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Variations in the neutron flux during thunderstorms

Research paper by V. V. Alekseenko, D. M. Gromushkin, D. D. Dzhappuev, A. U. Kudjaev, O. I. Michailova, Yu. V. Stenkin, V. I. Stepanov, O. B. Shchegolev, V. P. Sulakov, I. I. Yashin

Indexed on: 05 Jun '15Published on: 05 Jun '15Published in: Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Physics



Abstract

The results from the registration and analysis of sporadic variations of atmospheric thermal neutron flux during thunderstorms are reported. Measurements were performed in Moscow and at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory of the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The neutron flux was detected by unscreened scintillation en-detectors based on 6LiF + ZnS (Ag) compound targets with signals selected according to pulse shape. Reductions of 5–10% in the neutron flux due to shower precipitates during thunderstorms are detected. No incidents of increased neutron flux during thunderstorms were detected over four summer seasons. The upper limits for the integrated and pulsed flux of neutrons from thunderbolts are estimated.