Feasibility study of detection of coolant void in liquid metal cooled fast reactors using changes in the neutron spectrum
2013 (English)In: Nuclear Engineering and Design, ISSN 0029-5493, E-ISSN 1872-759X, Vol. 265, 1255-1265 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Formation of coolant void can lead to an increase in reactivity in metal-cooled fast reactors. Accordingly, the ability to detect formation of void and similar phenomena is highly relevant in order to counteract transient behaviour of such a reactor. As this work shows, the energy distribution of the neutron flux in a fast reactor is sensitive to formation of void. For monitoring purposes, this fact suggests the use of fission chambers with different isotopic content and thus different fission threshold energies. In such a way the monitoring system may be tailored in order to fit the purpose to obtain spectral information of the neutron flux.
In this work, simulations have been performed using the Monte-Carlo-based code SERPENT on the ELECTRA reactor design, a 0.5 MWth lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) planned for in Sweden. The simulations show significant changes in the neutron spectrum due to the formation of void located in specific in-core regions as well as due to a homogeneous core-wide distribution of small bubbles. In an attempt to quantify and to put a number on the spectroscopic changes, the number of neutrons in the high energy region (2–5 MeV) are compared to the number of neutrons in the low-energy region (50–500 keV) and the changes caused by the introduction of void are analyzed. The implications of the findings are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 265, 1255-1265 p.
Research subject Applied Nuclear Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210980DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2013.10.015ISI: 000330085500127OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-210980DiVA: diva2:664924