A Neutronics Study of the 1945 Haigerloch B-VIII Nuclear Reactor

We present a neutronics study of the German B-VIII nuclear reactor, which was built in Haigerloch, Germany, between February and April 1945. We used the Monte Carlo code MCNP5 to estimate its effective nuclear-multiplication constant k eff and its corresponding neutron-multiplication factor M, its neutron energy-distribution spectrum, and its neutron-flux distribution in its central horizontal and veritical planes for both thermal and fast neutrons. Our calculations agree well with the known measurements the German scientists made, who determined M to be 6.7. We also found that the effect on k eff of impurities in the graphite of its neutron reflector could have been only on the order of few hundredths of a percent.

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Correspondence to Federico Rocchi.

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Giacomo Grasso is a Ph.D. candidate in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Bologna, Italy. Carlo Oppici earned an M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Bologna. Federico Rocchi, to whom correspondence should be addressed, is a Research Specialist in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Bologna. Marco Sumini is Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Bologna.

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Grasso, G., Oppici, C., Rocchi, F. et al. A Neutronics Study of the 1945 Haigerloch B-VIII Nuclear Reactor. Phys. Perspect. 11, 318–335 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00016-008-0396-0

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Keywords:

  • Werner Heisenberg
  • Walther Gerlach
  • Haigerloch
  • German nuclear program
  • B-VIII nuclear reactor
  • MCNP Monte Carlo code
  • World War II
  • nuclear physics
  • nuclear reactors