Reactor sources

  • This is the source capable of giving the greatest intensity of neutrons.
  • Neutrons are produced by neutron-induced fission, and therefore neutrons are required to initiate the reaction.
  • The number of neutrons produced per fission, v>1 and so a chain reaction can be sustained which maintains reactor operation.
    Fuel En (av) v
    235U 0.025 eV 2.44
    1 MeV 2.50
    239Pu 0.025 eV 2.87
    1 MeV 3.00
  • The high fluxes are particularly useful for the production of radioisotopes by neutron activation which often have enhanced production cross sections at thermal or epithermal energies.