EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Nuclear Criticality Safety|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
VERIFICATION OF SUBCRITICAL LIMITS IN ANSI/ANS-8.1-2014
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, MS 6170, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the US Department of Energy (DOE). The US government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the US government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for US government purposes. DOE will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).
Published online: 22 February 2021
The ANSI/ANS-8.1 standard, “Safety Standard for Operations with Fissionable Materials Outside Reactors,” has been available since 1964 as ASA N6.1-1964. In 1969, this standard was revised as ANSI N16.1-1969, “Nuclear Criticality Safety in Operations with Fissionable Materials Outside Reactors.” This version of the standard includes a variety of subcritical limits (SCLs) for uniform aqueous solutions and metals containing fissile nuclides for 233U, 235U, and 239Pu. Furthermore, SCLs are also included for uranium-water lattices. In the 1983 version of ANSI/ANS-8.1 (a revision of ANSI N16.1-1975), the suite of SCLs in the standard expanded to include 235U enrichment limits for homogeneous uranium-water mixtures and dry/damp oxides, uniform aqueous solutions of low-enriched uranium, and uniform aqueous mixtures of Pu(NO3)4 containing 240Pu, in addition to the SCLs included in ANSI N16.1-1969. The SCLs have changed little in subsequent revisions (ANSI/ANS-8.1-1998 and ANSI/ANS-8.1-2014). The ANSI/ANS-8.1-2014 standard is currently being revised to include new SCLs (uranium metal and compounds with enrichments up to 20 wt. % 235U) and possible updates to the current SCLs already in the standard, although these SCLs will not be available to the nuclear criticality safety community for a number of years. The bases for these SCLs were documented in journal articles such as Nuclear Science and Engineering, and the American Nuclear Society’s meeting transactions; however, the bases were ambiguous enough that sites and regulators in the United States are reluctant to endorse them for safety purposes. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a comparison study for the SCLs in the ANSI/ANS-8.1-2014 standard using modern codes and cross sections (SCALE/ENDF/B-VIII) to provide some assurance about their quality (bias and bias uncertainty) for use in nuclear criticality safety applications.
Key words: subcritical limit / verification / standards
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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