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Reactor Physics Measurements and Benchmark Specifications for Oak Ridge Highly Enriched Uranium Sphere (ORSphere)

Margaret A. Marshall

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 178 / Number 4 / December 2014 / Pages 446-458

Technical Paper / dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE14-32

In the early 1970s, J. T. Mihalczo (team leader), J. J. Lynn, and J. R. Taylor performed experiments at the Oak Ridge Critical Experiments Facility with highly enriched uranium (HEU) metal (called Oak Ridge Alloy or ORALLOY) in an effort to recreate GODIVA I results with greater accuracy than those performed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1950s. The purpose of the Oak Ridge ORALLOY Sphere 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. Additionally, various material reactivity worths, the surface material worth coefficient, the delayed neutron fraction, the prompt neutron decay constant, relative fission density, and relative neutron importance were all measured. The critical assembly, material reactivity worths, the surface material worth coefficient, and the delayed neutron fraction were all evaluated as benchmark experiment measurements. The reactor physics measurements are the focus of this paper; although for clarity the critical assembly benchmark specifications are briefly discussed.

 
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