Calculation of the stochastic pulsed Rossi-alpha formula and its experimental verification
Journal article, 2006
The Rossi-alpha formula for subcritical systems driven by a pulsed neutron source was derived with a solution technique that can effectively take different shape functions of the pulsed neutron source into account. The result of derivation showed that the present formula consists of the correlated and uncorrelated terms and an oscillating term whose period was identical to that of the pulsed neutron source.
To investigate the validity of the pulsed Rossi-alpha formula and its applicability for the evaluation of the prompt neutron decay constant alpha from measurements, an experiment was performed at the Kyoto University Critical Assembly with a pulsed D-T neutron source. Although it seemed that fitting the present formula to the experimental curves was not practical because of an infinite-series expansion structure of the oscillating term, it was possible to extract only the correlated term, that explicitly includes the alpha value, by a simple data handling procedure. It was found that the measured alpha values agreed with those obtained by the pulsed neutron source method very well. This finding means that the pulsed Rossi-alpha method will be an attractive candidate for the monitoring method of the subcritical reactivity of future accelerator driven systems.