Title: International Evaluation of Neutron Cross Section Standards
Citation: NUCLEAR DATA SHEETS vol. 110 no. 12 p. 3215-3324
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC56599
ISSN: 0090-3752
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC56599
DOI: 10.1016/j.nds.2009.11.001
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Neutron cross section standards are the basis for the determination of most neutron cross sections. They are used for both measurements and evaluations of neutron cross sections. Not many cross sections can be obtained absolutely ¿ most cross sections are measured relative to the cross section standards and converted using evaluations of the standards. The previous complete evaluation of the neutron cross section standards was finished in 1987 and disseminated as the NEANDC/INDC and ENDF/B-VI standards. R-matrix model fits for the light elements and non-model least-squares fits for all the cross sections in the evaluation were the basis of the combined fits for all of the data. Some important reactions and constants are not standards, but they assist greatly in the determination of the standard cross sections and reduce their uncertainties ¿ these data were also included in the combined fits. The largest experimental database used in the evaluation was prepared by Poenitz and included about 400 sets of experimental data with covariance matrices of uncertainties that account for all cross-energy, cross-reaction and cross-material correlations. For the evaluation GMA, a least-squares code developed by Poenitz, was used to fit all types of cross sections (absolute and shape), their ratios, spectrum-averaged cross sections and thermal constants in one full analysis. But, the uncertainties derived in this manner, and especially those obtained in the R-matrix model fits, have been judged to be too low and unrealistic. These uncertainties were substantially increased prior to their release in the recommended data files of 1987. Modified percentage uncertainties were reassigned by the United States Cross Section Evaluation Working Group¿s Standards Subcommittee for a wide range of energies, and no covariance (or correlation) matrices were supplied at that time. The need to re-evaluate the cross section standards is based on the appearance of a significant amount of precise experimental data and improved developments in the methodology of analysis and evaluation. Initial efforts to produce a new evaluation were made by the United States Cross Section Evaluation Working Group which formed a Task Force. It was realized that international cooperation would be needed to produce the evaluation. The Working Party on International Evaluation Cooperation of the Nuclear Energy Agency Nuclear Science Committee formed a Subgroup, and the International Atomic Energy Agency formed a Coordinated Research Project (CRP). These groups worked cooperatively to improve the evaluation process. The major effort in producing the evaluation was through the CRP. The evaluations of the neutron cross section standards were finalized in October 2005. Previous difficulties experienced with a data evaluation problem known as ¿Peelle¿s Pertinent Puzzle¿ create biases in the fit of correlated data, and they have been addressed to reduce this phenomenon. The new evaluations of the cross section standards also include covariance matrices of the uncertainties that contain fully justifiable values. The product of this international effort has been adopted as the neutron standards for ENDF/B-VII.0.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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