Department of Physics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

TPSC seminar

Time and date: August 26, 2010 (Thursday), 4:00 P.M.
Venue: Seminar Hall

Title: An antineutrino detector for monitoring a CANDU reactor

Speaker: Dr. Bhaskar Sur, Director (Designate), Nuclear Science Division, Scientist & Manager, Applied Physics Branch, AECL Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, Canada


Neutrinos are elementary particles that have no charge and interact with matter only via the weak interaction, which makes them very difficult to detect. They are produced by nuclear reactions or radioactive decay and occur naturally. The most prevalent source of man-made neutrinos are nuclear reactors: antineutrinos are copiously produced by nuclear reactors from the beta-decay of fission products at a rate of about 6 per fission.

Following a generation of neutrino oscillation experiments at reactor-based sources, there have been a number of recent attempts to introduce neutrino detection to more applied fields. Because of their unique ability to penetrate matter and their copious production in reactors, antineutrinos offer an opportunity to monitor the reactor core in near real time, while being non-intrusive to reactor operations. There are several ongoing efforts to exploit antineutrinos for the surveillance of both the operation and plutonium production associated with civilian batch-fuelled pressurized water power reactors.

To directly demonstrate the utility of antineutrino detection in the context of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards for on-load-refuelled power reactors, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories has proposed, in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, to deploy an antineutrino detector at the Point Lepreau Generating Station (PLGS) CANDU 6 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor, located in New Brunswick, Canada. This talk will describe the detector currently under construction and comment on the ability of the detector to follow reactor startup and operation under fresh-core conditions as well as equilibrium operations.