The potential use of a pulsed neutron source (PNS) to measure reactivity during nuclear fuel loading as a means to prevent core loading errors has been studied at the GUINEVERE facility. This facility couples the deuteron accelerator GENEPI-3C to the fast neutron subcritical reactor VENUS-F at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK·CEN. The 14-MeV neutrons are produced in the reactor core center via (Formula presented.) fusion reactions. PNS experiments were performed in five reactor configurations corresponding to the different loading steps of VENUS-F. The evolution of the neutron flux during these PNS experiments was measured by several 235U fission chambers in various positions in the inner and outer reflector and analyzed using the area-ratio method. The results show that, despite strong spatial effects, a strong correlation between the reactivity values given by the area-ratio method and some reference reactivity values remains throughout the reactor unloading. Monte Carlo simulations were first validated by comparison with the data and then used to investigate the sensitivity of the method to a core loading error. First results show that some loading errors could be experimentally detected using a PNS.
|Number of pages
|Nuclear Science and Engineering
|Published - 5 Jan 2023
|2022 - 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 2022 → 20 May 2022
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering