Processing and application of nuclear data for low temperature criticality assessment
Wood, Kings Points House, Queen Mother Square, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 3BW, UK
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Published online: 30 September 2020
Until recently, criticality safety assessment codes had a minimum temperature at which calculations can be performed. Where criticality assessment has been required for lower temperatures, indirect methods, including reasoned argument or extrapolation, have been required to assess reactivity changes associated with these temperatures.
The ANSWERS Software Service MONK® version 10B Monte Carlo criticality code, is capable of performing criticality calculations at any temperature, within the temperature limits of the underlying nuclear data in the BINGO continuous energy library. The temperature range of the nuclear data has been extended below the traditional lower limit of 293.6 K to 193 K in a prototype BINGO library, primarily based on JEFF-3.1.2 data. The temperature range of the thermal bound scattering data of the key moderator materials was extended by reprocessing the NJOY LEAPR inputs used to produce bound data for JEFF-3.1.2 and ENDF/B-VIII.0. To give confidence in the low temperature nuclear data, a series of MONK and MCBEND calculations have been performed and results compared against external data sources. MCBEND is a Monte Carlo code for shielding and dosimetry and shares commonalities to its sister code MONK including the BINGO nuclear data library. Good agreement has been achieved between calculated and experimental cross sections for ice, k-effective results for low temperature criticality benchmarks and calculated and experimentally determined eigenvalues for thermal neutron diffusion in ice.
To quantify the differences between ice and water bound scattering data a number of MONK criticality calculations were performed for nuclear fuel transport flask configurations. The results obtained demonstrate good agreement with extrapolation methods. There is a discernible difference in the use of ice and water data.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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