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Programs of Experiments with Critical Assemblies at the Russian Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute"

A. A. Bykov, A. Yu. Gagarinski, E. S. Glushkov, Yu. A. Kravchenko, N. E. Kukharkin, D. Pavlov, N. N. Ponomarev-Stepnoi

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 145 / Number 2 / October 2003 / Pages 181-187

Technical Paper /

The paper gives a brief overview of benchmark experiments that have been performed and are being performed at the Russian Research Centre "Kurchatov Institutes" (RRC KIs), satisfy requirements of the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP), and have been published or will be published in the "International Handbook of Evaluated Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiments."

These experiments include critical experiments in water-moderated facilities pertaining to substantiation of reactor physics for VVER-type light water reactors with uranium enrichments varying from natural uranium to ~6.5%; in heterogeneous critical assemblies with a widely varying uranium enrichment (from 5 to 96%) for small nuclear power systems of various applications; in critical assemblies with a uranyl sulfate solution core; and in critical assemblies simulating peculiarities of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR), RBMK physics, etc.

A list of critical assemblies currently in operation at RRC KI is given. Future experimental programs are briefly described; their implementation, if based on the ICSBEP requirements, will be useful for the international community.

Using RRC KI as an example, it is demonstrated that Russian nuclear centers maintain capabilities for carrying out a wide range of new critical experiments, including international cooperation in this area.

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