Corrections to and Applications of the Antineutrino Spectrum Generated by Nuclear Reactors

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


In this work, the antineutrino spectrum as specifically generated by nuclear reactors is studied. The topics covered include corrections and higher-order effects in reactor antineutrino experiments, one of which is covered in Ref. [1] and another contributes to Ref. [2]. In addition, a practical application, antineutrino safeguards for nuclear reactors, as summarized in Ref. [3,4] and Ref. [5], is explored to determine its viability and limits. The work will focus heavily on theory, simulation, and statistical analyses to explain the corrections, their origins, and their sizes, as well as the applications of the antineutrino signal from nuclear reactors.

Chapter [1] serves as an introduction to neutrinos. Their origin is briefly covered, along with neutrino properties and some experimental highlights. The next chapter, Chapter [2], will specifically cover antineutrinos as generated in nuclear reactors. In this chapter, the production and detection methods of reactor neutrinos are introduced as well as a discussion of the theories behind determining the antineutrino spectrum. The mathematical formulation of neutrino oscillation will also be introduced and explained.

The first half of this work focuses on two corrections to the reactor antineutrino spectrum. These corrections are generated from two specific sources and are thus named the spent nuclear fuel contribution and the non-linear correction for their respective sources. Chapter [3] contains a discussion of the spent fuel contribution. This correction arises from spent nuclear fuel near the reactor site and involves a detailed application of spent fuel to current reactor antineutrino experiments. Chapter [4] will focus on the non-linear correction, which is caused by neutron-captures within the nuclear reactor environment. Its quantification and impact on future antineutrino experiments are discussed.

The research projects presented in the second half, Chapter [5], focus on neutrino applications, specifically reactor monitoring. Chapter [5] is a comprehensive examination of the use of antineutrinos as a reactor safeguards mechanism. This chapter will include the theory behind safeguards, the statistical derivation of power and plutonium measurements, the details of reactor simulations, and the future outlook for non-proliferation through antineutrino monitoring.



Neutrino Physics, Reactor Physics, Spent Nuclear Fuel Correction, Non-linear Correction, Antineutrino Safeguards, Nuclear Non-proliferation