Design and Simulation of Gamma Spectrometry Experiments in the CROCUS Reactor
Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Systems Behaviour Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne,
† Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Thermal-Hydraulics Nuclear Energy and Safety Division Paul Scherrer Institut, Villingen, Switzerland
‡ Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, South Korea
Published online: 20 January 2020
Gamma rays in nuclear reactors, arising either from fission or decay processes, significantly contribute to the heating and dose of the reactor components. Zero power research reactors offer the possibility to measure gamma rays in a purely neutronic environment, allowing for validation experiments of computed spectra, dose estimates, reactor noise and prompt to delayed gamma ratios. This data then contributes to models, code validation and photo atomic nuclear data evaluation. In order to contribute to aforementioned experimental data, gamma detection capabilities are being added to the CROCUS reactor facility. The CROCUS reactor is a two-zone, uranium-fueled light water moderated facility operated by the Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Systems Behaviour (LRS) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). With a maximum power of 100W, it is a zero power reactor used for teaching and research, most recently for intrinsic and induced neutron noise studies. For future gamma detection applications in the CROCUS reactor, an array of four detectors - two large 5”x10” Bismuth Germanate (BGO) and two smaller Cerium Bromide (CeBr3) scintillators - was acquired. The BGO detectors are to be arbitrarily positioned in the core reflector and out of the vessel for measurements at arbitrary distances. The CeBr3 detectors on the other hand are small enough to be set in the guide tubes of the control rods for in-core measurements. We present a study of the neutron and gamma flux in the core and reflector using the MCNP 6.2 and Serpent 2 Monte Carlo codes for coupled neutron and photon transport criticality calculations. More specifically, we investigate and compare predicted spectra as well as reactivity worth of different envisioned experimental setups. We further predict pulse height spectra as well as doses to the crystals with and without cadmium shielding to estimate allowable reactor powers with respect to detector radiation hardness. The results serve as basis for calibration and aid in the design and regulatory approval of the experiments.
Key words: scintillators / scintillation detectors / pulse shape discrimination / Figure of merit
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.