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Neutron flux monitoring with in-vessel fission chambers to detect an inadvertent control rod withdrawal in a sodium-cooled fast reactor
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics. (Fission Diagnostics and Safeguards)
CEA, DEN, DER, Instrumentation Sensors and Dosimetry Laboratory, Cadarache.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics. (Fission Diagnostics and Safeguards)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics. (Fission Diagnostics and Safeguards)
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2016 (English)In: Annals of Nuclear Energy, ISSN 0306-4549, E-ISSN 1873-2100, Vol. 94, 487-493 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The neutron flux monitoring system forms an integral part of the safety design of a Generation IV sodium-cooled fast reactor. During the initial design phase of the neutron flux monitoring system, one needs to explore various detector locations and configurations. Diverse possibilities of the detector system installation should be studied for different locations in the reactor vessel in order to detect any perturbations in the core. In this paper, we investigate the possibility of placing fission chambers beyond the lateral neutron shield, ex-core but in-vessel and study the detectability of an inadvertent control rod withdrawal with these fission chambers. A generic core design of a Generation IV 1500 MWth French sodium-cooled fast reactor is used for the study, and calculations are performed with the Monte Carlo code SERPENT2. We propose certain design changes that are needed to be incorporated, w.r.t. the facilitation of neutron transport to this ex-core location.

We are able to show that there is a detectable signature in the fission chambers following an inadvertent control rod withdrawal in the core. The equally-spaced azimuthal detectors are able to follow changes in the neutron flux distribution in the core. This study helps us to analyze multiple detector locations and give the general trends for monitoring indications to detect any perturbations in the core.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 94, 487-493 p.
Keyword [en]
Protection systems; Safety; Accidents; Instrumentation; Sodium cooled fast reactors; Fission chambers
National Category
Subatomic Physics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Applied Nuclear Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-297046DOI: 10.1016/j.anucene.2016.04.019ISI: 000377231600054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-297046DiVA: diva2:940616
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0774801
Available from: 2016-06-21 Created: 2016-06-21 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Development of a Neutron Flux Monitoring System for Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of a Neutron Flux Monitoring System for Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Safety and reliability are one of the key objectives for future Generation IV nuclear energy systems. The neutron flux monitoring system forms an integral part of the safety design of a nuclear reactor and must be able to detect any irregularities during all states of reactor operation. The work in this thesis mainly concerns the detection of in-core perturbations arising from unwanted movements of control rods with in-vessel neutron detectors in a sodium-cooled fast reactor. Feasibility study of self-powered neutron detectors (SPNDs) with platinum emitters as in-core power profile monitors for SFRs at full power is performed. The study shows that an SPND with a platinum emitter generates a prompt current signal induced by neutrons and gammas of the order of 600 nA/m, which is large enough to be measurable. Therefore, it is possible for the SPND to follow local power fluctuations at full power operation. Ex-core and in-core detector locations are investigated with two types of detectors, fission chambers and self-powered neutron detectors (SPNDs) respectively, to study the possibility of detection of the spatial changes in the power profile during two different transient conditions, i.e. inadvertent withdrawal of control rods (IRW) and one stuck rod during reactor shutdown (OSR). It is shown that it is possible to detect the two simulated transients with this set of ex-core and in-core detectors before any melting of the fuel takes place. The detector signal can tolerate a noise level up to 5% during an IRW and up to 1% during an OSR.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 70 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1508
Keyword
Protection systems, safety, accidents, sodium-cooled fast reactor, instrumentation, fission chamber, self powered neutron detector
National Category
Subatomic Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319945 (URN)978-91-554-9897-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-01, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lågerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-10 Created: 2017-04-11 Last updated: 2017-05-23

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