Evaluation of the current fast neutron flux monitoring instrumentation applied to LFR demonstrator alfred: Capabilities and limitations

Luigi Lepore, Romolo Remetti, Mauro Cappelli

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Among Gen IV projects for future nuclear power plants, Lead Fast Reactors (LFR) seem to be a very interesting solution due to their benefits in terms of fuel cycle, coolant-safety and waste management. The novelty of the matter causes some open issues about coolant chemical aspect, structural aspects, monitoring instrumentation, etc. Particularly hard neutron flux spectra would make traditional neutron instrumentation unfit to all reactor conditions, i.e. source, intermediate, and power range. Identification of new models of nuclear instrumentation specialized for LFR neutron flux monitoring asks for an accurate evaluation of the environment the sensor will work in. In this study, thermal-hydraulics and chemical conditions for LFR core environment will be assumed, as the neutron flux will be studied extensively by means of the Monte Carlo transport code MCNPX. The core coolant's high temperature drastically reduces the candidate instrumentation, because only some kind of fission chambers and Self Powered Neutron Detectors can be operated in such an environment. This work aims to evaluate the capabilities of the available instrumentation (usually designed for Sodium Fast Reactors, SFRs) when exposed to the neutron spectrum derived from ALFRED, a pool-type small-power LFR project to demonstrate the feasibility of this technology into the European framework. This paper shows that such instruments do follow the power evolution, but they are not completely suitable to detect the whole range of reactor power. Some improvements are then possible in order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, by optimizing each instrument in the range of reactor power, such to get the best solution. Some new detector designs are here proposed, and the possibilities for prototyping and testing by means of a fast reactor investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Nuclear Power - Reliable Global Energy, ICONE 2015 - Chiba, Japan
Duration: 1 Jan 2015 → …

Conference

Conference23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Nuclear Power - Reliable Global Energy, ICONE 2015
CountryJapan
CityChiba
Period1/1/15 → …

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

Lepore, L., Remetti, R., & Cappelli, M. (2015). Evaluation of the current fast neutron flux monitoring instrumentation applied to LFR demonstrator alfred: Capabilities and limitations. Paper presented at 23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Nuclear Power - Reliable Global Energy, ICONE 2015, Chiba, Japan.