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AXIAL FLUX PROFILE IN THE ADVANCED TEST REACTOR

Nathan Manwaring, Michael Reichenberger, P. Blaise, M. Margulis
2021 EPJ Web of Conferences  
This work demonstrates an approach to determine probability of perturbation of the axial profile of the thermal neutron flux in the Advanced Test Reactor. The axial flux profile is expected to follow a theoretical cosine shape, due to the minimal use of vertically-withdrawn shims. Reactivity is normally controlled by rotation of Outer Shim Control Cylinders, uniformly affecting neutron flux at all axial locations. The Advanced Test Reactor routinely accepts for irradiation experiments of a
more » ... periments of a variety of designs. Among the analyses required by the safety basis approved by the United States Department of Energy is the characterization of a new experiment's potential for perturbing the axial flux, which could exacerbate power peaking in the driver fuel. However, this perturbation can be more or less severe in different locations within the fuel. Therefore, the best characterization of axial flux perturbation requires knowledge of baseline axial flux. Such information is obtained by measuring decay in activated uranium flux wires irradiated at known positions in cooling channels in plate-type fuel elements. Due to variability in measured axial flux, it is not usually clear whether a given anomalous measurement is caused by an actual perturbation. Assuming normality in random measurement errors, the probability of an actual perturbation is quantified.
doi:10.1051/epjconf/202124708007 fatcat:h4l26bbxtjafhngy6xkyl255ke