skip to main content

Title: Orsphere: Physics Measurments For Bare, HEU(93.2)-Metal Sphere

In the early 1970s Dr. John T. Mihalczo (team leader), J.J. Lynn, and J.R. Taylor performed experiments at the Oak Ridge Critical Experiments Facility (ORCEF) with highly enriched uranium (HEU) metal (called Oak Ridge Alloy or ORALLOY) in an attempt to recreate GODIVA I results with greater accuracy than those performed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1950s (HEU-MET-FAST-001). The purpose of the Oak Ridge ORALLOY Sphere (ORSphere) experiments was to estimate the unreflected and unmoderated critical mass of an idealized sphere of uranium metal corrected to a density, purity, and enrichment such that it could be compared with the GODIVA I experiments. “The very accurate description of this sphere, as assembled, establishes it as an ideal benchmark for calculational methods and cross-section data files” (Reference 1). While performing the ORSphere experiments care was taken to accurately document component dimensions (±0.0001 inches), masses (±0.01 g), and material data. The experiment was also set up to minimize the amount of structural material in the sphere proximity. Two, correlated spheres were evaluated and judged to be acceptable as criticality benchmark experiments. This evaluation is given in HEU-MET-FAST-100. The second, smaller sphere was used for additional reactor physics measurements. Worth measurements (Referencemore » 1, 2, 3 and 4), the delayed neutron fraction (Reference 3, 4 and 5) and surface material worth coefficient (Reference 1 and 2) are all measured and judged to be acceptable as benchmark data. The prompt neutron decay (Reference 6), relative fission density (Reference 7) and relative neutron importance (Reference 7) were measured, but are not evaluated. Information for the evaluation was compiled from References 1 through 7, the experimental logbooks 8 and 9 ; additional drawings and notes provided by the experimenter; and communication with the lead experimenter, John T. Mihalczo.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING acceptable; bare; central void reactivity; critical experiment; delayed neutron fraction; fission density; highly enriched; metal; neutron importance; ORALLOY; ORCEF; prompt neutron decay constant; sphere; unmoderated; unreflected; uranium; uranium worth