Innovative hybrid pile oscillator technique in the Minerve reactor: open loop vs. closed loop
CEA DEN/Cad/DER/SPEx/LPE, Cadarache, Bat.238, F-13108, Saint Paul Lez Durance
CEA DEN/Cad/DER/SPEx/LPE, Cadarache, Bat.238, F-13108, Saint Paul Lez-Durance
CEA DEN/Cad/DER/SPEx/LDCI, Cadarache, Bat.238, F-13108, Saint Paul Lez Durance
CEA DEN/Cad/DER/SPRC/LEPh, Cadarache, Bat.238, F-13108, Saint Paul Lez Durance
Published online: 10 January 2018
Pile oscillator techniques are powerful methods to measure small reactivity worth of isotopes of interest for nuclear data improvement. This kind of experiments has long been implemented in the Mineve experimental reactor, operated by CEA Cadarache. A hybrid technique, mixing reactivity worth estimation and measurement of small changes around test samples is presented here. It was made possible after the development of high sensitivity miniature fission chambers introduced next to the irradiation channel. A test campaign, called MAESTRO-SL, took place in 2015. Its objective was to assess the feasibility of the hybrid method and investigate the possibility to separate mixed neutron effects, such as fission/capture or scattering/capture. Experimental results are presented and discussed in this paper, which focus on comparing two measurements setups, one using a power control system (closed loop) and another one where the power is free to drift (open loop). First, it is demonstrated that open loop is equivalent to closed loop. Uncertainty management and methods reproducibility are discussed. Second, results show that measuring the flux depression around oscillated samples provides valuable information regarding partial neutron cross sections. The technique is found to be very sensitive to the capture cross section at the expense of scattering, making it very useful to measure small capture effects of highly scattering samples.
Key words: Neutron cross section measurement / hybrid pile oscillator / minerve experimental reactor
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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