Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Measurement of the 238U(n,γ)239U reaction cross sections in the energy range of 2.0–5.0 MeV by using a neutron activation technique

  • 1 Accesses


The neutron capture cross-sections of 238U at the neutron energies of 4.38 ± 0.05 MeV, 3.02 ± 0.49 MeV and 2.04 ± 0.26 MeV have been measured using the activation method and off-line gamma-ray spectrometric technique. The effects of neutron flux fluctuation, multiple scattering, flux self-shielding and gamma-ray self-absorption were corrected. The excitation function of the 238U(n,γ)239U reaction was also calculated using the TALYS-1.9 code. The experimental results were compared with the evaluated data, the theoretical data and the previous experimental data.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. 1.

    Kuz’minov BD, Manokhin VN (1998) Status of nuclear data for thorium fuel cycle. Nucl Constants 3–4:41

  2. 2.

    Pronyaev VG (1999) Summary report of the consultants’ meeting on assessment of nuclear data needs for thorium and other advanced cycles. INDC (NDS)-408, International Atomic Energy Agency

  3. 3.

    Mukherjee S, Vansola V, Parashari S (2019) Measurement of 232Th and 238U neutron capture cross-sections in the energy range 5–17 MeV. Appl Radiat Isot 143:72–78

  4. 4.

    Wang Q, Liu T, Qiu Y (2018) Measurement of the cross sections for 238U (n, γ) 239U reaction in the energy range of 14.1–14.8 MeV using neutron activation method. Radiat Phys Chem 152:125–128

  5. 5.

    Wright T, Guerrero C, Billowes J (2017) Measurement of the 238U (n, γ) cross section up to 80 keV with the total absorption calorimeter at the CERN n_TOF facility. Phys Rev C 96(6):064601

  6. 6.

    Mingrone F, Massimi C, Vannini G (2017) Neutron capture cross section measurement of 238U at the CERN n_TOF facility in the energy region from 1 eV to 700 keV. Phys Rev C 95(3):034604

  7. 7.

    Kim HI, Paradela C, Sirakov I (2016) Neutron capture cross section measurements for 238U in the resonance region at GELINA. Eur Phys J A 52(6):170

  8. 8.

    Naik H, Surayanarayana SV, Bishnoi S (2015) Neutron induced reaction cross-section of 232Th and 238U at the neutron energies of 2.45 and 14.8 MeV. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 303(3):2497–2504

  9. 9.

    Ullmann JL, Kawano T, Bredeweg TA (2014) Cross section and γ-ray spectra for 238U (n, γ) measured with the DANCE detector array at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. Phys Rev C 89(3):034603

  10. 10.

    Crasta R, Ganesh S, Naik H (2014) Measurement of the 238U (n, γ) 239U and 238U (n, 2n) 237U reaction cross sections using a neutron activation technique at neutron energies of 8.04 and 11.90 MeV. Nucl Sci Eng 178(1):66–75

  11. 11.

    Mulik VK, Surayanarayana SV, Naik H (2014) Measurement of the neutron capture cross-section of 238U at neutron energies of 5.9 ± 0.5 and 15.5 ± 0.7 MeV by using the neutron activation technique. Ann Nucl Energy 63:233–240

  12. 12.

    Mukerji S, Naik H, Surayanarayana SV (2013) Application of neutron activation techniques for the measurement of 238U (n, γ) and 238U (n, 2n) cross section at neutron energies of 13.5 and 17.28 MeV. J Basic Appl Phys 2(2):104–113

  13. 13.

    Naik H, Surayanarayana S, Mulik V (2012) Measurement of the neutron capture cross-section of 238U using the neutron activation technique. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 293(2):469–478

  14. 14.

    Agbemava SE, Nyarko BJB, Fletcher JJ (2011) Thermal neutron cross section determination of short-to-medium lived nuclides using a 20 Ci Am–Be neutron source. Ann Nucl Energy 38(8):1737–1742

  15. 15.

    Nyarko BJB, Akaho EHK, Agbemava SE (2010) Cross section determination of short-to-medium lived nuclides in a low power research and an Am-Be neutron source. INDC (NDS)-0574, Specific Applications of Research Reactors: Provision of Nuclear Data, 72

  16. 16.

    Vuong HT, Nguyen CH, Nguyen TH (1996) Measurement of capture cross sections of 238U on the filtered keV-neutron beams. R,INDC(VN)-8. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna

  17. 17.

    Quang E, Knoll GF (1992) Absolute measurements of the fast neutron capture cross section of 238U. Nucl Sci Eng 110(3):282–288

  18. 18.

    Voignier J, Joly S, Grenier G (1987) Capture cross sections and gamma-ray spectra from the interactions of 0.5 to 3.0 MeV neutrons with nuclei in the mass range A-45 to 238. No. CEA-CONF–9310, CEA Centre d’Etudes de Bruyeres-le-Chatel

  19. 19.

    Buleeva NN, Davletshin AN, Tipunkov AO (1988) Activation-measured radiative neutron-capture cross sections for 236U, 238U, and 237Np. At Energy 65(5):920–924

  20. 20.

    McDaniels DK, Varghese P, Drake DM (1982) Radiative capture of fast neutrons by 165Ho and 238U. Nucl Phys A 384(1–2):88–96

  21. 21.

    Poenitz WP, Fawcett LR Jr, Smith DL (1981) Measurements of the 238U (n, γ) cross section at thermal and fast neutron energies. Nucl Sci Eng 78(3):239–247

  22. 22.

    Lindner M, Nagle RJ, Landrum JH (1976) Neutron capture cross sections from 0.1 to 3 MeV by activation measurements. Nucl Sci Eng 59(4):381–394

  23. 23.

    Panitkin YG, Tolstikov VA (1972) Radiative capture of neutrons by 238U in the 1.2–4.0 MeV range. At Energy 33(3):893–895

  24. 24.

    Panitkin YG, Tolstikov VA (1972) 238U radiative capture cross section for 5 to 20 MeV neutrons. At Energy 33(4):945–947

  25. 25.

    Barry JF, Bunce J, White PH (1964) Cross section for the reaction 238U (n, γ) 239U in the energy range 0.12–7.6 MeV. J Nucl Energy Parts A/B React Sci Technol 18(9):481–489

  26. 26.

    Leipunskiy AI, Kazachkovskiy OD, Artyukhov GJ (1985) Radiative capture cross-section measurements for fast neutrons. Fiziko-Energeticheskii Inst., Obninsk, Russia, second UN conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Geneva, pp 1–13

  27. 27.

    Ge ZG, Zhao ZX, Xia HH (2011) CENDL-3.1: the updated version of Chinese evaluated nuclear data library. J Korean Phys Soc 59(2):1052–1056

  28. 28.

    Brown DA, Chadwick MB, Capote R (2018) ENDF/B-VIII.0: the 8th major release of the nuclear reaction data library with CIELO-project within, new standards and thermal scattering data. Nucl Data Sheets 148:1–142

  29. 29.

    Shibata K, Iwamoto O, Nakagawa T (2011) JENDL-4.0: a new library for nuclear science and engineering. J Nucl Sci Technol 48(1):1–30

  30. 30.

    Koning AJ, Hilaire S, Goriely S (2015) TALYS user manual: a nuclear reaction program. NRG, ZG, Petten, p 1755

  31. 31.

    NuDat 2.7β, National Nuclear Data Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory. Accessed 5 Nov 2019

  32. 32.

    Wang C, Xiao J, Luo X (2016) Experimental measurements with Monte Carlo corrections and theoretical calculations of neutron inelastic scattering cross section of 115In. Radiat Phys Chem 127:177–181

  33. 33.

    Otuka N, Lalremruata B, Khandaker MU (2017) Uncertainty propagation in activation cross section measurements. Radiat Phys Chem 140:502–510

  34. 34.

    Shivashankar BS, Ganesan S, Naik H (2015) Measurement and covariance analysis of reaction cross sections for 58Ni (n, p) 58Co relative to cross section for formation of 97Zr fission product in neutron-induced fission of 232Th and 238U at effective neutron energies En = 5.89, 10.11, and 15.87 MeV. Nucl Sci Eng 179(4):423–433

  35. 35.

    Geraldo LP, Smith DL (1990) Covariance analysis and fitting of germanium gamma-ray detector efficiency calibration data. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res Sect A Accel Spectrom Detect Assoc Equip 290(2–3):499–508

  36. 36.

    National Nuclear Data Center, Evaluated Nuclear Structure Data File Search and Retrieval. Accessed 5 Nov 2019

Download references


The authors would like to thank all the staff of the 3 MV tandem accelerator of the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Sichuan University, In China for their support of this work.

Author information

Correspondence to Xiaobing Luo.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yuan, Z., Shen, S. & Luo, X. Measurement of the 238U(n,γ)239U reaction cross sections in the energy range of 2.0–5.0 MeV by using a neutron activation technique. J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2020).

Download citation


  • 238U(n,γ)239U reaction cross-section
  • Neutron activation method
  • Off-line gamma-ray spectrometry
  • TALYS-1.9