The fission of a heavy nucleus in a reactor produces more than 800 different radioactive fission fragments which then decay back to stability emitting electromagnetic energy, electrons, neutrons and antineutrinos. Given a sufficiently good data base, the absolute yield and spectral shape of each type of radiation can be calculated. This has many important consequences. For example, in fundamental physics, an estimated antineutrino flux is currently being used to understand properties of neutrino oscillations and to search for physics beyond the standard model. The same flux can be monitored for non-proliferation studies, as it is sensitive to the type of actinide being burned. In this talk, I will first highlight some of the database products and services which are available through the National Nuclear Data Center. Application of these databases to reactor based problems, from the basic science of understanding the Daya Bay antineutrinos to the applied topic of non-proliferation will be described. Using updated decay data and fission yield probabilities has enabled us to identify those nuclei with the largest contributions in different energy regions of the antineutrino spectrum, pointing to the need for new measurements. In addition, the possibility of nuclear data explaining an observed excess of antineutrinos around 5-7 MeV will be discussed.
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule