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In-Core Flux Sensor Evaluations at the ATR Critical Facility

Troy Unruh, Benjamin Chase, Joy Rempe, David Nigg, George Imel, Jason Harris, Todd Sherman, Jean-François Villard

Nuclear Technology / Volume 187 / Number 3 / September 2014 / Pages 308-315

Technical Paper / Radiation Measurements and General Instrumentation /

As part of an Idaho State University (ISU)–led Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) National Scientific User Facility (NSUF) collaborative project that includes Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), flux detector evaluations were completed to compare their accuracy, response time, and long-duration performance. Special fixturing, developed by INL, allows real-time flux detectors to be inserted into various Advanced Test Reactor Critical Facility (ATRC) core positions to perform lobe power measurements, axial flux profile measurements, and detector cross-calibrations. Detectors initially evaluated in this program included miniature fission chambers, specialized self-powered neutron detectors (SPNDs), and specially developed commercial SPNDs. Results from this program provide important insights related to flux detector accuracy and resolution for subsequent ATR and CEA experiments and yield new flux data required for benchmarking models in the ATR Life Extension Program (LEP) Modeling Update Project.