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Transient Analysis and Dosimetry of the Tokaimura Criticality Incident

Christopher C. Pain, Cassiano R. E. de Oliveira, Antony J. H. Goddard, Matthew D. Eaton, Sarah Gundry, Adrian P. Umpleby

Nuclear Technology

Volume 144 / Number 1 / October 2003 / Pages 16-33


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This paper describes research on the application of the finite element transient criticality (FETCH) code to modeling and neutron dosimetry of the Tokaimura criticality incident. FETCH has been developed to model criticality transients in single and multiphase media and is applied here to fissile solution transient criticality. Since the initial transient behavior has different time scales and physics to the longer transient behavior, the transient modeling is divided into two parts: modeling the initial transient over a time scale of seconds in which radiolytic gases and free-surface sloshing play an important role in the transient - this provides information about the dose to workers; and modeling the long-term transient behavior following the initial transient that has a time scale over hours.

The neutron dosimetry of worker A who received the largest dose during the Tokaimura criticality incident is also investigated here. This dose was received mainly in the first few seconds of the ensuing nuclear criticality transient. In addition to the multiorgan dosimetry of worker A, this work provides a method of helping to evaluate the yield in the initial phase of the criticality incident; it also shows how kinetic simulations can be calibrated so that they can be applied to investigate the physics behind the incident.

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