13 with 300ppm U-232 at 0.74 GBq (20 mCi) was modeled and found to have a peak yield of 3.5*105 n/s after 10.17 years. At this peak yield, the [U-232]UBe13 source has better neutron production efficiency per initial alpha emission activity than other beryllide neutron sources.