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WP4: Critical configuration for LFR (ANSALDO)

This work package has a strong link to the previous FP6 project "ELSY" and the upcoming project FP7 "LEADER" on the development of the Lead cooled Fast Reactor.

When going to the construction and licensing of a LFR, a thorough validation of neutronic calculation codes is necessary. In this framework, one needs to reduce design safety margins thanks to integral validation in zero power mock-ups based on static validation experiments and reactivity effect measurements. The list of the experiments for the design and licensing support of LFR is almost the same as in WP2 and WP3, but an essential difference in this case, will be another core configuration than in WP1, WP2 and WP3 of the FREYA project, 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 LFR core design: fuel/"coolant" features (volume fraction, fuel enrichment), control rods,…The description of the LFR core will be received from the communications with FP7 Project "LEADER". The definition and realisation at VENUS-F of this mock-up core is the first task of WP4.

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

In the last task of WP4 all the results of the experiments in previous tasks of WP4 will be collected and analysed with use of the same computation tools as for the LFR design. This C/E comparison will help to reduce the design safety margins of the LFR and can significantly contribute to the LFR development.

This work package WP4 of the FREYA project is divided in three separate tasks. The first is devoted to the VENUS-F new core definition simulated LFR design. The second task is dedicated to the core characterisation. The third task deal with measurements of the reactivity effects in the LFR mock-up core.