Study on sensitivity of control rod cell model in reflector region of high-temperature engineering test reactor

Yuki Honda, Nozomu Fujimoto, Hiroaki Sawahata, Shoji Takada, Kazuhiro Sawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The high-temperature engineering test reactor (HTTR) is a block-type high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR). There are 32 control rods (16 pairs) in the HTTR. Six of the pairs of control rods are located in a core region and the remainder are located in a reflector region surrounding the core. Inserting all control rods simultaneously at the reactor scram in a full-power operation presents difficulty in maintaining the integrity of the metallic sleeve of the control rod because the core temperature of the HTTR is too high. Therefore, a two-step control rod insertion method is adopted for the reactor scram. The calculated control rod worth at the first step showed a larger underestimation than the measured value in the second step, although the calculated results of the excess reactivity tests showed good agreement with the measured result in the criticality tests of the HTTR. It is concluded that a cell model for the control rod guide block with the control rod in the reflector region is not suitable. In addition, in the core calculation, the macroscopic cross section of a homogenized region of the control rod guide block with the control rod is used. Therefore, it would be one of the reasons that the neutron flux distribution around the control rod in control rod guide block in the reflector region cannot be simulated accurately by the conventional cell model. In the conventional cell model, the control rod guide block is surrounded by the fuel blocks only, although the control rods in the reflector region are surrounded by both the fuel blocks and the reflector blocks. The difference of the neutron flux distribution causes the large difference of a homogenized macroscopic crosssection set of the control rod guide block with the control rod. Therefore, in this paper, the cell model is revised for the control rod guide block with the control rod in the reflector region to account for the actual configuration around the control rod guide block in the reflector region. The calculated control rod worth at the first step using the improved cell model shows better results than the previous one.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011005
JournalJournal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

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engineering test reactors
High temperature engineering
control rods
Control rods
reflectors
sensitivity
cells
Neutron flux
flux (rate)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

Study on sensitivity of control rod cell model in reflector region of high-temperature engineering test reactor. / Honda, Yuki; Fujimoto, Nozomu; Sawahata, Hiroaki; Takada, Shoji; Sawa, Kazuhiro.

In: Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, Vol. 3, No. 1, 011005, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The high-temperature engineering test reactor (HTTR) is a block-type high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR). There are 32 control rods (16 pairs) in the HTTR. Six of the pairs of control rods are located in a core region and the remainder are located in a reflector region surrounding the core. Inserting all control rods simultaneously at the reactor scram in a full-power operation presents difficulty in maintaining the integrity of the metallic sleeve of the control rod because the core temperature of the HTTR is too high. Therefore, a two-step control rod insertion method is adopted for the reactor scram. The calculated control rod worth at the first step showed a larger underestimation than the measured value in the second step, although the calculated results of the excess reactivity tests showed good agreement with the measured result in the criticality tests of the HTTR. It is concluded that a cell model for the control rod guide block with the control rod in the reflector region is not suitable. In addition, in the core calculation, the macroscopic cross section of a homogenized region of the control rod guide block with the control rod is used. Therefore, it would be one of the reasons that the neutron flux distribution around the control rod in control rod guide block in the reflector region cannot be simulated accurately by the conventional cell model. In the conventional cell model, the control rod guide block is surrounded by the fuel blocks only, although the control rods in the reflector region are surrounded by both the fuel blocks and the reflector blocks. The difference of the neutron flux distribution causes the large difference of a homogenized macroscopic crosssection set of the control rod guide block with the control rod. Therefore, in this paper, the cell model is revised for the control rod guide block with the control rod in the reflector region to account for the actual configuration around the control rod guide block in the reflector region. The calculated control rod worth at the first step using the improved cell model shows better results than the previous one.",
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