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Critical mass experiment using U-235 foils and lucite plates

Description: The main objective of this experiment was to show how the multiplication of the system increases as moderated material is placed between highly enriched uranium foils. In addition, this experiment served to demonstrate the hand-stacking techniques, and approach to criticality by remote operation. This experiment was designed by Tom McLaughlin in the mid seventies as part of the criticality safety course that is taught at Los Alamos Critical Experiment Facility (LACEF). The W-U-235 ratio for this experiment was 215 which is where the minimum critical mass for this configuration occurs.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Sanchez, R.; Butterfield, K.; Kimpland, R. & Jaegers, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A keff Search Capability in MC21

Description: The MC21 Monte Carlo code is required to permit an individual geometric component or groups of components to be tagged as ''movable'' within some permissible range. Typical examples of such movable components would be control devices such as translating rods or rotating drums. Given this geometric information, a target multiplication factor (k{sub eff}), and a convergence criterion, MC21 will iterate on movable component positions and return a final position that reflects a k{sub eff} close to the target value. An initial version of this capability is demonstrated through modifications to MC21 that sets the geometry data structures for the movable components, calls the main Fortran-95 solver to compute k{sub eff}, and converges on the final position. This approach uses an adaptive batching algorithm that continually increases the accuracy of each successive MC21 k{sub eff} result as the movable geometry approaches the converged position.
Date: January 9, 2007
Creator: Morrow RE, Trumbull TH, Donovan TJ, Sutton TM
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Review of Subcritical Source-Driven Noise Analysis Measurements

Description: Subcritical source-driven noise measurements are simultaneous Rossia and randomly pulsed neutron measurements that provide measured quantities that can be related to the subcritical neutron multiplication factor. In fact, subcritical source-driven noise measurements should be performed in lieu of Rossia measurements because of the additional information that is obtained from noise measurements such as the spectral ratio and the coherence functions. The basic understanding of source-driven noise analysis measurements can be developed from a point reactor kinetics model to demonstrate how the measured quantities relate to the subcritical neutron multiplication factor.
Date: November 1, 1999
Creator: Valentine, T.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Relationship between k{sub eff} and the fraction of critical mass

Description: It is not universally understood that k{sub eff} and fractional critical mass are related in a non linear fashion. For example, a neutronic system with a k{sub eff} = 0. 95 is NOT at 95% of its critical mass. What is striking is just how non-linear the relationship between k{sub eff} and critical mass really is. This relationship is investigated and documented below for both unfavorable (i.e., very reactive) and favorable (less reactive) geometries. The implications of this non-linearity for criticality safety regulation will also be discussed.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: O`Dell, R.D. & Parsons, D.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The equivalent, fundamental-mode source

Description: In 1960, Hansen analyzed the problem of assembling fissionable material in the presence of a weak neutron source. Using point kinetics, he derived the weak source condition and analyzed the consequences of delayed initiation during ramp reactivity additions. Although not clearly stated in Hansen`s work, the neutron source strength that appears in the weak source condition actually corresponds to the equivalent, fundamental-mode source. In this work, they describe the concept of an equivalent, fundamental-mode source and they derive a deterministic expression for a factor, g*, that converts any arbitrary source distribution to an equivalent, fundamental-mode source. They also demonstrate a simplified method for calculating g* in subcritical systems. And finally, they present a new experimental method that can be employed to measure the equivalent, fundamental-mode source strength in a multiplying assembly. They demonstrate the method on the zero-power, XIX-1 assembly at the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) Facility, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI).
Date: December 24, 1996
Creator: Spriggs, G.D.; Busch, R.D.; Sakurai, Takeshi & Okajima, Shigeaki
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Subcritical measurements with a cylindrical tank of Pu-U nitrate

Description: This series of measurements with a mixed Pu-U nitrate solution (280 g Pu/liter, 180 g U/liter) in a 35.54-cm-diam cylindrical tank provides a wide variety of experimental data for subcritical configurations that can be used to verify calculational methods and nuclear data. The Pu contained 7.85 wt% {sup 240}Pu and the uranium was natural uranium. The measurements performed were: inverse count rate, prompt neutron decay constants, inverse kinetics, and frequency analysis by the {sup 252}Cf source driven method. These data are presented in sufficient detail that the results of the experiments can be calculated directly. For purposes of extrapolating to the delayed critical height the ratio of spectral densities was linear with height and thus provided the best estimate of critical height.
Date: April 1, 1997
Creator: Mihalczo, J.T.; Valentine, T.E. & King, W.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Determination of the multiplication factor and its bias by the {sup 252}Cf-source technique: A method for code benchmarking with subcritical configurations

Description: A brief discussion of the Cf-252 source driven method for subcritical measurements serves as an introduction to the concept and use of the spectral ratio, {Gamma}. It has also been shown that the Monte Carlo calculation of spectral densities and effective multiplication factors have as a common denominator the transport propagator. This commonality follows from the fact that the Neumann series expansion of the propagator lends itself to the Monte Carlo method. On this basis a linear relationship between the spectral ratio and the effective multiplication factor has been shown. This relationship demonstrates the ability of subcritical measurements of the ratio of spectral densities to validate transport theory methods and cross sections.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Perez, R.B.; Valentine, T.E.; Mihalczo, J.T. & Mattingly, J.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

MCNP{sup TM} criticality primer and training experiences

Description: With the closure of many experimental facilities, the nuclear criticality safety analyst is increasingly required to rely on computer calculations to identify safe limits for the handling and storage of fissile materials. However, the analyst may have little experience with the specific codes available at his or her facility. Usually, the codes are quite complex, black boxes capable of analyzing numerous problems with a myriad of input options. Documentation for these codes is designed to cover all the possible configurations and types of analyses but does not give much detail on any particular type of analysis. For criticality calculations, the user of a code is primarily interested in the value of the effective multiplication factor for a system (k{sub eff}). Most codes will provide this, and truckloads of other information that may be less pertinent to criticality calculations. Based on discussions with code users in the nuclear criticality safety community, it was decided that a simple document discussing the ins and outs of criticality calculations with specific codes would be quite useful. The Transport Methods Group, XTM, at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) decided to develop a primer for criticality calculations with their Monte Carlo code, MCNP. This was a joint task between LANL with a knowledge and understanding of the nuances and capabilities of MCNP and the University of New Mexico with a knowledge and understanding of nuclear criticality safety calculations and educating first time users of neutronics calculations. The initial problem was that the MCNP manual just contained too much information. Almost everything one needs to know about MCNP can be found in the manual; the problem is that there is more information than a user requires to do a simple k{sub eff} calculation. The basic concept of the primer was to distill the manual to create a ...
Date: September 1, 1995
Creator: Briesmeister, J.; Forster, R.A. & Busch, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PLUTONIUM PLEXIGLAS ASSEMBLIES. PART II

Description: Neutron multiplication measurements were made on tamped and untamped cylindrical assemblies. The assemblies consisted of plutonium metal sheet mcderated with Plexiglas. Experiments were performed to evaluate the effects of inhomogeneity. This work is a continuation of RFP-178. (auth)
Date: April 1, 1960
Creator: Bidinger, G.H.; Schuske, C.L. & Smith, D.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementation of nodal equivalence parameters in DIF3D-VARIANT for core analysis of prismatic Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR).

Description: The VARIANT module of the DIF3D code has been upgraded to utilize surface-dependent discontinuity factors. The performance of the new capability is verified using two-dimensional core cases with control rods in reflector and fuel blocks. Cross sections for VHTR components were generated using the DRAGON and HELIOS codes. For rodded block cross sections, the DRAGON calculations used a single-block model or the multi-block models combined with MCNP4C flux solutions, whereas the HELIOS calculations utilized multi-block models. Results from core calculations indicate that multiplication factor, block power, and control rod worth are significantly improved by using surface-dependent discontinuity factors.
Date: March 15, 2007
Creator: Lee, C. H.; Joo, H. K.; Yang, W. S. & Taiwo, T. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Review of Subcritical Source-Driven Noise Analysis Measurements

Description: Subcritical source-driven noise measurements are simultaneous Rossi-{alpha} and randomly pulsed neutron measurements that provide measured quantities that can be related to the subcritical neutron multiplication factor. In fact, subcritical source-driven noise measurements should be performed in lieu of Rossi-{alpha} measurements because of the additional information that is obtained from noise measurements such as the spectral ratio and the coherence functions. The basic understanding of source-driven noise analysis measurements can be developed from a point reactor kinetics model to demonstrate how the measured quantities relate to the subcritical neutron multiplication factor. More elaborate models can also be developed using a generalized stochastic model. These measurements can be simulated using Monte Carlo codes to determine the subcritical neutron multiplication factor or to determine the sensitivity of calculations to nuclear cross section data. The interpretation of the measurement using a Monte Carlo method is based on a perturbation model for the relationship between the spectral ratio and the subcritical neutron multiplication factor. The subcritical source-driven noise measurement has advantages over other subcritical measurement methods in that reference measurements at delayed critical are not required for interpreting the measurements. Therefore, benchmark or in-situ subcritical measurements can be performed outside a critical experiment facility. Furthermore, a certain ratio of frequency spectra has been shown to be independent of detection efficiency thereby making the measurement more robust and unaffected by drifts or changes in instrumentation during the measurement. Criteria have been defined for application of this measurement method for benchmarks and in-situ subcritical measurements. An extension of the source-driven subcritical noise measurement has also been discussed that eliminates the few technical challenges for in-situ applications.
Date: November 24, 1999
Creator: Valentine, T.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of Fresh Fuel Critical Experiments Appropriate for Burnup Credit Validation

Description: The ANS/ANS-8.1 standard requires that calculational methods used in determining criticality safety limits for applications outside reactors be validated by comparison with appropriate critical experiments. This report provides a detailed description of 34 fresh fuel critical experiments and their analyses using the SCALE-4.2 code system and the 27-group ENDF/B-IV cross-section library. The 34 critical experiments were selected based on geometry, material, and neutron interaction characteristics that are applicable to a transportation cask loaded with pressurized-water-reactor spent fuel. These 34 experiments are a representative subset of a much larger data base of low-enriched uranium and mixed-oxide critical experiments. A statistical approach is described and used to obtain an estimate of the bias and uncertainty in the calculational methods and to predict a confidence limit for a calculated neutron multiplication factor. The SCALE-4.2 results for a superset of approximately 100 criticals are included in uncertainty analyses, but descriptions of the individual criticals are not included.
Date: January 1, 1995
Creator: DeHart, M.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurement of the equivalent fundamental-mode source strength

Description: The steady-state multiplication, M, of a subcritical system that is in equilibrium with an external/intrinsic source is defined as the total neutron-production rate divided by the external/ intrinsic neutron source rate, S. The total neutron-production rate, in this context, is the sum of the fission-production rate plus the source rate. Because the system is in equilibrium, the total neutron-production rate is identically equal to the loss rate from the system due to absorption plus leakage. If the source S is distributed identically to the fission source distribution (i.e., angle, energy, and space), then M will be related to the effective multiplication factor of the system, k{sub eff}, as M = 1/1-k{sub eff}.
Date: January 21, 1997
Creator: Spriggs, G.D.; Busch, R.D.; Sakurai, Takeshi & Okajima, Shigeaki
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of results for the uranium benchmark problem of the ANS Ad Hoc Committee on Reactor Physics Benchmarks

Description: This paper presents a summary of the results obtained by all of the contributors to the Uranium Benchmark Problem of the ANS Ad hoc Committee on Reactor Physics Benchmarks. The benchmark problem was based on critical experiments which mocked-up lattices typical of PWRs. Three separate cases constituted the benchmark problem. These included a uniform lattice, an assembly-type lattice with water holes and an assembly-type lattice with pyrex rods. Calculated results were obtained from eighteen separate organizations from all over the world. Some organizations submitted more than one set of results based on different calculational methods and cross section data. Many of the most widely used assembly physics and core analysis computer codes and neutron cross section data libraries were applied by the contributors.
Date: December 31, 1998
Creator: Parish, T.A.; Mosteller, R.D.; Diamond, D.J. & Gehin, J.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The equivalent fundamental-mode source

Description: In 1960, Hansen analyzed the problem of assembling fissionable material in the presence of a weak neutron source. Using point kinetics, he defined the weak source condition and analyzed the consequences of delayed initiation during ramp reactivity additions. Although not clearly stated in Hansen`s work, the neutron source strength that appears in the weak source condition corresponds to the equivalent fundamental-mode source. In this work, we describe the concept of an equivalent fundamental-mode source and we derive a deterministic expression for a factor, g*, that converts any arbitrary source distribution to an equivalent fundamental-mode source. We also demonstrate a simplified method for calculating g* in subcritical systems. And finally, we present a new experimental method that can be employed to measure the equivalent fundamental-mode source strength in a multiplying assembly. We demonstrate the method on the zero-power, XIX-1 assembly at the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) Facility, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI).
Date: February 1, 1997
Creator: Spriggs, G.D.; Busch, R.D.; Sakurai, Takeshi & Okajima, Shigeaki
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

American National Standard ANSI/ANS-8.6: Safety in conducting subcritical neutron-multiplication measurements {open_quote}In Situ{close_quote}

Description: Safe and economical operations with fissile materials require knowledge of the subcriticality of configurations that arise in material processing, storage, and transportation. Data from critical experiments have been a principal source of information with which to establish safety margins. However, the lower cost and the expediency of performing confirmatory subcritical measurements on the process floor or in the storage vault resulted in much of the early criticality safety guidance being based on subcritical in situ experiments.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: McLaughlin, T.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

On the Rossi-{alpha} measurement of {beta}{sub eff} in reflected reactors

Description: In unreflected reactors, the probability of detecting chain-related counts is given by the well known Rossi-{alpha} expression. Using this the author derives an expression for the effective delayed neutron fraction, {beta}. He demonstrates that this expression for {beta} is equally applicable for a reflected systems in which two alphas are experimentally observed.
Date: March 13, 1997
Creator: Doulin, V.A. & Spriggs, G.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Review of Axial Burnup Distribution Considerations for Burnup Credit Calculations

Description: This report attempts to summarize and consolidate the existing knowledge on axial burnup distribution issues that are important to burnup credit criticality safety calculations. Recently released Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff guidance permits limited burnup credit, and thus, has prompted resolution of the axial burnup distribution issue. The reactivity difference between the neutron multiplication factor (keff) calculated with explicit representation of the axial burnup distribution and keff calculated assuming a uniform axial burnup is referred to as the ``end effect.'' This end effect is shown to be dependent on many factors, including the axial-burnup profile, total accumulated burnup, cooling time, initial enrichment, assembly design, and the isotopics considered (i.e., actinide-only or actinides plus fission products). Axial modeling studies, efforts related to the development of axial-profile databases, and the determination of bounding axial profiles are also discussed. Finally, areas that could benefit from further efforts are identified.
Date: March 1, 2000
Creator: Wagner, J.C. & DeHart, M.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

MCNP-model for the OAEP Thai Research Reactor

Description: An MCNP input was prepared for the Thai Research Reactor, making extensive use of the MCNP geometry`s lattice feature that allows a flexible and easy rearrangement of the core components and the adjustment of the control elements. The geometry was checked for overdefined or undefined zones by two-dimensional plots of cuts through the core configuration with the MCNP geometry plotting capabilities, and by a three-dimensional view of the core configuration with the SABRINA code. Cross sections were defined for a hypothetical core of 67 standard fuel elements and 38 low-enriched uranium fuel elements--all filled with fresh fuel. Three test calculations were performed with the MCNP4B-code to obtain the multiplication factor for the cases with control elements fully inserted, fully withdrawn, and at a working position.
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Gallmeier, F.X.; Tang, J.S. & Primm, R.T. III
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department