Campbelling-type theory of fission chamber signals generated by neutron chains in a multiplying medium
Journal article, 2015
The signals of fission chambers are usually evaluated with the help of the co-called Campbelling techniques. These are based on the Campbell theorem, which states that if the primary incoming events, generating the detector pulses, are independent, then relationships exist between the moments of various orders of the signal in the current mode. This gives the possibility to determine the mean value of the intensity of the detection events, which is proportional to the static flux, from the higher moments of the detector current, which has certain advantages. However, the main application area of fission chambers is measurements in power reactors where, as is well known, the individual detection events are not independent, due to the branching character of the neutron chains (neutron multiplication). Therefore it is of interest to extend the Campbelling-type theory for the case of correlated neutron events. Such a theory could address two questions: partly, to investigate the bias when the traditional Campbell techniques are used for correlated incoming events; and partly, to see whether the correlation properties of the detection events, which carry information on the multiplying medium, could be extracted from the measurements. This paper is devoted to the investigation of these questions. The results show that there is a potential possibility to extract the same information from fission chamber signals in the current mode as with the Rossi- or Feynman-alpha methods, or from coincidence and multiplicity measurements, which so far have required detectors working in the pulse mode. It is also shown that application of the standard Campbelling techniques to neutron detection in multiplying systems does not lead to an error for estimating the stationary flux as long as the detector is calibrated in in situ measurements.