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Within-Pin Reaction Rate Distributions: CASMO-4 and HELIOS Compared Against Tomographic Measurements at the PROTEUS Reactor

C. Pralong Fauchère, M. Murphy, F. Jatuff, R. Chawla

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 150 / Number 1 / May 2005 / Pages 27-36


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In the framework of the LWR-PROTEUS project - an extended validation program for advanced light water reactor core analysis tools conducted at the Paul Scherrer Institute - the radial, internal variations of the total fission rate (Ftot) and the capture rate in 238U (C8) have been calculated for zero-burnup pins of a Westinghouse SVEA-96+ boiling water reactor fuel assembly using two codes, namely, CASMO-4 and HELIOS. While Ftot distributions predicted by CASMO-4 and HELIOS are in good agreement, C8 distributions show significant inconsistencies (20 to 30%). The calculations are compared with experimental results obtained using single photon emission computerized tomography for several SVEA-96+ pins irradiated in the zero-power reactor PROTEUS. The comparisons confirm the predicted shape of the Ftot distributions within UO2 pins and clearly indicate that HELIOS within-pin predictions for C8 are more reliable than CASMO-4 results. This is important for the derivation of gamma-ray self-absorption corrections when pin-integrated reaction rates are to be determined using the gamma-scanning technique. Thus, the use of CASMO-4-type within-pin distributions would lead to 3 to 4% discrepancies in the absolute, self-absorption-corrected pin-integrated values deduced for C8 and hence for C8/Ftot. For relative C8 distributions, the discrepancy would be much smaller, namely, up to ~1% if pins containing a burnable absorber are involved.

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