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IAEA CIELO Evaluation of Neutron-induced Reactions on 235U and 238U Targets

Evaluations of nuclear reaction data for the major uranium isotopes 238U and 235U were performed within the scope of the CIELO Project on the initiative of the OECD/NEA Data Bank under Working Party on Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) Subgroup 40 coordinated by the IAEA Nuclear Data Section. Both the mean values and covariances are evaluated from 10−5 eV up to 30 MeV. The resonance parameters of 238U and 235U were re-evaluated with the addition of newly available data to the existing experimental database. The evaluations in the fast neutron range are based on nuclear model calculations with the code EMPIRE–3.2 Malta above the resonance range up to 30 MeV. 235U(n,f), 238U(n,f), and 238U(n,γ) cross sections and 235U(nth,f) prompt fission neutron spectrum (PFNS) were evaluated within the Neutron Standards project and are representative of the experimental state-of-the-art measurements. The Standards cross sections were matched in model calculations as closely as possible to guarantee a good predictive power for cross sections of competing neutron scattering channels. 235U(n,γ) cross section includes fluctuations observed in recent experiments. 235U(n,f) PFNS for incident neutron energies from 500 keV to 20 MeV were measured at Los Alamos Chi-Nu facility and re-evaluated using all available experimental data. While respecting the measured differential data, several compensating errors in previous evaluations were identified and removed so that the performance in integral benchmarks was restored or improved. Covariance matrices for 235U and 238U cross sections, angular distributions, spectra and neutron multiplicities were evaluated using the GANDR system that combines experimental data with model uncertainties. Unrecognized systematic uncertainties were considered in the uncertainty quantification for fission and capture cross sections above the thermal range, and for neutron multiplicities. Evaluated files were extensively benchmarked to ensure good performance in reactor calculations and fusion-related systems. New comprehensive evaluations show excellent agreement with available differential data and integral performance better than current evaluated data libraries, and represent a step forward in a quest for better nuclear data for applications.