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Hydrogen Composition for Cold Neutron Sources


Study of the Effect of Ortho/Para and H/D Composition in Liquid Hydrogen on the Cold Neutron Exit

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-ANU/Atomic and Nuclear Physics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Nuclear Physics Institute, Russia, Leningrad reg., Gatchina

Supporting institutes

  • All-Russian Research and Designing Institute of Complex Energetic Technology / VNIPIET (Sosnovy Bor Branch), Russia, St Petersburg\nMoscow Power Engineering Institute, Russia, Moscow


  • Technische Universität München, Germany, Munich\nOak Ridge National Laboratory, USA, TN, Oak Ridge

Project summary

At present, research reactor cold neutron sources (CNS) are major tools used in neutron science investigations. Over the last 20 years cold neutrons from these sources have been the keys to new discoveries and applications for plastics, alloys, and even biochemical systems, such as cells and membranes. Advanced CNS physical computing programs and CNS physics experiments are high priority tasks needed for future CNS performance improvements.

Experiments are proposed to support the development of next generation sources. These experiments would include two type of testing: 1) hydrogen moderator (in liquid state) with different ortho/para ratio evaluation, and 2) moderators with mixture of hydrogen (H) and deuterium (D) with different H/D evaluations.

The cold neutron spectrum will -be measured on the existing neutron beam from each of the various moderators considered. The test results can be used to a) benchmark the physics design of cold sources presently being designed in the United States and Europe, b) provide validation of physics computer programs, and c) provide new measurements of cold neutron nuclear data including H/D molecular cross section.

The plan for this project is to utilize the WWR-M reactor and its existing cryogenic system setup. The personnel at this facility have experience to operate a CNS and perform testing at liquid hydrogen temperatures (about 20 K).

Several Russian organizations will take part in the project. The PNPI RAS will manage the design of the test and will perform the main part of the experimental and analytical investigation of the cold neutron parameters.

Technical approach and methodology

PNPI RAS is the worldwide research center in manufacturing and investigation of the cold neutron sources. It has scientific, technological and methodological knowledge and production basis to carry out the experiments proposed. The handling with hydrogen mixtures, cryogenic equipment, the spectrometric setups are developed in the institute. The theoretical and experimental investigation of the CNS parameters are performed.

The main results will be published in literature and used in developing of the CNS on the HFIR and the FRM-II reactors and may be used on other operating or designing reactors.

Possible participation of the foreign members

The foreign members would be involved in the preparation, analysis, and co-operative publication phases of the project.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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