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Numerical Benchmarks for Very High-Temperature Reactors Based on the CNPS Critical Experiments

Hyung-Kook Joo, Temitope A. Taiwo, Won Sik Yang, Hussein S. Khalil

Nuclear Technology / Volume 161 / Number 1 / January 2008 / Pages 8-26

Technical Paper / Reactor Safety /

An evaluation of the Compact Nuclear Power Source (CNPS) experiments conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1980s has been done using information available in the open literature. The MCNP4C Monte Carlo results for critical test configurations are in good agreement with the experimental values; the keff values are generally within 0.5% of the experimental values. The calculated total and differential rod worths and material worths were also found generally close to experimental values. These good results motivated the utilization of the experimental test data for the specification of two- and three-dimensional numerical benchmark cases that could be used for the verification and validation of core physics codes developed for Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) analysis, particularly the deterministic lattice and whole-core physics codes. To define the benchmark cases, the irregular arrangement of channels in the actual CNPS core was simplified to a regular Cartesian geometry arrangement in the benchmark cases, while preserving the important neutronics characteristics of the CNPS. The results of deterministic calculations using the HELIOS/DIF3D code package were compared to MCNP4C results to show the usefulness of the numerical benchmark cases.

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