Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 165 / Number 2 / June 2010 / Pages 232-239
A tomographic technique for determination of the thermal power distribution in nuclear fuel assemblies is under development. The purpose is to provide an experimental validation tool for core simulation codes. Such codes are essential for the operation of nuclear power reactors, and validation is important in the process of improving and developing the codes as well as the fuel.
The tomographic method is nonintrusive and offers large amounts of data within a normal revision shutdown. In earlier experimental investigations using a test platform, the method proved useful, demonstrating results of satisfying quality. However, the measuring setup also revealed nonfeasible properties related to transport, decontamination, and background radiation shielding.
In this paper, the design of a new measuring device is presented. It is based on experiences from the test platform, but its size and weight make it advantageous regarding transports and decontamination. Moreover, the design inherently allows for more efficient background shielding.
The latter has been investigated in a detailed study using the MCNP simulation code. The results confirm the high levels of background radiation observed in the test platform. It is also concluded that the shielding properties in the new design are sufficient.