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WP2: Subcritical configuration for design and licensing of MYRRHA/FASTEFF (KIT)

This WP2 has a strong interaction with the Central Design Team FP7 Project in the domain of design and licensing of the MYRRHA/FASTEF.

Following the objectives for MYRRHA/FASTEF to be operated as a subcritical facility, an experimental programme in support of the design and licensing is needed.

In this case, another core configuration than in WP1 of the FREYA project, could be chosen and assembled for the VENUS-F facility. Within the constraints of available fuel at the VENUS facility during the FREYA-project, this core shall be as representative as possible of the MYRRHA/FASTEF core design: fuel/"coolant" features (volume fraction, fuel enrichment), control rods, etc. The definition and realisation at VENUS-F of this mock-up core is the first task of WP2.

Then, standard characterisation core measurements will be accomplished. These are axial and radial flux distributions, spectral indices, control rods worth measurements and minor actinide responses by fission chambers. Different fuel loading patterns according to the different steps in a reloading scheme will be analysed and characterised. The precise determination of flux gradients and subsequent hot temperature points is of importance.Application of neutron noise methods here is also under consideration and a detailed evaluation of such measurements by Monte Carlo simulations is planedDifferent reactivity effects can further be investigated such as temperature effects, void effects, water ingress effects and fuel agglomeration effects.

Finally in this WP the reactivity effects from the introduction of experimental devices such as in-pile-section (IPS) irradiation facilities, Na and H2O loops, will be investigated. These IPS have been discussed for the MYRRHA/FASTEF design and will be simulated by the proper materials and will be inserted in the proper place of the MYRRHA/FASTEF mock-up subcritical VENUS-F core.

Simulation of all these design peculiarities and measurements of their reactivity effects of MYRRHA/FASTEF subcritical core will be estimated by recent different calculational tools. C/E comparison will help to reduce the design safety margins and will help to improve the reliability of the computational tool for the licensing of the design. Experimental validation of neutronic codes is an essential component in every safety case towards licensing. It also can lead to optimization of the core design in early stage.

This work package WP2 of the FREYA project is divided in five separate tasks. The first is devoted to the VENUS-F new core definition simulating the subcritical configuration of MYRRHA/FASTEF design. The second task is dedicated to the core characterisation. The third one deals with measurements of different reactivity effects including effects coming from the introduction of experimental devices in the MYRRHA/FASTEF mock-up subcritical core. The fourth task is devoted to the investigation of on-line subcriticality monitoring techniques (that were validated in WP1) in this core. Finally the fifth task will be dedicated to the transposition of the achieved result in VENUS-F to a system such as MYRRHA/FASTEF. This task will be conducted in strong cooperation with the FP7 CDT project.