NEUTRON SOURCES: Present Practice and Future Potential

S. Cierjacks

Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe

A.B. Smith

Argonne National Laboratory

The present capability and future potential of accelerator-based monoenergetic and white neutron sources are outlined in the context of fundamental and applied neutron-nuclear research. The neutron energy range extends from thermal to 500 MeV, and the time domain from steady-state to pico-second pulsed sources. Accelerator technology is summarized, including the production of intense light-ion, heavy-ion and electron beams. Target capabilities are discussed with attention to neutron-producing efficiency and power-handling capabilities. The status of underlying neutron-producing reactions is summarized. The present and future use of neutron sources in: i) fundamental neutron-nuclear research, ii) nuclear data acquisition, iii) materials damage studies, iv) engineering test, and v) biomedical applications are discussed. Emphasis is given to current status, near-term advances well within current technology, and to long-range projections.

KEYWORDS: Accelerator-based white and monoenergetic neutron sources