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Deterministic and Monte Carlo Neutron Transport Calculations of the Dounreay Fast Breeder Reactor

A. Kemal Ziver, Sabu Shahdatullah, Matthew D. Eaton, Cassiano R. E. de Oliviera, Ron T. Ackroyd, Adrian P. Umpleby, Christopher C. Pain, Antony J. H. Goddard, James Fitzpatrick

Nuclear Technology / Volume 148 / Number 3 / December 2004 / Pages 223-234

Technical Paper / Fission Reactors

A homogenized whole-reactor cylindrical model of the Dounreay Fast Reactor has been constructed using both deterministic and Monte Carlo codes to determine neutron flux distributions inside the core and at various out-of-core components. The principal aim is to predict neutron-induced activation levels using both methods and make comparisons against the measured thermal reaction rates. Neutron transport calculations have been performed for a fixed source using a spatially lumped fission neutron distribution, which has been derived from measurements. The deterministic code used is based on the finite element approximation to the multigroup second-order even-parity neutron transport equation, which is implemented in the EVENT code. The Monte Carlo solutions were obtained using the MCNP4C code, in which neutron cross sections are represented in pointwise (or continuous) form. We have compared neutron spectra at various locations not only to show differences between using multigroup deterministic and continuous energy (point nuclear data) Monte Carlo methods but also to assess neutron-induced activation levels calculated using the spectra obtained from both methods. Results were also compared against experiments that were carried out to determine neutron-induced reaction rates. To determine activation levels, we employed the European Activation Code System FISPACT. We have found that the neutron spectra calculated at various in-core and out-of-core components show some differences, which mainly reflect the use of multigroup and point energy nuclear data libraries and methods employed, but these differences have not resulted in large errors on the calculated activation levels of materials that are important (such as steel components) for decommissioning studies of the reactor. The agreement of calculated reaction rates of thermal neutron detectors such as the 55Mn(n,)56Mn against measurements was satisfactory.

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