Antineutrinos for Arms ControlCopyright: © Yan-Jie Schnellbach
Decades of nuclear power plant operation have produced a large amount of radioactive waste that is foreseen to be stored in long-term geological repositories. This radioactive waste still contains weapon-grade nuclides, entailing the risk of proliferation. Verification methods and surveillance techniques should ensure the integrity of these repositories. For the first few hundred years the dominant radioactivity of the waste comes from long-lived beta-decaying elements that are emitting antineutrinos in the low-energy region below 5 MeV.
In contrast to the other radiation particles, antineutrinos can only interact via weak force and therefore, they cannot be shielded or deflected. This property makes them a good candidate for monitoring radioactive waste. However, this advantage is also a challenge for designing an appropriate antineutrino detector due to the small interaction cross sections of antineutrinos.Copyright: © Johannes Bosse
Detecting antineutrinos in the low-energy domain is not only useful for monitoring radioactive waste, but also for safeguarding the operation of nuclear reactors. Furthermore, it is also of particular interest in fundamental research, e.g. for the investigation of solar neutrinos and geo-neutrinos. In this project, we are working together with the TPC development group of the physics institute IIIB.
Copyright: © BMUV
This research is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and FREIGEIST-Fellowship of the VolkswagenStiftung.Copyright: © VolkswagenStiftung