EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Nuclear Criticality Safety|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
SUBCRITICALITY ESTIMATION BY VIRTUAL NEUTRON CAPTURE METHOD
1 International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, 5F, 3 Toyokaiji Building, 2-23-1 Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0003, Japan
2 Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd. 1-1, 3-chome, Saiwai-cho, Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki-ken, 317-0073, Japan
Published online: 22 February 2021
The criticality safety control technique is required for the fuel debris removal from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Station which experienced a severe accident. The subcriticality estimation is expected to be done with only limited information about the fuel debris while the primary containment vessel internal survey work is ongoing. The purpose of this study is to develop the subcriticality estimation method called the virtual neutron capture method. The neutrons from the surface of the fuel debris represent a major portion of detector counts. The method consists of two evaluations: the evaluation at the surface of the fuel debris for which the isotope compositions are known by fuel debris sampling and the evaluation at the region of the fuel debris for which these compositions are unknown. For the unknown composition region, the average isotope composition with arbitrary water content is given. The method surveys the relationship with the detector count and the neutron multiplication factor with any size of the unknown composition region and any ratio of the water content before the on-site evaluation. The method is verified by experiments done in the Kyoto University Critical Assembly. The method shows that the maximum difference from the reference neutron multiplication factor is 4.5 %dk. As a result, the virtual neutron capture method can be adopted to the subcriticality monitoring if the method includes the estimation margin of 4.5 %dk within the neutron multiplication factor range from 0.70 to 0.95.
Key words: Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Station / debris / criticality safety / subcritical / virtual neutron capture
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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