The advanced lead fast reactor European demonstrator (ALFRED) is a European research initiative into the framework of the Generation IV International Forum facilities. ALFRED is a scaled down reactor compared to the industrial prototype European lead fast reactor proposed in lead-cooled European advanced demonstration reactor. It has a relatively low power (125 MWe) with a compact design to reduce the cost but maintaining its representativeness and it is cooled by pure lead. One of the open issues is linked to the neutron flux in-core monitoring system because of the harshness of the environment the detectors should be installed in, due to high temperatures, and the neutron-gamma radiation field levels. Monte Carlo simulation is a possible way of facing the problem, reproducing into a virtual world the reactor core, the surrounding environment and radiation interactions. In previous works, neutron spectra and gamma doses at possible detectors' locations in ALFRED were retrieved, with consideration on the applicability of each suitable device currently available. Fission chambers (FCs) were found to be exploited at reactor start-up and intermediate power range. Prompt self-powered neutron detectors (SPNDs) seemed to be the best solution to monitor the reactor full power, becoming the main research target: their effective applicability on field has to be demonstrated. SPND applications do not include reactor control purposes usually. Moreover, their irradiation experience involved thermal and epithermal neutron spectra monitoring, mainly. The lack of data when SPNDs sense fast neutron fluxes in terms of prompt-response pushed the authors to deepen the study in such direction. The work herein shows the mathematical approach based on Monte Carlo simulation of SPNDs by the Monte Carlo N-particle eXtended code (MCNPX), so as to study the capability of the code in reproducing real devices' signals while experimented on field. Such a verification turned out to be the preliminary stage for studying new concepts for SPNDs, in terms of sensitive materials and geometries, envisaging the possibility for designing, prototyping, and testing new devices in suitable fast neutron-flux facilities.
Application of Prompt Self-Powered Neutron Detectors to the Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor Demonstrator ALFRED: Validation of the Monte Carlo Model for Selected SPNDs
Manuscript received March 23, 2017; final manuscript received June 30, 2017; published online July 31, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Michal Kostal.
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Lepore, L., and Remetti, R. (July 31, 2017). "Application of Prompt Self-Powered Neutron Detectors to the Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor Demonstrator ALFRED: Validation of the Monte Carlo Model for Selected SPNDs." ASME. ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci. October 2017; 3(4): 041018. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4037262
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