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WP3: Critical configuration for design and licensing of MYRRHA/FASTEFF (ENEA)

This WP3 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 critical facility, an experimental programme in support of the design and licensing is needed. The list of the experiments for the design and licensing support is almost the same as in WP2, but an essential difference from WP2 will be another, critical core configuration.

In this case, another core configuration than in WP2 of the FREYA project, will 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 critical core design: fuel/"coolant" features (volume fraction, fuel enrichment), control rods… The definition and realisation at VENUS-F of this mock-up core is the first task of WP3.

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. Different reactivity effects can further be investigated such as temperature effects, void effects, water ingress effects and fuel agglomeration effects.

Simulation of all these design peculiarities and measurements of their reactivity effects of MYRRHA/FASTEF critical 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.

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 critical VENUS-F core.

This work package WP3 of the FREYA project is divided in three separate tasks. The first is devoted to the VENUS-F new core definition simulating the critical configuration of MYRRHA/FASTEF design. The second task is dedicated to the core characterisation. And 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 critical core.