Toward Reanalysis of the Tight-Pitch HCLWR-PROTEUS Phase II Experiments
The HCLWR-Proteus Phase II experiments were conducted from 1985 to 1990 in the zero-power reactor Proteus at PSI in Switzerland. The experimental program was dedicated to the physics of high conversion light water reactors and in particular to the measurement of reactor parameters such as reaction rate traverses, spectral indices, absorber reactivity worths and void coefficients. The HCLWR experiments are especially interesting because they generated knowledge in the epithermal range of the neutron flux spectrum, for which little integral experimental data is available. In an effort to assess the interest of this experimental data to validate modern nuclear data and improve their uncertainties, a preliminary re-analysis of selected configurations was conducted with Monte-Carlo codes (MCNP6/SERPENT2) and modern nuclear data libraries (ENDF/B-VII.0, JEFF-3.1.1 and JENDL-4.0). The spectral indices, flux spectra and sensitivity coefficients on k(infinity) were calculated using cell models representative of the tight-pitch measurement configurations containing 11% PuO2-UO2 fuel rods in different moderation conditions (air, water and dowtherm). Spectral index predictions using the three nuclear data libraries agreed within two standard deviations with the measured values. The only exception is the Pu-242-captureto- Pu-239-fission ratio, which was overestimated with all libraries by more than four standard deviations, i.e. 13%, in the non-moderated configuration. In this configuration, Pu-242 captures are few since the flux spectrum in the Pu-242 capture resonance region (between 1eV and 1keV) is small making this spectral index hard to measure. Sensitivity coefficient predictions with both MCNP6 and SERPENT2 were in good agreement.