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Journal Articles

Universal methodology for statistical error and convergence of correlated Monte Carlo tallies

Ueki, Taro

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 193(7), p.776 - 789, 2019/07

It is known that the convergence of standardized time series (STS) to Brownian bridge yields standard deviation estimators of the sample mean of correlated Monte Carlo tallies. In this work, a difference scheme based on a stochastic differential equation is applied to STS in order to obtain a new functional statistic (NFS) that converges to Brownian motion (BM). As a result, statistical error estimation improves twofold. First, the application of orthonormal weighting to NFS yields a new set of asymptotically unbiased standard deviation estimators of sample mean. It is not necessary to store tallies once the updating of estimator computation is finished at each generation. Second, it becomes possible to assess the convergence of sample mean in an assumption-free manner by way of the comparison of power spectra of NFS and BM. The methodology is demonstrated for three different types of problems encountered in Monte Carlo criticality calculation.

Journal Articles

Subchannel analysis of thermal-hydraulics in a fuel assembly with inner duct structure of a sodium-cooled fast reactor

Kikuchi, Norihiro; Imai, Yasutomo*; Yoshikawa, Ryuji; Doda, Norihiro; Tanaka, Masaaki; Ohshima, Hiroyuki

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 5(2), p.021001_1 - 021001_12, 2019/04

In the design study of an advanced loop-type sodium-cooled fast reactor in Japan, a specific fuel assembly (FA) named FAIDUS (Fuel Assembly with Inner DUct Structure) has been considered as one of the measures to enhance safety of the reactor during the core disruptive accident. In this study, thermal-hydraulics in FAIDUS was investigated with the in-house subchannel analysis code named ASFRE. Before the application to FAIDUS, applicability of ASFRE to FAs was confirmed through the numerical simulations for the experiments of simulated FA. Through the comparisons between the numerical results of thermal-hydraulic analyses of FAIDUS and a typical FA without the inner duct, it was indicated that significant asymmetric temperature distribution would not occur in FAIDUS at both high and low flow rate conditions.

Journal Articles

Estimation method of prompt neutron decay constant reducing higher order mode effect by linear combination

Katano, Ryota

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 193(4), p.431 - 439, 2019/04

We proposed "linear combination method" to reduce the higher order mode effect on the prompt neutron decay constant measured by the pulsed neutron experiment. When the spatial higher order mode effect is taken into account, the time evolution of the neutron counts after the pulsed neutron injection is given by linear combination of multiple exponential functions. However, the measurement results by the conventional method include the systematic error derived from the higher order mode effect because the conventional method fit the neutron counts with a single exponential function. The proposed method extract the single exponential function of the fundamental mode by linear combination of the neutron counts at multiple detectors, thus the proposed method reduces the higher order mode effect. As the verification, we applied the proposed method to the numerical simulation. The results indicate that the proposed method can reduce the higher order mode effect by linear combination.

Journal Articles

Development and validation of SAS4A code and its application to analyses on severe flow blockage accidents in a sodium-cooled fast reactor

Fukano, Yoshitaka

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 5(1), p.011001_1 - 011001_13, 2019/01

Local subassembly faults (LFs) have been considered to be of greater importance in safety evaluation in sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs) because fuel elements were generally densely arranged in the subassemblies (SAs) in this type of reactors, and because power densities were higher compared with those in light water reactors. A hypothetical total instantaneous flow blockage at the coolant inlet of an SA (HTIB) gives most severe consequences among a variety of LFs. Although an evaluation on the consequences of HTIB using SAS4A code was performed in the past study, SAS4A code was further developed by implementing analytical model of power control system in this study. An evaluation on the consequences of HTIB in an SFR by this developed SAS4A code clarified that the conclusion in the past study was almost same as that in this study. Furthermore SAS4A code was newly validated using four in-pile experiments which simulated HTIB events. The validity of SAS4A application to safety evaluation on the consequence of HTIB was further enhanced in this study. Thus the methodology of HTIB evaluation was established in this study together with the past study and is applicable to HTIB evaluations in other SFRs.

Journal Articles

Analytical studies of three-dimensional evaluation of radionuclide distribution in zeolite wastes through gamma scanning of adsorption vessels

Matsumura, Taichi; Nagaishi, Ryuji; Katakura, Junichi*; Suzuki, Masahide*

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 192(1), p.70 - 79, 2018/10

 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

The gamma-scanning of SDS (submerged demineralizer system) vessel used as a typical vessel for decontamination of radioactive water at Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) accident was simulated in the axial and radial directions of real and cylindrical-shaped vessels by using a Monte Carlo calculation code (PHITS) on the basis of the geometrical and compositional information of vessel and gamma-scanning available in the previous reports at the accident. In the axial simulation, the true distribution of radioactive $$^{137}$$Cs in the zeolite packed bed of vessel was successfully evaluated when a correction function derived from a virtual constant distribution of $$^{137}$$Cs was applied to the reported gamma-scanning profile. In the radial simulation, the virtual disk-formed and shell-formed sources of $$^{137}$$Cs displaced in the packed bed were clearly observed from the top and bottom views of vessel. This new radial gamma-scanning indicates that the radial localization of $$^{137}$$Cs could be well observed by measuring gamma-ray from the top view of vessel during storage. We further examined the radial gamma-scanning from the side view whether the radial localization of $$^{137}$$Cs can be confirmed in the normally existing gamma-scanning room or not.

Journal Articles

Mechanical properties of cubic (U,Zr)O$$_{2}$$

Kitagaki, Toru; Hoshino, Takanori; Yano, Kimihiko; Okamura, Nobuo; Ohara, Hiroshi*; Fukasawa, Tetsuo*; Koizumi, Kenji

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 4(3), p.031011_1 - 031011_7, 2018/07

Journal Articles

Uncertainty analysis for source term evaluation of high temperature gas-cooled reactor under accident conditions; Identification of influencing factors in loss-of-forced circulation accidents

Honda, Yuki; Sato, Hiroyuki; Nakagawa, Shigeaki; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 4(3), p.031013_1 - 031013_11, 2018/07

There is growing interest in uncertainty analysis for probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). The focus of this research is to propose and trial investigate the new approach which identify influencing factors for uncertainty in a systematic manner for High Temperature Gas -cooled Reactor (HTGR). As a trial investigation, this approach is tested to evaluation of maximum fuel temperature in a depressurized loss-of-forced circulation (DLOFC) accident and failure of mitigation systems such as control rod systems from the view point of reactor dynamics and thermal hydraulic characteristics. As a result, 16 influencing factors are successfully selected in accordance with the suggested procedure. In the future, the selected influencing factors will be used as input parameter for uncertainty propagation analysis.

Journal Articles

Comprehensive seismic evaluation of HTTR against the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake

Ono, Masato; Iigaki, Kazuhiko; Sawahata, Hiroaki; Shimazaki, Yosuke; Shimizu, Atsushi; Inoi, Hiroyuki; Kondo, Toshinari; Kojima, Keidai; Takada, Shoji; Sawa, Kazuhiro

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 4(2), p.020906_1 - 020906_8, 2018/04

On March 11th, 2011, the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake of magnitude 9.0 occurred. When the great earthquake occurred, the High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) had been stopped under the periodic inspection and maintenance of equipment and instruments. A comprehensive integrity evaluation was carried out for the HTTR facility because the maximum seismic acceleration observed at the HTTR exceeded the maximum value of design basis earthquake. The concept of comprehensive integrity evaluation is divided into two parts. One is the "visual inspection of equipment and instruments". The other is the "seismic response analysis" for the building structure, equipment and instruments using the observed earthquake. All equipment and instruments related to operation were inspected in the basic inspection. The integrity of the facilities was confirmed by comparing the inspection results or the numerical results with their evaluation criteria. As the results of inspection of equipment and instruments associated with the seismic response analysis, it was judged that there was no problem for operation of the reactor, because there was no damage and performance deterioration. The integrity of HTTR was also supported by the several operations without reactor power in cold conditions of HTTR in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Additionally, the integrity of control rod guide blocks was also confirmed visually when three control rod guide blocks and six replaceable reflector blocks were taken out from reactor core in order to change neutron startup sources in 2015.

Journal Articles

Application of nontransfer type plasma heating technology for core-material-relocation tests in boiling water reactor severe accident conditions

Abe, Yuta; Sato, Ikken; Nakagiri, Toshio; Ishimi, Akihiro; Nagae, Yuji

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 4(2), p.020901_1 - 020901_8, 2018/04

A new experimental program using non-transfer type plasma heating is under consideration in JAEA to clarify the uncertainty on core-material relocation (CMR) behavior of BWR. In order to confirm the applicability of this new technology, authors performed preparatory plasma heating tests using small-scale test pieces (107 mm $$times$$ 107 mm $$times$$ 222 mm (height)). An excellent perspective in terms of applicability of the non-transfer plasma heating to melting high melting-temperature materials such as ZrO$$_{2}$$ has been obtained. In addition, molten pool was formed at the middle height of the test piece indicating its capability to simulate the initial phase of core degradation behavior consistent with the real UO$$_{2}$$ fuel Phebus-FPT tests. Furthermore, application of EPMA, SEM/EDX and X-ray CT led to a conclusion that the pool formed consisted mainly of Zr with some concentration of oxygen which tended to be enhanced at the upper surface region of the pool. Based on these results, an excellent perspective in terms of applicability of the non-transfer plasma heating technology to the Severe Accident (SA) experimental study was obtained.

Journal Articles

Lead void reactivity worth in two critical assembly cores with differing uranium enrichments

Fukushima, Masahiro; Goda, J.*; Bounds, J.*; Cutler, T.*; Grove, T.*; Hutchinson, J.*; James, M.*; McKenzie, G.*; Sanchez, R.*; Oizumi, Akito; et al.

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 189, p.93 - 99, 2018/01

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:38.14(Nuclear Science & Technology)

To validate lead (Pb) nuclear cross sections, a series of integral experiments to measure lead void reactivity worths was conducted in a high-enriched uranium (HEU)/Pb system and a low enriched uranium (LEU)/Pb system using the Comet Critical Assembly at NCERC. The critical experiments were designed to provide complementary data sets having different sensitivities to scattering cross sections of lead. The larger amount of the $$^{238}$$U present in the LEU/Pb core increases the neutron importance above 1 MeV compared with the HEU/Pb core. Since removal of lead from the core shifts the neutron spectrum to the higher energy region, positive lead void reactivity worths were observed in the LEU/Pb core while negative values were observed in the HEU/Pb core. Experimental analyses for the lead void reactivity worths were performed with the Monte Carlo calculation code MCNP6.1 together with nuclear data libraries, JENDL 4.0 and ENDF/B VII.1. The calculation values were found to overestimate the experimental ones for the HEU/Pb core while being consistent for the LEU/Pb core.

Journal Articles

Loss of core cooling test with one cooling line inactive in Vessel Cooling System of High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor

Fujiwara, Yusuke; Nemoto, Takahiro; Tochio, Daisuke; Shinohara, Masanori; Ono, Masato; Takada, Shoji

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 3(4), p.041013_1 - 041013_8, 2017/10

In HTTR, the test was carried out at the reactor thermal power of 9 MW under the condition that one cooling line of VCS was stopped to simulate the partial loss of cooling function from the surface of RPV in addition to the loss of forced cooling flow in the core simulation. The test results showed that temperature change of the core internal structures and the biological shielding concrete was slow during the test. Temperature of RPV decreased several degrees during the test. The temperature decrease of biological shielding made of concrete was within 1$$^{circ}$$C. The numerical result simulating the detail configuration of the cooling tubes of VCS showed that the temperature rise of cooling tubes of VCS was about 15$$^{circ}$$C, which is sufficiently small, which did not significantly affect the temperature of biological shielding concrete. As the results, it was confirmed that the cooling ability of VCS can be kept in case that one cooling line of VCS is lost.

Journal Articles

Experimental study on cavitation of a liquid lithium jet for International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility

Kondo, Hiroo; Kanemura, Takuji*; Furukawa, Tomohiro; Hirakawa, Yasushi; Wakai, Eiichi; Knaster, J.*

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 3(4), p.041005_1 - 041005_11, 2017/10

A liquid-Li free-surface stream flowing at 15 m/s under a high vacuum of 10$$^{-3}$$ Pa is to serve as a beam target (Li target) for the planned International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) or other intense fusion neutron sources. This study focuses on cavitation-like acoustic noise which was detected in a conduit downstream from the Li target. This noise was measured by using acoustic-emission (AE) sensors that were installed at several locations of the conduit via acoustic wave guides. As a result, we found that cavitation occurred only in a narrow area where the Li target impinged on the downstream conduit.

Journal Articles

Saturated pool nucleate boiling on heat transfer surface with deposited sea salts

Uesawa, Shinichiro; Koizumi, Yasuo; Shibata, Mitsuhiko; Yoshida, Hiroyuki

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 3(4), p.041002_1 - 041002_13, 2017/10

Journal Articles

A Simple and practical correction technique for reactivity worth of short-sized samples measured by critical-water-level method

Kitamura, Yasunori*; Fukushima, Masahiro

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 186(2), p.168 - 179, 2017/05

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:64.68(Nuclear Science & Technology)

An inconsistency between the reactivity worth of short-size samples measured by the critical-water-level (CWL) method and that conventionally analysed for validating the nuclear data and the nuclear calculation methods has been known. The present study investigated this inconsistency in terms of a simple theoretical framework and proposed a simple and practical technique for correcting the measured sample reactivity worth without making supplementary experiments. A series of Monte Carlo calculations that simulated typical sample reactivity worth measurement by the CWL method showed that this inconsistency is effectively reduced by the present correction technique.

Journal Articles

Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses of lead sample reactivity experiments at Kyoto University Critical Assembly

Pyeon, C. H.*; Fujimoto, Atsushi*; Sugawara, Takanori; Iwamoto, Hiroki; Nishihara, Kenji; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki*; Nakajima, Ken*; Tsujimoto, Kazufumi

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 185(3), p.460 - 472, 2017/03

 Times Cited Count:4 Percentile:27.27(Nuclear Science & Technology)

Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses of lead (Pb) isotope cross sections are conducted with the use of sample reactivity experiments at the Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA). With the combined use of the SRAC2006 and MARBLE code systems, attempts are made to precisely examine the contributions of the reactions and energy regions of Pb isotope cross sections to reactivity based on the covariance data of JENDL-4.0. Moreover, the effect of decreasing uncertainty is discussed in terms of the accuracy of sample reactivity by applying the cross section adjustment method to the uncertainty analyses. From the results of the sensitivity and uncertainty analyses, the reliability of Pb isotope cross sections, such as the Pb isotope covariance data of JENDL-4.0, is compared with the JENDL-3.3, ENDF/B-VII.0, and JEFF-3.1 libraries.

Journal Articles

Burn-up dependency of control rod position at zero-power criticality in the high-temperature engineering test reactor

Honda, Yuki; Fujimoto, Nozomu*; Sawahata, Hiroaki; Takada, Shoji; Sawa, Kazuhiro

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 3(1), p.011013_1 - 011013_4, 2017/01

The operating data of the HTTR with burn-up is very important for developments of HTGRs. There is a temperature distribution in a core in full power operation. The temperature distribution in a core makes it difficult to validate of calculation code. On the other hands, the data of the control rod position at criticality at zero power have been measured at the beginning of each operation cycle. The temperature distribution in a core at zero power is uniform. Therefore, the data at zero power are suitable for validation of calculation code. In this study, the calculated control rod positions at zero power criticality with burn-up are compared with the experimental data with correlation of core temperature. The calculated results of criticality control rod position at zero power show good agreement to the experimental data. It means that calculated result shows appropriate decrease in uranium and accumulation in plutonium decrease in burnable absorber with burn-up.

Journal Articles

Study on sensitivity of control rod cell model in reflector region of high-temperature engineering test reactor

Honda, Yuki; Fujimoto, Nozomu*; Sawahata, Hiroaki; Takada, Shoji; Sawa, Kazuhiro

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 3(1), p.011005_1 - 011005_6, 2017/01

In the HTTR, a two-step control rods insertion method for reactor scram is adopted. In the method, control rods at reflector region are inserted at the scram signal is initiated. The core should keep its subcriticality by reflector region control rods. Therefore, precise evaluation of control rods reactivity worth for reflector region is necessary. However, all cross section of control rods has been prepared for control rod in fuel region because the reactivity value of control rods in the fuel region is larger than that of control rods in the reflector region. This paper proposed the revised method of preparing the control rod cross section for first step control rod in reflector region.

Journal Articles

Investigation of countermeasure against local temperature rise in vessel cooling system in loss of core cooling test without nuclear heating

Ono, Masato; Shimizu, Atsushi; Kondo, Makoto; Shimazaki, Yosuke; Shinohara, Masanori; Tochio, Daisuke; Iigaki, Kazuhiko; Nakagawa, Shigeaki; Takada, Shoji; Sawa, Kazuhiro

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 2(4), p.044502_1 - 044502_4, 2016/10

In the loss of forced core cooling test using High Temperature engineering Test Reactor (HTTR), the forced cooling of reactor core is stopped without inserting control rods into the core and cooling by Vessel Cooling System (VCS) to verify safety evaluation codes to investigate the inherent safety of HTGR be secured by natural phenomena to make it possible to design a severe accident free reactor. The VCS passively removes the retained residual heat and the decay heat from the core via the reactor pressure vessel by natural convection and thermal radiation. In the test, the local temperature was supposed to exceed the limit from the viewpoint of long-term use at the uncovered water cooling tube by thermal reflectors in the VCS, although the safety of reactor is kept. Through a cold test, which was carried out by non-nuclear heat input from gas circulators with stopping water flow in the VCS, the local higher temperature position was specified although the temperature was sufficiently lower than the maximum allowable working temperature, and natural circulation of water had insufficient cooling effect on the temperature of water cooling tube below 1$$^{circ}$$C. Then, a new safe and secured procedure for the loss of forced core cooling test was established, which will be carried out soon after the restart of HTTR.

Journal Articles

Nuclear heat supply fluctuation tests by non-nuclear heating with HTTR

Inaba, Yoshitomo; Sekita, Kenji; Nemoto, Takahiro; Honda, Yuki; Tochio, Daisuke; Sato, Hiroyuki; Nakagawa, Shigeaki; Takada, Shoji; Sawa, Kazuhiro

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 2(4), p.041001_1 - 041001_7, 2016/10

The nuclear heat utilization systems connected to High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors (HTGRs) will be designed on the basis of non-nuclear grade standards in terms of the easier entry of chemical plant companies and the construction economics of the systems. Therefore, it is necessary that the reactor operations can be continued even if abnormal events occur in the systems. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has developed a calculation code to evaluate the absorption of thermal load fluctuations by the reactors when the reactor operations are continued after such events, and has improved the code based on the High Temperature engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) operating data. However, there were insufficient data on the transient temperature behavior of the metallic core side components and the graphite core support structures corresponding to the fluctuation of the reactor inlet coolant temperature for further improvement of the code. Thus, nuclear heat supply fluctuation tests with the HTTR were carried out in non-nuclear heating operation to focus on thermal effect. In the tests, the coolant helium gas temperature was heated up to 120$$^{circ}$$C by the compression heat of the gas circulators in the HTTR, and a sufficiently high fluctuation of 17$$^{circ}$$C by devising a new test procedure was imposed on the reactor inlet coolant under the ideal condition without the effect of the nuclear power. Then, the temperature responses of the metallic core side components and the graphite core support structures were investigated. The test results adequately showed as predicted that the temperature responses of the metallic components are faster than those of the graphite structures, and the mechanism of the thermal load fluctuation absorption by the metallic components was clarified.

Journal Articles

Development of the prediction technology of cable disconnection of in-core neutron detector for the future high-temperature gas-cooled reactors

Shimazaki, Yosuke; Sawahata, Hiroaki; Kawamoto, Taiki; Suzuki, Hisashi; Shinohara, Masanori; Honda, Yuki; Katsuyama, Kozo; Takada, Shoji; Sawa, Kazuhiro

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 2(4), p.041008_1 - 041008_5, 2016/10

Maintenance technologies for the reactor system have been developed by using the high-temperature engineering test reactor (HTTR). One of the important purposes of development is to accumulate the experiences and data to satisfy the availability of operation up to 90% by shortening the duration of the periodical maintenance for the future HTGRs by shifting from the time-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance. The technical issue of the maintenance of in-core neutron detector, wide range monitor (WRM), is to predict the malfunction caused by cable disconnection to plan the replacement schedule. This is because that it is difficult to observe directly inside of the WRM in detail. The electrical inspection method was proposed to detect and predict the cable disconnection of the WRM by remote monitoring from outside of the reactor by using the time domain reflectometry and so on. The disconnection position, which was specified by the electrical method, was identified by non-destructive and destructive inspection. The accumulated data is expected to be contributed for advanced maintenance of future HTGRs.

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