Monte Carlo MSM correction factors for control rod worth estimates in subcritical and near-critical fast neutron reactors

Abstract : The GUINEVERE project was launched in 2006, within the 6th Euratom Framework Program IP-EUROTRANS, in order to study the feasibility of transmutation in Accelerator Driven subcritical Systems (ADS). This zero-power facility hosted at the SCK·CEN site in Mol (Belgium) couples the fast subcritical lead reactor VENUS-F with an external neutron source provided by interaction of deuterons delivered by the GENEPI-3C accelerator and a tritiated target located at the reactor core center. In order to test on-line subcriticality monitoring techniques, the reactivity of all the VENUS-F configurations used must be known beforehand to serve as benchmark values. That is why the Modified Source Multiplication Method (MSM) is under consideration to estimate the reactivity worth of the control rods when the reactor is largely subcritical as well as near-critical. The MSM method appears to be a technique well adapted to measure control rod worth over a large range of subcriticality levels. The MSM factors which are required to account for spatial effects in the reactor can be successfully calculated using a Monte Carlo neutron transport code.
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J.L. Lecouey, A. Kochetkov, A. Krása, P. Baeten, V. Bécares, et al.. Monte Carlo MSM correction factors for control rod worth estimates in subcritical and near-critical fast neutron reactors. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2015, 1, pp.2. ⟨10.1051/epjn/e2015-50041-5⟩. ⟨in2p3-01274914⟩

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