THE RESONANCE ESCAPE PROBABILITY

M. Ragheb 7/19/2004

INTRODUCTION
We use the Breit-Wigner single level resonance formula for the absorption cross section as a function of energy, and the expressions for the slowing down density to derive an equation for the probability for a neutron to escape being absorbed in the resonance region as it slows down to thermal energies. The resulting expression for the resonance escape probability forms one term in the four factor formula for the infinite medium multiplication factor. Expressions for the resonance integral for homogeneous reactors are also derived.

THE BREIT-WIGNER SINGLE LEVEL RESONANCE FORMULA
For a single level resonance, the Breit-Wigner formula can be written as:

σ a (E) = σ 0 ⎜

⎛ E0 ⎞ ⎟ ⎝ E ⎠

1 ⎡ ( E − E0 ) ⎤ 1+ ⎢ ⎣ Γ/2 ⎥ ⎦
2

(1)

where: σ 0 and E 0 are the cross section and energy at the peak of the resonance, and Γ is the width of the resonance at half maximum, as shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Single-level resonance.

or: dq . ⎛E ⎞ σc = σ0 ⎜ 0 ⎟ ⎝ E ⎠ 1/ 2 = const .For a broad resonance. e. we can write: q dE = (∑ s + ∑ a )φdE ξE (4) . Boron. In an infinite medium the change in slowing down density in an energy interval dE is equal to the number of absorptions in dE. RESONANCE ESCAPE PROBABILITY The probability of escaping absorption in the resonances while slowing down is called the resonance escape probability and is by definition: P( E ) = q( E ) q0 (2) where q 0 is the slowing-down density at the fission energy. Γ > (E .dE = ∑ a φdE dE (3) We have proven before that the number of collisions per unit volume per unit time in the absence of absorptions was: q dE = ∑ s φdE ξE If we now include the absorptions.E 0 ).g. v which is the known 1/v dependence.

we get: ∑a q( E ) dE ln =∫ q( E0 ) E0 ξ(∑ s + ∑ a ) E E From Eqn. 2. = d [ln q ( E )] = ξ( ∑ s + ∑ a ) E q If we integrate from the fission energy E 0 to an arbitrary energy E. 3 and 4. one needs to know the energy dependence of the cross sections and integrate over the whole energy range.Dividing Eqns. 6. thus: −∫ ξ(∑ + ∑ ) E q( E ) =e E s a p( E ) = q0 E0 ∑a dE (5) At thermal energy: p = exp(− ∫ ∑a dE ) ξ( ∑ s + ∑ a ) E Eth E0 (6) THE RESONANCE INTEGRAL FOR HOMOGENEOUS REACTORS To estimate p from Eqn. For homogeneous reactors with weak fast absorptions we can approximate the integral in Eq. we get: dq ∑a = dE (∑ s + ∑ a ) q / ξE or: ∑a dq dE . 6. and noting that q(E 0 )=q 0 . Since ∑ s is fairly constant we can write it as: .

and we can write: p = exp(− Na I0 ) ξ∑ s (8) wher:e I 0 = E0 Eth ∫σ a dE is the infinite dilution resonance integral.1 ξ∑ s ∑ a dE ∑a E Eth 1 + ∑s E0 ∫ If we have a very predominant absorber (e. E If ∑ s is comparable to ∑ a . we have the effective resonance integral: I eff = σa dE N a σa E Eth 1 + σs E0 ∫ (9) If we remove the (1 + N a σa ) term from the denominator: ∑s . we can substitute N σ a for ∑ a and rewrite the integral as: σa dE N a σa E Eth 1 + ∑s E0 Na ξ∑ s ∫ (7) In case of “infinite dilution” of the absorbing material: ∑ s >> ∑ a .g U 235 ).

I eff dE E I0 E = th = Nσ 1 + a a 1 + N a σa ∑s ∑s E0 ∫σ a where: σa and ∑ s are average values over the energy range. we get: E0 σa = Eth E0 ∫σ Eth a dE E = ∫ dE E I0 ⎛E ⎞ ln ⎜ 0 ⎟ ⎝ Eth ⎠ Thus we can write for the effective resonance integral: I eff = I0 N 1+ a ∑s I0 ⎛E ⎞ ln ⎜ 0 ⎟ ⎝ Eth ⎠ (10) and the resonance escape probability is now written as: . In this case: E0 σa = Eth E0 ∫ σ φ( E )dE a Eth ∫ φ( E )dE If φ(E) = φ 0 /E.

Some values of I 0 are in Table 1.p = exp(− N a I eff ξ∑ s ) (11) This equation is valid for homogeneous reactors.0 MeV) ⎛E ⎞ ln ⎜ 0 ⎟ ⎝ Eth ⎠ 14.7 15.7 15.5 14.5 14.7 15.5 14.5 14. Nuclide Process I0 (0.5 14.5-1.5-1.5 14.5 90Th 90Th 91Pa 232 233 capture capture capture capture absorption fission 85 400 1200 300 1200 900 700 150 450 300 400 280 9000 1300 1500 3500 2000 1000 2800 1800 - 233 233 92U 234 92U 235 92U capture capture absorption fission 236 92U 239 92U 239 94Pu capture capture capture absorption fission 240 94Pu 241 94Pu capture capture absorption fission 242 94Pu capture .0 MeV) I’0 (0. Table 1: Values for infinitely dilute resonance integrals.5 15.5 14.5 14.7 14.5 14.5 14.7 14.5 15.5 14.7 15.

R.” Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Ragheb. Lamarsh. J. . “Lecture Notes on Fission Reactors Design Theory. University of Illinois. 1982. 1983.absorption = fission + capture REFERENCES 1. M. “Introduction to Nuclear Engineering. 2.” FSL-33.