Purpose of experiment

The water activation experiment serves as a demonstration of the creation of radioactive isotopes from nuclear reactions with fast neutrons in pure water. The main reaction product, N-16, is important from the radiation protection standpoint, as it emits energetic and highly penetrating gamma rays, in water-cooled fission and fusion devices. Conversely, measurements of the activities of the product radioactive isotopes represent an independent method of monitoring of the reactor power, leak detection, etc.

Outcome / What you will learn
Students will:

  1. Observe methods for measuring of the activation of the primary water;;
  2. Measure the activity of primary water as a function of the reactor power.
  1. Set up of the experiment on the reactor platform (water activation loop, lead shielding, detectors);
  2. Discussion on the detectors;
  3. Detector energy calibration using radioactive calibration sources;
  4. Measurements of the activity of individual nuclides and the total dose rate as a function of reactor power;
  5. Discussion of the results.
Exercise No. 15: Primary water activation