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Journal Articles

Judgment on convergence-in-distribution of Monte Carlo tallies under autocorrelation

Ueki, Taro

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 194(6), p.422 - 432, 2020/06

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

In Monte Carlo criticality calculation, the convergence-in-distribution check of the sample mean of tallies can be approached in terms of the influence range of autocorrelation. In this context, it is necessary to evaluate the attenuation of autocorrelation coefficients over lags. However, in just one replica of calculation, it is difficult to accurately estimate small ACCs at large lags because of the comparability with statistical uncertainty. This paper proposes a method to overcome such an issue. Its essential component is the transformation of a standardized time series of tallies so that the resulting series asymptotically converges in distribution to Brownian motion. The convergence-in-distribution check is constructed based on the independent increment property of Brownian motion. The judgment criterion is set by way of the spectral analysis of fractional Brownian motion. Numerical results are demonstrated for extreme and standard types of criticality calculation.

Journal Articles

Promising neutron irradiation applications at the high temperature engineering test reactor

Ho, H. Q.; Honda, Yuki*; Hamamoto, Shimpei; Ishii, Toshiaki; Takada, Shoji; Fujimoto, Nozomu*; Ishitsuka, Etsuo

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 6(2), p.021902_1 - 021902_6, 2020/04

Journal Articles

A Study on sodium-concrete reaction in presence of internal heating

Kawaguchi, Munemichi; Miyahara, Shinya*; Uno, Masayoshi*

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 6(2), p.021305_1 - 021305_9, 2020/04

Sodium-concrete reaction (SCR) is one of the important phenomena during severe accidents in sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs) owing to the generation of large sources of hydrogen and aerosols in the containment vessel. In this study, SCR experiments with an internal heater were performed to investigate the chemical reaction beneath the internal heater (800$$^{circ}$$C), which was used to simulate the obstacle and heating effect on SCR. Furthermore, the effects of the internal heater on the self-termination mechanism were discussed. The internal heater on the concrete hindered the transport of Na into the concrete. Therefore, Na could start to react with the concrete at the periphery of the internal heater, and the concrete ablation depth at the periphery was larger than under the internal heater. The high Na pool temperature of 800$$^{circ}$$C increased largely the Na aerosol release rate, which was explained by Na evaporation and hydrogen bubbling, and formed the porous reaction product layer, whose porosity was 0.54-0.59 from the mass balance of Si and image analyzing EPMA mapping. They had good agreement with each other. The porous reaction products decreased the amount of Na transport into the reaction front. The Na concentration around the reaction front became about 30wt.% despite the position of the internal heater. It was found that the Na concentration condition was one of the dominant parameters for the self-termination of SCR, even in the presence of the internal heater.

Journal Articles

Development of experimental technology for simulated fuel-assembly heating to address core-material-relocation behavior during severe accident

Abe, Yuta; Yamashita, Takuya; Sato, Ikken; Nakagiri, Toshio; Ishimi, Akihiro

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 6(2), p.021113_1 - 021113_9, 2020/04

Journal Articles

Systematic measurements and analyses for lead void reactivity worth in a plutonium core and two uranium cores with different enrichments

Fukushima, Masahiro; Goda, J.*; Oizumi, Akito; Bounds, J.*; Cutler, T.*; Grove, T.*; Hayes, D.*; Hutchinson, J.*; McKenzie, G.*; McSpaden, A.*; et al.

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 194(2), p.138 - 153, 2020/02

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

To validate lead (Pb) nuclear cross sections, a series of integral experiments to measure lead void reactivity worth was conducted systematically in three fast spectra with different fuel compositions on the Comet critical assembly of the National Criticality Experiments Research Center. Previous experiments in a high-enriched uranium (HEU)/Pb and a low-enriched uranium (LEU)/Pb systems had been performed in 2016 and 2017, respectively. A follow-on experiment in a plutonium (Pu)/Pb system has been completed. The Pu/Pb system was constructed using lead plates and weapons grade plutonium plates that had been used in the Zero Power Physics Reactor (ZPPR) of Argonne National Laboratory until the 1990s. Furthermore, the HEU/Pb system was re-examined on the Comet critical assembly installed newly with a device that can guarantee the gap reproducibility with a higher accuracy and precision, and then the experimental data was re evaluated. Using the lead void reactivity worth measured in these three cores with different fuel compositions, the latest nuclear data libraries, JENDL 4.0 and ENDF/B VIII.0, were tested with the Monte Carlo calculation code MCNP version 6.1. As a result, the calculations by ENDF/B-VIII.0 were confirmed to agree with lead void reactivity worth measured in all the cores. It was furthermore found that the calculations by JENDL 4.0 overestimate by more than 20% for the Pu/Pb core while being in good agreements for the HEU/Pb and LEU/Pb cores.

Journal Articles

Application of linear combination method to pulsed neutron source measurement at Kyoto University Critical Assembly

Katano, Ryota; Yamanaka, Masao*; Pyeon, C. H.*

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 193(12), p.1394 - 1402, 2019/12

 Times Cited Count:2 Percentile:31.52(Nuclear Science & Technology)

The author proposed the linear combination method as a subcriticality measurement method which estimates the prompt neutron decay constant (alpha) correlated with the subcriticality using measurement results obtained at multiple detector positions. In this study, we conduct the pulsed neutron experiment at Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA) and measure alpha by the linear combination method using measured neutron counts. Through experiment, we experimentally show that the linear combination method can reduce the higher-mode effect compared to the conventional method. In addition, experimentally show that the linear combination has capability of the different mode extraction.

Journal Articles

Improvement of probabilistic fracture mechanics analysis code PASCAL-SP with regard to PWSCC

Mano, Akihiro; Yamaguchi, Yoshihito; Katsuyama, Jinya; Li, Y.

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, 5(3), p.031505_1 - 031505_8, 2019/07

Probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) analysis is expected as a rational method for the structural integrity assessment because it can consider the uncertainties of various influence factors and can evaluate the quantitative value such as failure probability of a cracked component as the solution. In the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, a PFM analysis code PASCAL-SP has been developed for the structural integrity assessment of piping welds in nuclear power plants. In the latest few decades, a number of cracks due to primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) have been detected in the nickel-based alloy welds in the primary piping of pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Thus the structural integrity assessment taking account of PWSCC has become important. In this paper, we improved PASCAL-SP for the assessment considering PWSCC by introducing the several analytical functions such as the evaluation models of crack initiation time, crack growth rate and probability of crack detection. By using improved PASCAL-SP, the failure probabilities of pipes with a circumferential crack or an axial crack due to PWSCC were evaluated as numerical examples. We also evaluated the influence of a leak detection and a non-destructive examination on the failure probabilities. On the basis of the numerical results, we concluded that the improved PASCAL-SP is useful for evaluating the failure probability of pipe taking PWSCC into account.

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

 Times Cited Count:3 Percentile:18.47(Nuclear Science & Technology)

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

 Times Cited Count:3 Percentile:18.47(Nuclear Science & Technology)

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

Implementation of random sampling for ACE-format cross sections using FRENDY and application to uncertainty reduction

Kondo, Ryoichi*; Endo, Tomohiro*; Yamamoto, Akio*; Tada, Kenichi

Proceedings of International Conference on Mathematics and Computational Methods applied to Nuclear Science and Engineering (M&C 2019) (CD-ROM), p.1493 - 1502, 2019/00

A perturbation capability of ACE formatted cross section files was developed using the modules of FRENDY. Uncertainty quantification using MCNP was carried out for the Godiva critical experiment by the RS method. We verified the results of the RS method by comparing with those obtained by the conventional sensitivity analyses. Moreover, uncertainty reduction using the bias factor method with the RS technique was applied to kinetic parameter, i.e., neutron generation time.

Journal Articles

Continuous energy Monte Carlo criticality calculation of random media under power law spectrum

Ueki, Taro

Proceedings of International Conference on Mathematics and Computational Methods applied to Nuclear Science and Engineering (M&C 2019) (CD-ROM), p.151 - 160, 2019/00

A dynamical system under extreme physical disorder has the tendency of evolving toward the equilibrium state characterized by an inverse power law spectrum. In this paper, the author proposes a practically implementable modeling of random media under such a spectrum using a randomized form of the Weierstrass function. The proposed modeling is demonstrated by the continuous energy Monte Carlo particle transport with delta tracking for the criticality calculation of a randomized version of the Topsy spherical core in International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project.

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

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:74.25(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:3 Percentile:38.72(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.

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