Experimental validation of radial reconstructed pin-power distributions in full-scale BWR fuel assemblies with and without control blade
Total fission rate measurements have been performed on full-size BWR fuel assemblies of type SVEA-96+ in the zero power reactor PROTEUS at the Paul Scherrer Institute. This paper presents comparisons of reconstructed 2D pin fission rates from nodal diffusion calculations to the experimental results in two configurations: one "regular" (1-1A) and the other "controlled" (1-2A). Both configurations consist of an array of 3 x 3 SVEA-96+ fuel assemblies moderated with light water at 20 degrees C. In configuration 1-2A, an L-shaped hafnium control blade (half of a real cruciform blade) is inserted adjacent to the north-west corner of the central fuel assembly. To minimise the impact of the surroundings, all measurements were done in fuel pins belonging to the central assembly. The 3 x 3 experimental configuration (test zone) was modelled using the core monitoring and design tools that are applied at the Leibstadt Nuclear Power Plant (KKL). These are the 2D transport code HELIOS, used for the cross-section generation, and the 3D, 2-group nodal diffusion code PRESTO-2. The exterior is represented, in the axial and radial directions, by 2-group partial current ratios (PCRs) calculated at the test zone boundary using a 3D Monte Carlo (MCNPX) model of the whole PROTEUS reactor. Sensitivity cases are analysed to show the impact of changes in the 2D lattice modelling on the calculated fission rate distribution and reactivity. Further, the effects of variations in the test zone boundary PCRs and their behaviour in energy are investigated.