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 Physics , 2004, DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2005.02.004 Abstract: We report on a comparison study of the Monte Carlo packages GEANT4 and FLUKA for simulating neutron production by muons penetrating deep underground. GEANT4 is found to generate fewer neutrons at muon energies above ~100 GeV, by at most a factor of 2 in some materials, which we attribute mainly to lower neutron production in hadronic cascades. As a practical case study, the muon-induced neutron background expected in a 250 kg liquid-xenon WIMP dark matter detector was calculated and good agreement was found for the recoil event rates. The detailed model of neutron elastic scattering in GEANT4 was also shown to influence the nuclear recoil spectrum observed in the target, which is presently a shortcoming of FLUKA. We conclude that both packages are suited for this type of simulation, although further improvements are desirable in both cases.
 Physics , 2015, Abstract: As neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments become more sensitive and intrinsic radioactivity in detector materials is reduced, previously minor contributions to the background must be understood and eliminated. With this in mind, cosmogenic backgrounds have been studied with the EXO-200 experiment. Using the EXO-200 TPC, the muon flux (through a flat horizontal surface) underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has been measured to be {\Phi} = 4.07 $\pm$ 0.14 (sys) $\pm$ 0.03 (stat) $\times$ $10^{-7}$cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$, with a vertical intensity of $I_{v}$ = 2.97$^{+0.14}_{-0.13}$ (sys) $\pm$ 0.02 (stat) $\times$ $10^{-7}$cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ sr$^{-1}$. Simulations of muon-induced backgrounds identified several potential cosmogenic radionuclides, though only 137Xe is a significant background for the 136Xe 0{\nu}{\beta}{\beta} search with EXO-200. Muon-induced neutron backgrounds were measured using {\gamma}-rays from neutron capture on the detector materials. This provided a measurement of 137Xe yield, and a test of the accuracy of the neutron production and transport simulations. The independently measured rates of 136Xe neutron capture and of 137Xe decay agree within uncertainties. Geant4 and FLUKA simulations were performed to estimate neutron capture rates, and these estimates agreed to within ~40% or better with measurements. The ability to identify 136Xe(n,{\gamma}) events will allow for rejection of 137Xe backgrounds in future 0{\nu}{\beta}{\beta} analyses.
 Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2013/08/049 Abstract: The solar neutrino experiment Borexino, which is located in the Gran Sasso underground laboratories, is in a unique position to study muon-induced backgrounds in an organic liquid scintillator. In this study, a large sample of cosmic muons is identified and tracked by a muon veto detector external to the liquid scintillator, and by the specific light patterns observed when muons cross the scintillator volume. The yield of muon-induced neutrons is found to be Yn =(3.10+-0.11)10-4 n/({\mu} (g/cm2)). The distance profile between the parent muon track and the neutron capture point has the average value {\lambda} = (81.5 +- 2.7)cm. Additionally the yields of a number of cosmogenic radioisotopes are measured for 12N, 12B, 8He, 9C, 9Li, 8B, 6He, 8Li, 11Be, 10C and 11C. All results are compared with Monte Carlo simulation predictions using the Fluka and Geant4 packages. General agreement between data and simulation is observed for the cosmogenic production yields with a few exceptions, the most prominent case being 11C yield for which both codes return about 50% lower values. The predicted {\mu}-n distance profile and the neutron multiplicity distribution are found to be overall consistent with data.
 Physics , 2003, DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9002(03)00983-5 Abstract: The production of neutrons by cosmic-ray muons at large depths underground is discussed. The most recent versions of the muon propagation code MUSIC, and particle transport code FLUKA are used to evaluate muon and neutron fluxes. The results of simulations are compared with experimental data.
 Physics , 2005, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.73.049906 Abstract: While cosmic ray muons themselves are relatively easy to veto in underground detectors, their interactions with nuclei create more insidious backgrounds via: (i) the decays of long-lived isotopes produced by muon-induced spallation reactions inside the detector, (ii) spallation reactions initiated by fast muon-induced neutrons entering from outside the detector, and (iii) nuclear recoils initiated by fast muon-induced neutrons entering from outside the detector. These backgrounds, which are difficult to veto or shield against, are very important for solar, reactor, dark matter, and other underground experiments, especially as increased sensitivity is pursued. We used fluka to calculate the production rates and spectra of all prominent secondaries produced by cosmic ray muons, in particular focusing on secondary neutrons, due to their importance. Since the neutron spectrum is steeply falling, the total neutron production rate is sensitive just to the relatively soft neutrons, and not to the fast-neutron component. We show that the neutron spectrum in the range between 10 and 100 MeV can instead be probed by the (n, p)-induced isotope production rates 12C(n, p)12B and 16O(n, p)16N in oil- and water-based detectors. The result for 12B is in good agreement with the recent KamLAND measurement. Besides testing the calculation of muon secondaries, these results are also of practical importance, since 12B (T1/2 = 20.2 ms, Q = 13.4 MeV) and 16N (T1/2 = 7.13 s, Q = 10.4 MeV) are among the dominant spallation backgrounds in these detectors.
 Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2015/02/046 Abstract: The production of long-lived radioactive isotopes in materials due to the exposure to cosmic rays on Earth surface can be an hazard for experiments demanding ultra-low background conditions, typically performed deep underground. Production rates of cosmogenic isotopes in all the materials present in the experimental set-up, as well as the corresponding cosmic rays exposure history, must be both well known in order to assess the relevance of this effect in the achievable sensitivity of a given experiment. Although NaI(Tl) scintillators are being used in experiments aiming at the direct detection of dark matter since the first nineties of the last century, very few data about cosmogenic isotopes production rates have been published up to date. In this work we present data from two 12.5 kg NaI(Tl) detectors, developed in the frame of the ANAIS project, which were installed inside a convenient shielding at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory just after finishing surface exposure to cosmic rays. The very fast start of data taking allowed to identify and quantify isotopes with half-lives of the order of tens of days. Initial activities underground have been measured and then production rates at sea level have been estimated following the history of detectors; values of about a few tens of nuclei per kg and day for Te isotopes and 22Na and of a few hundreds for I isotopes have been found. These are the first direct estimates of production rates of cosmogenic nuclides in NaI crystals. A comparison of the so deduced rates with calculations using typical cosmic neutron flux at sea level and a carefully selected description of excitation functions will be also presented together with an estimate of the corresponding contribution to the background at low and high energies, which can be relevant for experiments aiming at rare events searches.
 Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1063/1.4928017 Abstract: The cosmogenic production of long-lived radioactive isotopes in materials is an hazard for experiments demanding ultra-low background conditions. Although NaI(Tl) scintillators have been used in this context for a long time, very few activation data were available. We present results from two 12.5 kg NaI(Tl) detectors, developed within the ANAIS project and installed at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory. The prompt data taking starting made possible a reliable quantification of production of some I, Te and Na isotopes with half-lives larger than ten days. Initial activities underground were measured and then production rates at sea level were estimated following the history of detectors; a comparison of these rates with calculations using typical cosmic neutron flux at sea level and a selected description of excitation functions was also carried out. After including the contribution from the identified cosmogenic products in the detector background model, we found that the presence of 3H in the crystal bulk would help to fit much better our background model and experimental data. We have analyzed the cosmogenic production of 3H in NaI, and although precise quantification has not been attempted, we can conclude that it could imply a very relevant contribution to the total background below 15 keV in NaI detectors.
 Borexino Collaboration Statistics , 2006, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.74.045805 Abstract: Borexino is an experiment for low energy neutrino spectroscopy at the Gran Sasso underground laboratories. It is designed to measure the mono-energetic $^7$Be solar neutrino flux in real time, via neutrino-electron elastic scattering in ultra-pure organic liquid scintillator. Borexino has the potential to also detect neutrinos from the \emph{pep} fusion process and the CNO cycle. For this measurement to be possible, radioactive contamination in the detector must be kept extremely low. Once sufficiently clean conditions are met, the main background source is $^{11}$C, produced in reactions induced by the residual cosmic muon flux on $^{12}$C. In the process, a free neutron is almost always produced. $^{11}$C can be tagged on an event by event basis by looking at the three-fold coincidence with the parent muon track and the subsequent neutron capture on protons. This coincidence method has been implemented on the Borexino Counting Test Facility data. We report on the first event by event identification of \emph{in situ} muon induced $^{11}$C in a large underground scintillator detector. We measure a $^{11}$C production rate of 0.130 $\pm$ 0.026 (stat) $\pm$ 0.014 (syst) day$^{-1}$ ton$^{-1}$, in agreement with predictions from both experimental studies performed with a muon beam on a scintillator target and \emph{ab initio} estimations based on the $^{11}$C producing nuclear reactions.
 Physics , 2012, Abstract: Cosmic muon interactions are important contributors to backgrounds in underground detectors when searching for rare events. Typically neutrons dominate this background as they are particularly difficult to shield and detect in a veto system. Since actual background data is sparse and not well documented, simulation studies must be used to design shields and predict background rates. This means that validation of any simulation code is necessary to assure reliable results. This work studies the validation of the FLUKA simulation code, and reports the results of a simulation of cosmogenic background for a liquid argon two-phase detector embedded within a water tank and liquid scintillator shielding.
 Physics , 2015, Abstract: Here we present the first results of WATCHBOY, a water Cherenkov detector designed to measure the yield of $\beta$-neutron emitting radionuclides produced by cosmic ray muons in water. In addition to the $\beta$-neutron measurement, we also provide a first look at isolating single-$\beta$ producing radionuclides following showering muons as a check of the detection capabilities of WATCHBOY. The data taken over $207$ live days indicates a $^{9}$Li production yield upper limit of $1.9\times10^{-7}\mu^{-1}g^{-1}\mathrm{cm}^2$ at $\sim400$ meters water equivalent (m.w.e.) overburden at the $90\%$ confidence level. In this work the $^{9}$Li signal in WATCHBOY was used as a proxy for the combined search for $^{9}$Li and $^{8}$He production. This result will provide a constraint on estimates of antineutrino-like backgrounds in future water-based antineutrino detectors.
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