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Journal Articles

Criticality configuration design methodology applied to the design of fuel debris experiment in the new STACY

Gunji, Satoshi; Tonoike, Kotaro; Clavel, J.-B.*; Duhamel, I.*

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 58(1), p.51 - 61, 2021/01

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

The new critical assembly STACY will be able to contribute to the validation of criticality calculations related to the fuel debris. The experimental core designs are in progress in the frame of JAEA/IRSN collaboration. This paper presents the method applied to optimize the design of the new STACY core to measure the criticality characteristics of pseudo fuel debris that simulated Molten Core Concrete Interaction (MCCI) of the fuel debris. To ensure that a core configuration is relevant for code validation, it is important to evaluate the reactivity worth of the main isotopes of interest and their k$$_{eff}$$ sensitivity to their cross sections. In the case of the fuel debris described in this study, especially for the concrete composition, silicon is the nucleus with the highest k$$_{eff}$$ sensitivity to the cross section. For this purpose, some parameters of the core configuration, as for example the lattice pitches or the core dimensions, were adjusted using optimization algorithm to find efficiently the optimal core configurations to obtain high sensitivity of silicon capture cross section. Based on these results, realistic series of experiments for fuel debris in the new STACY could be defined to obtain an interesting feedback for the MCCI. This methodology is useful to design other experimental conditions of the new STACY.

Journal Articles

Consequence analysis of a postulated nuclear excursion in BWR spent fuel pool using 1/$$f^{beta}$$ spectrum model of randomization

Simanullang, I.; Yamane, Yuichi; Kikuchi, Takeo; Tonoike, Kotaro

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 147, p.107675_1 - 107675_6, 2020/11

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

Journal Articles

A New critical assembly: STACY

Araki, Shohei; Gunji, Satoshi; Tonoike, Kotaro; Kobayashi, Fuyumi; Izawa, Kazuhiko; Ogawa, Kazuhiko

Proceedings of European Research Reactor Conference 2020 (RRFM 2020) (Internet), 7 Pages, 2020/10

Critical experiments of thermal neutron system are still expected to be playing an important role for wide technical issues. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) is renovating the Static Experimental Critical Facility (STACY) to maintain the experimental capability. The new STACY is designed as a general-purpose criticality facility. Its core mainly consists of low enriched UO$$_{2}$$ fuel rods, grid plates, and light water moderator. The first experiment campaign in the new STACY aims to obtain criticality characteristics of fuel debris, which will be used in validation of criticality analysis methods. The designs of the experimental core configurations are in progress.

Journal Articles

Effect of $$beta$$ on effective multiplication factor in 1/f$$^{beta}$$ spectrum random system

Araki, Shohei; Yamane, Yuichi; Ueki, Taro; Tonoike, Kotaro

Proceedings of International Conference on the Physics of Reactors; Transition To A Scalable Nuclear Future (PHYSOR 2020) (USB Flash Drive), 8 Pages, 2020/03

We investigated the $$beta$$ dependence of the effective multiplication factor (k$$_{rm eff}$$) in the 1/f$$^{beta}$$ noise model. We conducted the two-group Monte Carlo calculations. We found that the standard deviation of the k$$_{rm eff}$$ distribution showed the positive correlation with the $$beta$$ value because the spatial distribution of the fuel became less uniform as the $$beta$$ value increased.

Journal Articles

Solomon; A Monte Carlo solver for criticality safety analysis

Nagaya, Yasunobu; Ueki, Taro; Tonoike, Kotaro

Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2019) (Internet), 9 Pages, 2019/09

A new Monte Carlo solver Solomon has been developed for the application to fuel-debris systems. It is designed not only for usual criticality safety analysis but also for criticality calculations of damaged reactor core including fuel debris. This paper describes the current status of Solomon and demonstrates the applications of the randomized Weierstrass function (RWF) model and the RWF model superimposed voxel geometry.

Journal Articles

Progress of criticality control study on fuel debris by Japan Atomic Energy Agency to support Secretariat of Nuclear Regulation Authority

Tonoike, Kotaro; Watanabe, Tomoaki; Gunji, Satoshi; Yamane, Yuichi; Nagaya, Yasunobu; Umeda, Miki; Izawa, Kazuhiko; Ogawa, Kazuhiko

Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2019) (Internet), 9 Pages, 2019/09

Criticality control of the fuel debris in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station would be a risk-informed control to mitigate consequences of criticality events, instead of a deterministic control to prevent such events. The Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan has administrated a research and development program to tackle this challenge since 2014. The Nuclear Safety Research Center of Japan Atomic Energy Agency, commissioned by the authority, is conducting activities such as computations of criticality characteristics of the fuel debris, development of a criticality analysis code, preparation of criticality experiments, and development of a criticality risk analysis method.

Journal Articles

Neutronic design of basic cores of the new STACY

Izawa, Kazuhiko; Ishii, Junichi; Okubo, Takuya; Ogawa, Kazuhiko; Tonoike, Kotaro

Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2019) (Internet), 9 Pages, 2019/09

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, JAEA, is conducting the renewal program of the heterogeneous water moderated critical assembly STACY (Static Experiment Critical Facility) in order to verify the criticality calculation considering fuel debris which have been produced in the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The first criticality of the new STACY is scheduled at the beginning of 2021. After the first criticality, it is necessary to perform a series of critical experiments with a series of basic experimental core in order to gain a proficiency of operators and grasp the uncertainty that accompanies the result of critical experiments in STACY. Prior to the construction of the new STACY, a series of neutronic calculation was carried out for licensing and planning first series of critical experiment. In this paper, possible core configuration of the basic experimental core and their limitations are discussed and presented.

Journal Articles

Criticality characteristics of fuel debris mixed by fuels with different burnups based on fuel loading pattern

Watanabe, Tomoaki; Okubo, Kiyoshi*; Araki, Shohei; Tonoike, Kotaro

Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2019) (Internet), 8 Pages, 2019/09

Journal Articles

Exploratory investigation for estimation of fuel debris criticality risk

Yamane, Yuichi; Numata, Yoshiaki*; Tonoike, Kotaro

Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2019) (Internet), 10 Pages, 2019/09

For the criticality safety of the operation treating the fuel debris in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the reactivity effect of its geometrical change has been investigated and the developed procedure has been applied to a trial analysis of a postulated scenario for the purpose of its verification.

Journal Articles

Design methodology for fuel debris experiment in the new STACY facility

Gunji, Satoshi; Clavel, J.-B.*; Tonoike, Kotaro; Duhamel, I.*

Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2019) (Internet), 11 Pages, 2019/09

The new criticality experiments facility STACY will be able to contribute to the validation of criticality calculations related to the fuel debris. The experimental core design is in progress in the frame of JAEA/IRSN collaboration. This paper presents the method applied to optimize the design of core configurations of the new STACY to measure the criticality characteristics of pseudo fuel debris focused on Molten Core Concrete Interaction (MCCI) debris. To ensure that a core configuration is relevant for code validation, it is important to evaluate the reactivity worth of the main isotopes and the keff sensitivity to their cross sections. To obtain maximum sensitivity of $$^{28}$$Si capture reaction, some parameters of the core configuration, as for example the lattice pitch or the core dimensions, were adjusted using optimization algorithm to research efficiently the optimal core configurations.

Journal Articles

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

Progress in Nuclear Energy, 101(Part C), p.321 - 328, 2017/11

 Times Cited Count:2 Percentile:81.79(Nuclear Science & Technology)

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.

Journal Articles

Examination of analytical method of rare earth elements in used nuclear fuel

Ozawa, Mayumi; Fukaya, Hiroyuki; Sato, Makoto; Kamohara, Keiko*; Suyama, Kenya; Tonoike, Kotaro; Oki, Keiichi; Umeda, Miki

Proceedings of 53rd Annual Meeting of Hot Laboratories and Remote Handling Working Group (HOTLAB 2016) (Internet), 9 Pages, 2016/11

Journal Articles

Study of experimental core configuration of the modified STACY for reactivity worth measurement of MCCI products

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

Proceedings of International Conference on the Physics of Reactors; Unifying Theory and Experiments in the 21st Century (PHYSOR 2016) (USB Flash Drive), p.3927 - 3936, 2016/05

Criticality safety of fuel debris including MCCI products is one of the major safety is-sues for decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Criticality or subcriticality condition of the fuel debris is still uncertain since its composition, location, neutron moderation, etc. are not confirmed. Also uncertain in criticality control of fuel debris is the effectiveness of neutron poison in cooling water. A database is being built by computation in JAEA, covering a wide range of possible conditions of such composition, neutron moderation, etc., to facilitate assessing criticality characteristics when fuel debris samples are taken and their conditions are known. The computation also has uncertainties to be clarified by critical experiments, which is planned by JAEA to be conducted with the modified STACY and samples simulating fuel debris compositions. This report introduces a study of experimental core configurations for reactivity worth measurements of samples simulating MCCI products. It is concluded that the measurement is feasible in both under- and over-moderated conditions. Additionally, required amount of samples was estimated.

Journal Articles

International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety ICNC2015

Nauchi, Yasushi*; Takezawa, Hiroki*; Tonoike, Kotaro

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai-Shi, 58(4), p.247 - 252, 2016/04

no abstracts in English

Journal Articles

Study on criticality control of fuel debris by Japan Atomic Energy Agency to support Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan

Tonoike, Kotaro; Yamane, Yuichi; Umeda, Miki; Izawa, Kazuhiko; Sono, Hiroki

Proceedings of International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2015) (DVD-ROM), p.20 - 27, 2015/09

From the viewpoint of safety regulation, criticality control of the fuel debris in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station would be a risk-informed control to mitigate consequences of criticality events, instead of a deterministic control to prevent such events. The Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan has set up a research and development program to tackle this challenge. The Nuclear Safety Research Center of Japan Atomic Energy Agency, commissioned by the authority, has launched activities such as computations of criticality characteristics of the fuel debris, development of criticality risk assessment method, and preparation of criticality experiments to support them.

Journal Articles

Criticality characteristics of MCCI products possibly produced in reactors of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Tonoike, Kotaro; Okubo, Kiyoshi; Takada, Tomoyuki*

Proceedings of International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC 2015) (DVD-ROM), p.292 - 300, 2015/09

The damaged Unit 1-3 reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station may contain fuel debris of a significant amount that is in a form of molten-core-concrete-interaction (MCCI) product with porous structure. Such low density MCCI product including fissile material is a great concern for its criticality control, especially under submerged condition, due to its fairly good neutron moderation. This report shows computation results of basic criticality characteristics of the MCCI product, which will facilitate criticality risk assessments during decommissioning of the reactors. The results imply that water bound in concrete may raise the risk from the viewpoints of possibility of criticality events and of effectiveness of mitigation measures such as neutron poison injection into coolant water.

Journal Articles

Critical experiments for fuel debris using modified STACY

Izawa, Kazuhiko; Tonoike, Kotaro; Sono, Hiroki; Miyoshi, Yoshinori

JAEA-Conf 2014-003, Appendix (CD-ROM), 13 Pages, 2015/03

Critical assemblies of thermal neutron system are decreasing in number in spite of their important roles in the reactor physics research. On the other hand, the extension of the utilization term of the LWRs brings new research themes requiring critical experiments of thermal neutron system. JAEA is modifying the Static Critical Experiment Facility (STACY) to revive the critical experiments. The modified STACY will be an infrastructure for the experimental research of reactor physics on thermal neutron system. The primary mission of the modified STACY at present is the critical experiments for fuel debris to contribute to the criticality safety control of the fuel debris generated by the severe accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. This report introduces the plan of criticality safety research in Japan Atomic Energy Agency following the accident, and describes the role of the modified STACY in the retrieval work of fuel debris from the damaged reactor.

Journal Articles

Options of principles of fuel debris criticality control in Fukushima Daiichi reactors

Tonoike, Kotaro; Sono, Hiroki; Umeda, Miki; Yamane, Yuichi; Kugo, Teruhiko; Suyama, Kenya

Nuclear Back-end and Transmutation Technology for Waste Disposal, p.251 - 259, 2015/00

In the Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor accident, a large amount of fuel debris was formed whose criticality condition is unknown except the possible highest $$^{235}$$U/U enrichment. The fuel debris had to be cooled and shielded by water in which the minimum critical mass is much smaller than the total mass of fuel debris. To overcome this uncertain situation, the coolant water was borated with sufficient concentration to secure the subcritical condition. The situation is more severe in the damaged reactors of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, where the coolant water flow is practically "once through". Boron must be endlessly added to the water to secure the subcritical condition of the fuel debris, which is not feasible. The water is not borated relying on the circumstantial evidence that the xenon gas monitoring in the containment vessels does not show a sign of criticality. The criticality condition of fuel debris may worsen due to the gradual drop of its temperature, or the change of its geometry by aftershocks or the retrieval work, that may lead the criticality. To avoid criticality and its severe consequences, a certain principle of criticality control must be established. There may be options, such as prevention of the criticality by coolant water boration or by neutronic monitoring, prevention of the severe consequences by intervention measures against criticality, etc. Every option has merits and demerits that must be adequately evaluated toward selection of the best principle.

Journal Articles

Revival of criticality safety research in Japan Atomic Energy Agency

Tonoike, Kotaro; Izawa, Kazuhiko; Sono, Hiroki; Umeda, Miki; Yamane, Yuichi

Transactions of the American Nuclear Society, 110(1), p.282 - 285, 2014/06

no abstracts in English

Journal Articles

Major safety and operational concerns for fuel debris criticality control

Tonoike, Kotaro; Sono, Hiroki; Umeda, Miki; Yamane, Yuichi; Kugo, Teruhiko; Suyama, Kenya

Proceedings of International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference; Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads (GLOBAL 2013) (CD-ROM), p.729 - 735, 2013/09

JAEA is conducting studies on criticality control of the fuel debris formed in the accident of Fukushima-Daiichi site. A new control principle must be established, referring principles for existing facilities, and based on criticality characteristics of the debris. In accordance with the principle, safe and practical control has to be realized for the debris whose condition is uncertain at present. This report outlines the present condition of debris and Fukushima site, introduces examples of criticality analysis, and discusses control principles. Research subjects are also proposed to realize the control.

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