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Report No.
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Study of experimental core configuration of the modified STACY for measurement of criticality characteristics of fuel debris

Gunji, Satoshi  ; Tonoike, Kotaro ; Izawa, Kazuhiko ; Sono, Hiroki 

Criticality safety of fuel debris, particularly MCCI (Molten-Core-Concrete-Interaction) products, is one of the major safety issues for decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Criticality or subcriticality condition of the fuel debris is still uncertain; its composition, location, neutron moderation, etc. are not yet confirmed. The effectiveness of neutron poison in cooling water is also uncertain for use as a criticality control of fuel debris. A database of computational models is being built by Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), covering a wide range of possible conditions of such composition, neutron moderation, etc., to facilitate assessing criticality characteristics once fuel debris samples are taken and their conditions are known. The computational models also include uncertainties which are to be clarified by critical experiments. These experiments are planned and will be conducted by JAEA with the modified STACY (STAtic experiment Critical facilitY) and samples to simulate fuel debris compositions. Each of the samples will be cladded by a zircalloy tube whose outer shape is compatible with the fuel rod of STACY and loaded into an array of the fuel rods. This report introduces a study of experimental core configurations to measure the reactivity worth of samples simulating MCCI products. Parameters to be varied in the computation models for the experimental series are:(1) Uranium dioxide with $$^{235}$$U enrichments of 3, 4, and 5 wt.%; (2) Concrete volume fraction in the samples of 0, 20, 40, 60, and 80%; and (3) Porosity of the samples filled from 0 to 80% where the sample void is filled with water. It is concluded that the measurement is feasible in both under- and over-moderated conditions. Additionally, the required amount of samples was estimated.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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