How can I find the spontaneous fission yields used in the Decay Engine++?

July 18th, 2019
by Joseph Magill

This question is only relevant if at least the parent nuclide or one of its daughter nuclides decays by spontaneous fission.
In the results data grid (in the Decay Engine tab) the decay modes of the nuclides are shown with the corresponding branching ratios. For spontaneous fission only the total branching ratio for all fission products is given.

In the Decay Tree tab in turn each produced nuclide is shown in the decay tree with the half-life, the number of atoms, the number of disintegrations and the branching ratio from the parent nuclide to the considered nuclide. If the nuclide is a fission product this branching ratio is calculated as the branching ratio of the SF decay mode from the parent nuclide times the independent fission yield of the fission product.

In the databases JEFF and ENDF databases used inside Nucleonica the spontaneous fission yields are reported for three nuclides Cm-242, Cm-244 and Cf-252. Many other nuclides however decay by SF in which case the yields of Cm-244 are used.

For example, consider the decay Cm-248 and the fission daughter nuclide Mo-104. In the Decay Tree tab, this nuclide can be highlighted. The decay tree can be collapsed to show only the branches leading to the nuclide of interest Mo-104 as shown below.
Cm248 Decay TreeFig.1: The collapsed decay tree computed by the Decay Engine++ showing the decay branches leading to the highlighted nuclide of interest Mo-104.

In the above figure, the first occurrence of Mo-104 is as a fission product of Pu-244. The SF branching ratio of Pu-244 can be found in the results grid as 0.00125 whereas the BR of Mo-104 is given in the above figure as 6.95e-5. It follows that the independent fission yield of Mo-144 (from parent Cm-244 since no date for Pu-244 is available) will be:
Yind(Mo-104) = BR(Mo-104) / BRsf(Pu-244) = 6.95e-5 / 0.00125 = 5.56%
This is exactly the Ind. Yield given in the Fission Yields app for the parent Cm-244.

The second occurrence of Mo-104 in figure 1 is as a fission product of Cm248. From the results grid BRsf(Cm-248) = 0.0839. Again
Yind(Mo-104) = BR(Mo-104) / BRsf(Cm-248) = 4.67e-3 / 0.0839 = 5.57%
This independent fission yield can be found in the Fission Yields app from the Cm-244 parent nuclide (because neither Pu-244 nor Cm-248 are in the database), using the JEFF-3.1 library and the spontaneous fission type for the given nuclide.

In the tree structure in fig. 1, further occurrences of Mo-104 as a daughter of fission products are shown.

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