Calculation of the pulsed Feynman-alpha formulae and their experimental verification
Journal article, 2005
An effective method of calculating the pulsed Feynman-alpha formula for finite width pulses is introduced and applied in this paper. The method is suitable for calculating both
the deterministic and the stochastic Feynman-alpha formulae, while also being capable of treating various pulse shapes through very similar steps and partly identical formulae. In the paper both the deterministic and the stochastic cases are treated for square and Gaussian
pulses. The solutions show a very good agreement with the results of currently performed experiments by some of the authors at the Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA).
The formulae obtained are also used for a quantitative evaluation of the prompt neutron decay constant from a large number of experiments made at the KUCA for a wide range of parameters such as subcritical reactivity, pulse repetition frequency and pulse width. The suitability of the formulae to determine the prompt neutron decay constant a by curve fitting to the measured data was investigated. It was found that, despite the larger deviation from the
traditional Feynman Y(T)-curves from the traditional ones with a constant source (i.e., larger ripples superimposed on a smooth curve), the stochastic pulsing method is superior to the deterministic one in that it yields the correct a value for all subcriticalities. The deterministic
method also works fine for most cases, but its application is not so straightforward.