Abstract: With ageing reactor fleets, the importance of estimating material damage parameters in structural materials is increasing. 59Ni is not naturally abundant, but as noted in, e.g., Ref. , the two-step reaction 58Ni(n,γ)59Ni(n,α)56Fe gives a very important contribution to the helium production and damage energy in stainless steel in thermal spectra, because of the extraordinarily large thermal (n,α) cross section for 59Ni (for most other nuclides, the (n,α) reaction has a threshold). None of the evaluated data libraries contain uncertainty information for (n,α) and (n,p) for 59Ni for thermal energies and the resonance region. Therefore, new such data is produced in this work, including random data to be used with the Total Monte Carlo methodology  for nuclear data uncertainty propagation.
The limited R-matrix format (“LRF = 7”) of ENDF-6 is used, with the Reich-Moore approximation (“LRF = 3” is just a subset of Reich-Moore). The neutron and gamma widths are obtained from TARES , with uncertainties, and are translated into LRF = 7. The α and proton widths are obtained from the little information available in EXFOR  (assuming large uncertainties because of lacking documentation) or from sampling from unresolved resonance parameters from TALYS , and they are split into different channels (different excited states of the recoiling nuclide, etc.). Finally, the cross sections are adjusted to match the experiments at thermal energies, with uncertainties.
The data is used to estimate the gas production rates for different systems, including the propagated nuclear data uncertainty. Preliminary results for SS304 in a typical thermal spectrum, show that including 59Ni at its peak concentration increases the helium production rate by a factor of 4.93 ± 0.28 including a 5.7 ± 0.2 % uncertainty due to the 59Ni data. It is however likely that the uncertainty will increase substantially from including the uncertainty of other nuclides and from re-evaluating the experimental thermal cross sections.