Journal article

Estimation of the fast neutron fluence at control rod tips using a 3-D diffusion/2-D transport multi-step calculation scheme

This paper presents the development and application of a methodology to estimate, using conventional deterministic lattice/core analysis methods, the fast neutron fluence at the tips of control rods inserted during operation in PWR reactors. The developed methodology is based on a 3-D Nodal Diffusion/2-D Lattice Transport multi-step calculation scheme, in which the operating history of the nuclear environment around the tip is tracked in 3-D core follow analyses and used thereafter to provide boundary conditions for 2-D transport calculations to compute the fast neutron flux. In subsequent steps, radial and axial correction factors, both based on fast flux results from the 3-D core simulator, are applied to the calculated 2-D transport flux in order to take into account radial leakage effects as well as axial flux gradients around the tip. The fluence is finally estimated through a time-integration of the corrected 2-D transport fast flux. The developed methodology has been applied to estimate the fluence for a total of 15 control rods, over 21 operating cycles of a Swiss nuclear power plant. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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