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The national development of technology to transmute nuclear waste depends upon the generation of high energy neutrons produced by proton spallation. Proton accelerators, such as LANSCE at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, are capable of producing 800 MeV protons. By bombarding a lead/bismuth target, each proton may generate 500 or more neutrons that can activate fission products or induce the fission of transuranic isotopes.

The Monte Carlo radiation transport code MCNPX developed at LANL is an important tool in the design of transmuter technology. It must be validated, however, for the neutron energy that will be employed. Experiments are being conducted at LANSCE to test the ability of MCNPX to accurately predict neutron production and leakage rates from lead/bismuth targets. Students at UNLV are being educated in the use of MCNPX to analyze the results of these tests and to use the software to in the development of future experimental studies.


Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended (MCNPX); Neutron flux; Neutrons; Nuclear reactions – Computer simulation; Radiative transfer; Radioactive wastes — Transmutation; Spallation (Nuclear physics); Spent reactor fuels


Nuclear | Oil, Gas, and Energy