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A Neutronics Methodology for the NIST Research Reactor Based on MCNXP

Description: A methodology for calculating inventories for the NBSR has been developed using the MCNPX computer code with the BURN option. A major advantage of the present methodology over the previous methodology, where MONTEBURNS and MCNP5 were used, is that more materials can be included in the model. The NBSR has 30 fuel elements each with a 17.8 cm (7 in) gap in the middle of the fuel. In the startup position, the shim control arms are partially inserted in the top half of the core. During the 38.5 day cycle, the shim arms are slowly removed to their withdrawn (horizontal) positions. This movement of shim arms causes asymmetries between the burnup of the fuel in the upper and lower halves and across the line of symmetry for the fuel loading. With the MONTEBURNS analyses there was a limitation to the number of materials that could be analyzed so 15 materials in the top half of the core and 15 materials in the bottom half of the core were used, and a half-core (east-west) symmetry was assumed. Since MCNPX allows more materials, this east-west symmetry was not necessary and the core was represented with 60 different materials. The methodology for developing the inventories is presented along with comparisons of neutronic parameters calculated with the previous and present sets of inventories.
Date: May 16, 2011
Creator: Hanson, A. & Diamond, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department