Thursday, June 6, 2013

1306.1063 (N. Marie et al.)

Reactivity monitoring using the area method for the subcritic al VENUS-F
core within the framework of the FREYA Project

N. Marie, G. Lehaut, J. L. Lecouey, A. Billebaud, S. Chabod, X. Doligez, F. R. Lecolley, A. Kochetkov, W. Uyttenhove, G. Vittiglio, J. Wagemans, F. Mellier, G. Ban, H. E. Thyébault, D. Villamarin
Accelerator-Driven Systems (ADS) could be employed to incinerate minor actinides and so partly contribute to answer the problem of nuclear waste management. An ADS consists of the coupling of a subcritical fast reactor to a particle accelerator via a heavy material spallation target. The on-line reactivity monitoring of such an ADS is a serious issue regarding its safety. In order to study the methodology of this monitoring, zero-power experimentswere undertaken at the GUINEVERE facility within the framework of the FP6-IP-EUROTRANS programme. Such experiments have been under completion within the FREYA FP7 project. The GUINEVERE facility is hosted at the SCK-CEN site in Mol (Belgium). It couples the VENUS-F subcritical fast core with the GENEPI-3C accelerator. The latter delivers a beam of deuterons, which are converted into 14-MeV neutrons via fusion reactions on a tritiated target. This paper presents one of the investigated methods for ADS on-line reactivity monitoring which has to be validated in the program of the FREYA project. It describes the results obtained when Pulsed Neutron Source experiments are analysed using the so called Area Method, in order to estimate the reactivity of a few sub-critical configurations of the VENUS-F reactor, around keff= 0.96. First the GUINEVERE facility is described. Then, following general considerations on the Area method, the results of its application to the neutron population time decrease spectra measured after a pulse by several fission chambers spread out over the whole reactor are discussed. Finally the reactivity values extracted are compared to the static reactivity values obtained using the Modified Source Multiplication (MSM) method.
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