EPJ Nuclear Sci. Technol.
Volume 7, 2021
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||23 September 2021|
Delayed gamma fraction determination in the zero power reactor CROCUS
Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Systems Behaviour, Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne,
2 Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Thermal-Hydraulics, Nuclear Energy and Safety Division, Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen, Switzerland
* e-mail: email@example.com
Received in final form: 9 August 2021
Accepted: 25 August 2021
Published online: 23 September 2021
Gamma rays are an inextricable part of a nuclear reactor’s radiation field, and as such require characterization for dose rate estimations required for the radiation protection of personnel, material choices, and the design of nuclear facilities. Most commonplace radiation transport codes used for shielding calculations only included the prompt neutron induced component of the emitted gamma rays. The relative amount of gamma rays that are emitted from delayed processes – the delayed gamma fraction – amount to a significant contribution, e.g. in a typical zero power reactor at steady state is estimated to be roughly a third. Accurate predictions of gamma fields thus require an estimation of the delayed content in order to meaningfully contribute. As a consequence, recent code developments also include delayed gamma sources and require validation data. The CROCUS zero power research reactor at EPFL is part of the NEA IRPhE and has therefore been characterized for benchmark quality experiments. In order to provide the means for delayed gamma validation, a dedicated experimental campaign was conducted in the CROCUS reactor using its newly developed gamma detection capabilities based on scintillators. In this paper we present the experimental determination of the delayed gamma fraction in CROCUS using in-core neutron and gamma detectors in a benchmark reactor configuration. A consistent and flexibly applicable methodology on how to estimate the delayed gamma fraction in zero power reactors has hitherto not existed – we herein present a general experimental setup and analysis technique that can be applied to other facilities. We found that the build-up time of relevant short lived delayed gamma emitters is likely attributed to the activation of the aluminium cladding of the fuel. Using a CeBr3 scintillator in the control rod position of the CROCUS core, we determined a delayed gamma fraction of (30.6±0.6)%.
© O. Pakari et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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