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Nuclear reactor simulations for unveiling diversion scenarios : capabilities of the antineutrino probe

Abstract : Nuclear reactors emit a huge amount of electronic antineutrinos, arising from the fission product decay. Reactor antineutrinos thus posess unique features that place them as a potential new safeguards tool for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Indeed, they carry outside the core the direct picture of its isotopic fission rates, thus opening the possibility of a remote, non-intrusive and tamperproof reactor monitoring. Sophisticated simulations of reactors and their associated antineutrino flux and energy spectrum have been developed to predict the neutrino signature of the fuel burnup and of a diversion. The only user-defined inputs driving the time evolution of the isotopic composition of the core are the initial fuel composition, the refueling scheme, and the thermal power. The evolution of the antineutrino flux and energy spectrum with the fuel burnup, as well as the effect of neutron capture on various nuclei are taken into account. Non-proliferation scenarios and burnup monitoring with antineutrinos have been studied using these tools for PWR and CANDU reactors. A full core simulation of an N4-PWR will be presented in a first part. Gross unveiling diversion scenarios using a PWR have been simulated in order to test the ability of the antineutrino probe. A channel of a Heavy Water Reactor (CANDU 600) loaded with natural Uranium, has been simulated also in order to provide a first hint of what antineutrino detection would bring to the monitoring of such on-line refueled reactor which are maintained in a steady state through quasi-continuous refueling. Very simple proliferation scenario studies with CANDU reactors, based on several channel calculations, made at various fuel dwell-times, will be shown in a second part. In both cases, the response of a Nucifer-like detector placed at 25m from the core to these scenarios has been studied.
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Contributor : Emmanuelle Vernay <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 11:38:18 AM
Last modification on : Monday, November 23, 2020 - 2:32:03 PM


  • HAL Id : in2p3-00422485, version 1


Muriel Fallot, van Minh Bui, M. Cribier, M. Fechner, Lydie Giot, et al.. Nuclear reactor simulations for unveiling diversion scenarios : capabilities of the antineutrino probe. International Conference GLOBAL 2009 "The Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Sustainable Options & Industrial Perspectives", Sep 2009, Paris, France. pp.2206-2216. ⟨in2p3-00422485⟩



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