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Title: Nuclear characterization of a general-purpose instrumentation and materials testing location in TREAT

Abstract

The Transient Reactor Test facility (TREAT) was constructed in the late 1950s, provided thousands of transient irradiations before being placed in standby in 1994, and resumed operations in 2017 in order to reclaim its crucial role in nuclear-heated safety research. The latter half of TREAT’s historic operation was best known for integral-scale testing of fuel specimens under postulated reactor plant accident conditions, while TREAT’s earlier history included extensive simpler phenomena identification tests that elucidated fundamental behaviors and paved the way for these integral-scale tests. Advances in modern computational capabilities and a resurgence of interest in novel reactor technology have created an opportunity for emphasizing modernized science-based and separate effects test capabilities once again at TREAT. An innovative approach to this type of testing has been developed to leverage minor radioactivity built-in during brief TREAT irradiations in low activation hardware to facilitate handling for materials and instrumentation testing. This capability, termed the Minimal Activation Retrievable Capsule Holder (MARCH) irradiation vehicle system, will be used for inaugural fueled experiments in TREAT’s modern era as well as novel approaches to study materials undergoing neutron irradiation and instrumentation development and qualifications. This paper describes a comprehensive nuclear characterization, obtained via computational modeling, of themore » test position in the MARCH system. Though directly applicable to the MARCH system, the results also provide general quantification of the nuclear performance of the reactor and potential test materials, crucial for evaluating potential experiment design and response in TREAT. The neutron and photon flux environment was calculated via MCNP with ENDF/B-VII.1 nuclear data. Wire heating rate and DPA calculations were also performed and evaluated using historic TREAT test data. Furthermore, these calculations were performed to provide steady-state baseline reference values typical in both half- and full-slotted TREAT core configurations, enabling design scoping analysis prior to development of more specific design testing needs and transient testing experimentation.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1557659
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-18-44851-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 0306-4549
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford); Journal Volume: 124; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0306-4549
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; TREAT; MCNP; Steady-State; Transient Testing; Baseline; Reactor Characterization; In-Pile Instrumentation; Irradiation Environment; Nuclear Testing; Fuels and Materials; MARCH; BUSTER; MIMIC; Neutron Flux; Photon Flux; DPA; Heating Rates; Historic Data; Validation; Graphite Reactor

Citation Formats

Bess, John D., Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E., Jensen, Colby B., Parry, James R., and Hill, Connie M. Nuclear characterization of a general-purpose instrumentation and materials testing location in TREAT. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.011.
Bess, John D., Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E., Jensen, Colby B., Parry, James R., & Hill, Connie M. Nuclear characterization of a general-purpose instrumentation and materials testing location in TREAT. United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.011.
Bess, John D., Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E., Jensen, Colby B., Parry, James R., and Hill, Connie M. Thu . "Nuclear characterization of a general-purpose instrumentation and materials testing location in TREAT". United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.011. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1557659.
@article{osti_1557659,
title = {Nuclear characterization of a general-purpose instrumentation and materials testing location in TREAT},
author = {Bess, John D. and Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E. and Jensen, Colby B. and Parry, James R. and Hill, Connie M.},
abstractNote = {The Transient Reactor Test facility (TREAT) was constructed in the late 1950s, provided thousands of transient irradiations before being placed in standby in 1994, and resumed operations in 2017 in order to reclaim its crucial role in nuclear-heated safety research. The latter half of TREAT’s historic operation was best known for integral-scale testing of fuel specimens under postulated reactor plant accident conditions, while TREAT’s earlier history included extensive simpler phenomena identification tests that elucidated fundamental behaviors and paved the way for these integral-scale tests. Advances in modern computational capabilities and a resurgence of interest in novel reactor technology have created an opportunity for emphasizing modernized science-based and separate effects test capabilities once again at TREAT. An innovative approach to this type of testing has been developed to leverage minor radioactivity built-in during brief TREAT irradiations in low activation hardware to facilitate handling for materials and instrumentation testing. This capability, termed the Minimal Activation Retrievable Capsule Holder (MARCH) irradiation vehicle system, will be used for inaugural fueled experiments in TREAT’s modern era as well as novel approaches to study materials undergoing neutron irradiation and instrumentation development and qualifications. This paper describes a comprehensive nuclear characterization, obtained via computational modeling, of the test position in the MARCH system. Though directly applicable to the MARCH system, the results also provide general quantification of the nuclear performance of the reactor and potential test materials, crucial for evaluating potential experiment design and response in TREAT. The neutron and photon flux environment was calculated via MCNP with ENDF/B-VII.1 nuclear data. Wire heating rate and DPA calculations were also performed and evaluated using historic TREAT test data. Furthermore, these calculations were performed to provide steady-state baseline reference values typical in both half- and full-slotted TREAT core configurations, enabling design scoping analysis prior to development of more specific design testing needs and transient testing experimentation.},
doi = {10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.011},
journal = {Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)},
number = C,
volume = 124,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

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