X-10 reactor forensic analysis and evaluation using a suite of neutron transport codes
Redd, Evan M.
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X-10, the genesis production reactor for the U.S. paved the way for all weapons material production. This feat offers a unique fundamental opportunity of nuclear forensic analysis and popular neutron code package evaluation. Production reactor nuclear forensic signatures and characteristics are emphasized throughout this work. These underlying production characteristics are reported and analyzed for potential in-core zone provenance and axial slug location coupled with how the nuclear data uncertainties affect these conclusions. Material attribution with respect to commercial versus military reactor applications is also featured in this study. Three nuclear code packages are examined including Scale 6.1 (Scale 6.2 beta-3 for nuclear data uncertainty reporting and evaluation), Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) and Parallel Environment Neutral-particle TRANsport (PENTRAN). Each of these code packages employs different neutron transport methods and cross-section evaluation. These code results are compared and contrasted for the researcher to gain perspective into if and how nuclear forensic analysis is affected by these relative outcomes from the neutronics packages. Notably, Scale 6.2 beta-3 offers perspective on the nuclear data uncertainty and how it affects final conclusions on isotopic reporting and material provenance.