IAEA Benchmark of Spallation Models


spallation model

Spallation reactions are nuclear reactions playing an important role in a wide domain of applications ranging from neutron sources for condensed matter and material studies, transmutation of nuclear waste and rare isotope production to astrophysics, simulation of detector set-ups in nuclear and particle physics experiments, and radiation protection near accelerators or in space.

The simulation tools developed for these domains use nuclear model codes to compute the production yields and characteristics of all the particles and nuclei generated in these reactions. The codes are generally Monte-Carlo implementations of Intra-Nuclear Cascade (INC) or Quantum Molecular Dynamics (QMD) models followed by de-excitation (principally evaporation/fission) models.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) have recently organised an expert meeting on model codes for spallation reactions. The experts have discussed in depth the physics bases and ingredients of the different models in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Since it is of great importance to validate on selected experimental data the abilities of the various codes to predict reliably the different quantities relevant for applications, it has been agreed to organise an international benchmark of the different models developed by different groups in the world. The specifications of the benchmark, including the set of selected experimental data to be compared to models, have been fixed during the workshop.

The benchmark is organised under the auspices of IAEA in 2008 and the analysis of the results will be done with the help of an International Advisory Board. The first results discussed at the next Accelerator Applications conference (AccApp'09) to be held in Vienna in May 2009.