ZPPR-20 phase D : a cylindrical assembly of polyethylene moderated U metal reflected by beryllium oxide and polyethylene.

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The Zero Power Physics Reactor (ZPPR) fast critical facility was built at the Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) site in Idaho in 1969 to obtain neutron physics information necessary for the design of fast breeder reactors. The ZPPR-20D Benchmark Assembly was part of a series of cores built in Assembly 20 (References 1 through 3) of the ZPPR facility to provide data for developing a nuclear power source for space applications (SP-100). The assemblies were beryllium oxide reflected and had core fuel compositions containing enriched uranium fuel, niobium and rhenium. ZPPR-20 Phase C (HEU-MET-FAST-075) was built as the reference flight configuration. ... continued below

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Lell, R.; Grimm, K.; McKnight, R.; Shaefer, R.; Division, Nuclear Engineering & INL September 30, 2006.

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The Zero Power Physics Reactor (ZPPR) fast critical facility was built at the Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) site in Idaho in 1969 to obtain neutron physics information necessary for the design of fast breeder reactors. The ZPPR-20D Benchmark Assembly was part of a series of cores built in Assembly 20 (References 1 through 3) of the ZPPR facility to provide data for developing a nuclear power source for space applications (SP-100). The assemblies were beryllium oxide reflected and had core fuel compositions containing enriched uranium fuel, niobium and rhenium. ZPPR-20 Phase C (HEU-MET-FAST-075) was built as the reference flight configuration. Two other configurations, Phases D and E, simulated accident scenarios. Phase D modeled the water immersion scenario during a launch accident, and Phase E (SUB-HEU-MET-FAST-001) modeled the earth burial scenario during a launch accident. Two configurations were recorded for the simulated water immersion accident scenario (Phase D); the critical configuration, documented here, and the subcritical configuration (SUB-HEU-MET-MIXED-001). Experiments in Assembly 20 Phases 20A through 20F were performed in 1988. The reference water immersion configuration for the ZPPR-20D assembly was obtained as reactor loading 129 on October 7, 1988 with a fissile mass of 167.477 kg and a reactivity of -4.626 {+-} 0.044{cents} (k {approx} 0.9997). The SP-100 core was to be constructed of highly enriched uranium nitride, niobium, rhenium and depleted lithium. The core design called for two enrichment zones with niobium-1% zirconium alloy fuel cladding and core structure. Rhenium was to be used as a fuel pin liner to provide shut down in the event of water immersion and flooding. The core coolant was to be depleted lithium metal ({sup 7}Li). The core was to be surrounded radially with a niobium reactor vessel and bypass which would carry the lithium coolant to the forward inlet plenum. Immediately inside the reactor vessel was a rhenium baffle which would act as a neutron curtain in the event of water immersion. A fission gas plenum and coolant inlet plenum were located axially forward of the core. Some material substitutions had to be made in mocking up the SP-100 design. The ZPPR-20 critical assemblies were fueled by 93% enriched uranium metal because uranium nitride, which was the SP-100 fuel type, was not available. ZPPR Assembly 20D was designed to simulate a water immersion accident. The water was simulated by polyethylene (CH{sub 2}), which contains a similar amount of hydrogen and has a similar density. A very accurate transformation to a simplified model is needed to make any of the ZPPR assemblies a practical criticality-safety benchmark. There is simply too much geometric detail in an exact model of a ZPPR assembly, particularly as complicated an assembly as ZPPR-20D. The transformation must reduce the detail to a practical level without masking any of the important features of the critical experiment. And it must do this without increasing the total uncertainty far beyond that of the original experiment. Such a transformation will be described in a later section. First, Assembly 20D was modeled in full detail--every plate, drawer, matrix tube, and air gap was modeled explicitly. Then the regionwise compositions and volumes from this model were converted to an RZ model. ZPPR Assembly 20D has been determined to be an acceptable criticality-safety benchmark experiment.

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  • Report No.: NEA/NSC/DOC(95)03/II VOLUME II HEU-MET-MIXED-012
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-06CH11357
  • DOI: 10.2172/929227 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 929227
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc899618

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  • September 30, 2006

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 9:47 p.m.

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Lell, R.; Grimm, K.; McKnight, R.; Shaefer, R.; Division, Nuclear Engineering & INL. ZPPR-20 phase D : a cylindrical assembly of polyethylene moderated U metal reflected by beryllium oxide and polyethylene., report, September 30, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc899618/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.