Study of Reactor Core Loading Monitoring at the GUINEVERE Facility

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

Research outputpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1961-1971
Number of pages11
JournalNuclear Science and Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2023
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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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