The RBMK reactors are channel type, water-cooled and graphite moderated reactors. The first RBMK type electricity production reactor was put on-line in 1973. Currently there are 13 operating reactors of this type. Two of the RBMK-1500 reactors are at the Ignalina NPP in Lithuania. Experimental Critical Facility for RBMK reactors, located at Kurchiatov Institute, Moscow was designed to carry out critical reactivity experiments on assemblies, which imitate parts of the RBMK reactor core. The facility is composed of Control and Protection Rods (CPR’s), fuel assemblies with different enrichment in U-235 and other elements, typical for RBMK reactor core loadings, e.g. additional absorber assemblies, CPR imitators, etc. A simulation of a set of the experiments, performed at the Experimental Critical Facility, was carried out at the Royal Institute of Technology (RIT), Nuclear Power Safety Division, using CORETRAN 3-D neutron dynamics code. The neutron cross sections for assemblies were calculated using HELIOS code. The aim of this work was to evaluate capabilities of the HELIOS code to provide correct cross section data for the RBMK reactor. The calculation results were compared to the similar CORETRAN calculations, when employing WIMS-D4 code generated cross section data. For some of the experiments, where calculation results with CASMO-4 code generated cross sections are available, the comparison is also performed against CASMO-4 results. Eleven different experiments were simulated. Experiments differ in size of the facility core (number of assemblies loaded): from simple core loadings, composed only of a few fuel assemblies, to complicated configurations, which represent a part of the RBMK reactor core. Diverse types of measurements were carried out during these experiments: reactivity, neutron flux distributions (both axial and radial), rod reactivity worth and the voiding effects. Results of the reactivity measurements and relative neutron flux distributions were given in the Experiment report [1] as parameters, to be obtained using static calculations, i.e. the reported results were already processed numerically using the facility equipment, e.g. the reactimeter. The reported measurement errors consist only of instrumentation errors, i.e. measurement method errors and the influence from the space–time effects were not included in the error evaluation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.