Deep Subcriticality Determination Using the Source Jerk Integral Method in the SALMON Program

Anatoly Kochetkov, Antonin Krása, Nadia Messaoudi, Guido Vittiglio, Jan Wagemans, A. Bailly, Annick Billebaud, S. Chabod, F.-R. Lecolley, Jean-Luc Lecouey, Gregory Lehaut, Nathalie Marie

Research outputpeer-review


The Source Jerk Integral (SJI) method has been extensively used to determine the subcriticality in VENUS-F zero-power experiments since 2012. The obtained results were in the range from −5 $ to about −20 $ and concerned the subcriticalities of accelerator-driven system MYRRHA mockup cores. Within the SALMON program, which is dedicated to the safe loading procedure of pressurized power reactors, five subcritical core configurations were assembled and studied in the VENUS-F reactor in 2019. These cores simulated the loading process in inverse mode: from more reactive to deep subcritical. The subcriticality of five variants of the SC11 VENUS-F core was changed in steps from −20 $ to about −100 $ by replacing the fuel assemblies with lead reflector assemblies. The subcriticality levels were determined with the pulsed neutron source (PNS) and SJI methods. The GENEPI-3C deuterium accelerator coupled with VENUS-F was used as an external neutron source. The results of the measurements obtained with the SJI method are presented in this paper. Time-dependent Monte Carlo calculations were performed to simulate the SJI experiments and to determine spatial-energy correction factors. Static Monte Carlo simulations were performed to calculate neutron spectra and reactivity. The results of the measurements (both SJI and PNS) are compared with the static MCNP calculations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1952-1960
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Science and Engineering
StatePublished - 16 Dec 2022
Event2022 - PHYSOR - International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Making Virtual a Reality: Advancements in Reactor Physics to Leap Forward Reactor Operation and Deployment - Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA
Duration: 15 May 202220 May 2022

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