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Heavy-ions induced scintillation experiments

Abstract : The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is developing fission chambers relying on gas luminescence capable of high gamma signal rejection and self-diagnostic capabilities allowing high dependability level. Scintillation yield of noble gases by energetic ions (average initial energy between 68 MeV to 99 MeV) is evaluated for nuclear power reactor instrumentation application. Neutron interaction with fissile material can provide energetic heavy ions at a rate proportional to the neutron flux. The understanding of fission fragments as excitation source is required for noble gas scintillation neutron detectors. This work deals with evaluation of the optical signal heavy-ions induced in cold plasma. A dedicated experimental device (PSEG) is presented. Plutonium 238 is selected as a continuous source of heavy ions in order to avoid technological constraints of neutron flux tests, as a first step in the experimental validation process. Estimation of signal power is performed as well as Optical Emission Spectrum analysis. As expected, no Partial Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium is satisfied from experiments. The effect of pressure on the visible to infrared emission spectrum is analysed.
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M. Lamotte, G. de Izarra, C. Jammes. Heavy-ions induced scintillation experiments. Journal of Instrumentation, IOP Publishing, 2019, 14 (09), pp.C09024-C09024. ⟨10.1088/1748-0221/14/09/C09024⟩. ⟨cea-02562094⟩



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