Re-interpretation of the ERMINE-V experiment validation of fission product integral cross section in the fast energy range
CEA, DEN, DER, Cadarache, 13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France
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Published online: 13 September 2017
The current knowledge of nuclear data in the fast neutron energy range is not as good as in the thermal range, resulting in larger propagated uncertainties in integral quantities such as critical masses or reactivity effects. This situation makes it difficult to get the full benefit from recent advances in modeling and simulation. Zero power facilities such as the French ZPR MINERVE have already demonstrated that they can contribute to significantly reduce those uncertainties thanks to dedicated experiments. Historically, MINERVE has been mainly dedicated to thermal spectrum studies. However, experiments involving fast-thermal coupled cores were also performed in MINERVE as part of the ERMINE program, in order to improve nuclear data in fast spectra for the two French SFRs: PHENIX and SUPERPHENIX. Some of those experiments have been recently revisited. In particular, a full characterization of ZONA-1 and ZONA-3, two different cores loaded in the ERMINE V campaign, has been done, with much attention paid to possible sources of errors. It includes detailed geometric descriptions, energy profiles of the direct and adjoint fluxes and spectral indices obtained thanks to Monte Carlo calculations and compared to a reference fast core configuration. Sample oscillation experiments of separated fission products such as 103Rh or 99Tc, which were part of the ERMINE V program, have been simulated using recently-developed options in the TRIPOLI-4 code and compared to the experimental values. The present paper describes the corresponding results. The findings motivate in-depth studies for designing optimized coupled-core conditions in ZEPHYR, a new ZPR which will replace MINERVE and will provide integral data to meet the needs of Gen-III and Gen-IV reactors.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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