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Determination of Pure Neutron Radiolysis Yields for use in Chemical Modeling of Supercritical Water

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Edwards, Eric
supercritical water; radiolysis
This work has determined pure neutron radical yields at elevated temperature and pressure up to supercritical conditions using a reactor core radiation. The data will be necessary to provides realistic conditions for material corrosion experiments for the supercritical water reactor (SCWR) through water chemistry modeling. The work has been performed at the University of Wisconsin Nuclear Reactor using an apparatus designed to transport supercritical water near the reactor core. Low LET yield data used in the experiment was provided by a similar project at the Notre Dame Radiation Lab. Radicals formed by radiolysis were measured through chemical scavenging reactions. The aqueous electron was measured by two methods, a reaction with N2O to produce molecular nitrogen and a reaction with SF6 to produce fluoride ions. The hydrogen radical was measured through a reaction with ethanol-D6 (CD3CD2OD) to form HD. Molecular hydrogen was measured directly. Gaseous products were measured with a mass spectrometer and ions were measured with an ion selective electrode. Radiation energy deposition was calibrated for neutron and gamma radiation separately with a neutron activation analysis and a radiolysis experiment. Pure neutron yields were calculated by subtracting gamma contribution using the calibrated gamma energy deposition and yield results from work at the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory. Pure neutron yields have been experimentally determined for aqueous electrons from 25o to 400o�C at 248 bar and for the hydrogen radical from 25o�C to 350o�C at 248�bar. Isothermal data has been acquired for the aqueous electron at 380o�C�and 400o C as a function of density. Molecular hydrogen yields were measured as a function of temperature and pressure, although there was evidence that chemical reactions with the walls of the water tubing were creating molecular hydrogen in addition to that formed through radiolysis. Critical hydrogen concentration behavior was investigated but a final result was not determined because a measurable oxygen yield was not seen at the outlet of the radiolysis loop.
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