Experimental characterization of FANT, a new thermal neutron source

Lenin E. Cevallos-Robalino, Gonzalo García-Fernández, Alfredo Lorente, Eduardo Gallego, Hector Rene Vega-Carrillo, Sviatoslav Ibañez, Karen A. Guzmán-García

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6 Scopus citations


FANT is the acronym of Enhanced Thermal Neutron Source (Fuente Ampliada de Neutrones Térmicos, in Spanish). This is a parallelepiped box of high-density polyethylene moderator and an isotopic neutron source. The moderator has a cylindrical irradiation chamber where a rather uniform thermal neutron flux is obtained. The FANT design was previously optimized and the neutron spectra were estimated by Monte Carlo calculations with the MCNP6.1 code. To check the characteristics of the FANT thermal neutron field, measurements have been performed at the reference point inside the irradiation chamber with a Bonner sphere spectrometer holding a small 6LiI(Eu) thermal neutron detector. To unfold the neutron spectrum BUNKIUT with UTA4 response matrix and NSDann Ver 4.0 codes were used. Some issues have been found and recommendations are made about the use of large BSS inside narrow spaces, and about the capacity of NSDann code to unfold these kind of spectra. However, the results confirm that the moderation process in FANT is very effective and allows obtaining useful thermal neutron fluence rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109437
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author Lenin E. Cevallos-Robalino, thanks to the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana (UPS), for the support received. The author Gonzalo F. Garcia-Fernandez has developed this research work as part of Industrial Doctorate Program, IND2017/AMB-7797, funded by the Community of Madrid (CM), under the agreement between the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid ( UPM ) and the company Biología y Técnica de la Radiación, S.L. (Bioterra, S.L.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bonner sphere spectrometer
  • FANT
  • Neutron spectrum unfolding
  • Thermal neutron source


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