13-18 May 2018
Casino Conference Centre
Europe/Prague timezone

Production of cosmogenic radionuclides in Ge spectrometers placed in deep underground: a comparison of measurements with Monte-Carlo simulations

16 May 2018, 09:15
Marble Hall (Casino Conference Centre)

Marble Hall

Casino Conference Centre

Reitenbergerova 4/95, Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic
Verbal Radionuclides in the Environment, Radioecology RER 2


Robert Breier (Comenium University, Bratislava)


Environmental and rare nuclear physics experiments require operation of Ge spectrometers in deep underground laboratories. Cosmic-ray background of Ge gamma-spectrometers is decreased to such low-levels that observation of cosmogenic radionuclides produced e.g. in germanium (${}^{68}$Ge, ${}^{60}$Co, ${}^{65}$Zn, ${}^{54}$Mn) and copper (${}^{54}$Mn, ${}^{57}$Co, ${}^{60}$Co, ${}^{58}$Co) is possible. There are several ways of activation of construction materials by cosmic rays:

  1. during production of Ge crystals and cryostats in the factory and
    their transport to an underground laboratory all the construction
    materials are irradiated by secondary cosmic rays (nucleons, muons)
  2. after installation of the Ge spectrometer in a deep underground
    laboratory the cosmogenic radionuclides produced at sea level
    (mainly the short-lived ones) are decaying
  3. new generation of cosmogenic radionuclides may be produced even at
    deep underground by penetrating muons and their secondaries, as well
    as by neutrons originating from radioactive contamination of Ge
    spectrometer construction materials, detector shielding, and
    surrounding environment.

In thiswork wepresent experimental background gamma-ray spectra of the large-volume OBELIX Ge spectrometer operating in the deepest underground laboratory in Europe (LaboratoireSouterrain de Modane, 4,800 m w.e) just after its installation and several years later, and compare them with Monte Carlo simulations. The background simulation model is based on GEANT4 software package.

Primary authors

Robert Breier (Comenium University, Bratislava) Victor Brudanin (Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna, Russia) Pia Loaiza (LAL, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Université Paris-Saclay, 91405 Orsay, France) Fabrice Piquemal (Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane, 73500 Modane, France) Prof. Pavel P. Povinec (Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia) Ivan Štekl (Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Czech Technical University, 12800 Prague, Czech Republic)

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