MYRRHA is a multi-purpose research reactor able to operate in sub-critical and critical modes and currently in the design phase at SCK•CEN. The choice of LBE was driven by its chemical stability, low melting temperature, high boiling point, low chemical reactivity with water and air and a good neutronic performance. As a drawback, the neutron capture in 209Bi results in the production of 210Po, a highly radiotoxic alpha emitter with relatively short half-life (≈138 days). The 210Po production represents a major safety concern that has to be addressed for the reactor licensing. In this work we used the ALEPH-2 burnup code to accurately calculate the 210Po production in a MYRRHA operating cycle. The impact of using different nuclear data libraries was evaluated and the reliability of the results was determined by quantifying the uncertainty of the 210Po concentration. The uncertainty quantification was carried out sampling the currently available nuclear data covariance matrices with the SANDY code. Also, estimates of the sensitivity profiles were obtained with a linear regression approach. The activation yield of the 209Bi neutron capture reaction was assessed as the largest nuclear data source of uncertainty, however the lack of covariances for such data represent a capital drawback for the 210Po content prediction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics