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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

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.

JAEA Reports

Annual report of Nuclear Science Research Institute, JFY2013 & 2014

Nuclear Science Research Institute

JAEA-Review 2018-036, 216 Pages, 2019/03

JAEA-Review-2018-036.pdf:19.22MB

Nuclear Science Research Institute (NSRI) is composed of Planning and Coordination Office, Fukushima Project Team and six departments, namely Department of Operational Safety Administration, Department of Radiation Protection, Engineering Services Department, Department of Research Reactor and Tandem Accelerator, Department of Fukushima Technology Development and Department of Decommissioning and Waste Management, and each departments manage facilities and develop related technologies to achieve the "Middle-term Plan" successfully and effectively. In order to contribute the future research and development and to promote management business, this annual report summarizes information on the activities of NSRI of JFY 2013 and 2014 as well as the activity on research and development carried out by Nuclear Safety Research Center, Advanced Research Center, Nuclear Science and Engineering Center and Quantum Beam Science Center, and activity of Nuclear Human Resource Development Center, using facilities of NSRI.

JAEA Reports

Mock-up test of the modified STACY (Performance check of water feed and drain system)

Seki, Masakazu; Maekawa, Tomoyuki; Izawa, Kazuhiko; Sono, Hiroki

JAEA-Technology 2017-038, 52 Pages, 2018/03

JAEA-Technology-2017-038.pdf:4.6MB

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency is conducting a reactor modification project of the Static Experiment Critical Facility (STACY). In the modification, STACY is to be converted from a thermal reactor using solution fuel into that using fuel rods and light water moderator. Reactivity of the modified STACY core is controlled by the water level fed in the core tank as well as the present STACY. In order to verify the basic design of the water feed and drain system of the modified STACY, we constructed a mockup test apparatus with almost the same structure and specifications as the modified STACY. In the mockup test, performance checks were pursued regarding limitation of maximum flow of water feeding, adjustment of the flow rate of water feeding, stop of water feeding and others. This report describes the outline and results of the mock-up test of the water feed and drain system of the modified STACY.

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:1 Percentile:80.48(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.

JAEA Reports

Stabilization of MOX dissolving solution at STACY

Kobayashi, Fuyumi; Sumiya, Masato; Kida, Takashi; Kokusen, Junya; Uchida, Shoji; Kaminaga, Jota; Oki, Keiichi; Fukaya, Hiroyuki; Sono, Hiroki

JAEA-Technology 2016-025, 42 Pages, 2016/11

JAEA-Technology-2016-025.pdf:17.88MB

A preliminary test on MOX fuel dissolution for the STACY critical experiments had been conducted in 2000 through 2003 at Nuclear Science Research Institute of JAEA. Accordingly, the uranyl / plutonium nitrate solution should be reconverted into oxide powder to store the fuel for a long period. For this storage, the moisture content in the oxide powder should be controlled from the viewpoint of criticality safety. The stabilization of uranium / plutonium solution was carried out under a precipitation process using ammonia or oxalic acid solution, and a calcination process using a sintering furnace. As a result of the stabilization operation, recovery rate was 95.6% for uranium and 95.0% for plutonium. Further, the recovered oxide powder was calcined again in nitrogen atmosphere and sealed immediately with a plastic bag to keep its moisture content low and to prevent from reabsorbing atmospheric moisture.

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.

JAEA Reports

Assessment report of research and development on "Nuclear Safety Research" in FY2014 (Post- and pre-review report)

Kudo, Tamotsu; Onizawa, Kunio*; Nakamura, Takehiko

JAEA-Evaluation 2015-011, 209 Pages, 2015/11

JAEA-Evaluation-2015-011.pdf:10.36MB

Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) consulted an assessment committee, "Evaluation Committee of Research and Development (R&D) Activities for Nuclear Safety", for post- and pre-review assessment of R&D on nuclear safety research. In response to JAEA's request, the Committee assessed mainly the progress of the R&D project according to guidelines, which addressed the rationale behind the R&D project, the relevance of the project outcome and the efficiency of the project implementation during the period of the current and next plan. As a result, the Committee concluded that the progress of the R&D project is satisfactory. This report describes the results of evaluation by the Committee. In addition, the appendix of this report contains presentations used for the evaluation, and responses from JAEA on the comments from the member of the Committee.

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

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

Development of mineralization techniques for organic solvents by the silver mediated electrochemical oxidation process with the ultrasound agitation

Kobayashi, Fuyumi; Ishii, Junichi; Shirahashi, Koichi; Umeda, Miki; Sakuraba, Koichi

Kakuhan, Kongo Gijutsu To Toraburu Taisaku, p.341 - 344, 2014/10

The silver mediated electrochemical oxidation (Ag/MEO) process with the ultrasound agitation has been developed for the purpose of the mineralization of organic wastes containing transuranium nuclides at the nuclear fuel reprocessing process. In the Ag/MEO process, organic solvents are decomposed by divalent silver cations under the relatively low temperature and the ambient pressure condition. The ultrasound agitation is effective in mixing the electrolytic solutions and the organic solvents, and is expected to promote the oxidation of the organic solvents. Therefore, the Ag/MEO process with the ultrasound agitation could be a candidate for the treatment of organic solvents. Destruction tests of TBP and dodecane by the Ag/MEO process were conducted to optimize some treatment conditions. Under optimized conditions, the destruction tests of kerosene and TODGA were carried out. It was confirmed that the Ag/MEO process is effective for the mineralization of these organic solvents.

Journal Articles

Infinite multiplication factor of low-enriched UO$$_2$$-concrete system

Izawa, Kazuhiko; Uchida, Yuriko; Okubo, Kiyoshi; Totsuka, Masayoshi; Sono, Hiroki; Tonoike, Kotaro

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 49(11), p.1043 - 1047, 2012/11

AA2012-0375.pdf:0.63MB

 Times Cited Count:9 Percentile:34.7(Nuclear Science & Technology)

Possibility of criticality of fuel debris in a form of UO$$_2$$-concrete mixture is evaluated by calculating infinite multiplication factor ($$k_infty$$) for a study of criticality control on the fuel debris generated through the molten core concrete interaction (MCCI) in a severe accident of a light water reactor (LWR). The infinite multiplication factor can be greater than unity, which means that handling of the mixture is subject to criticality control. This paper shows that concrete have efficient slowing-down capability of neutron and points out the necessity of further investigations on the criticality of low-enriched UO$$_2$$-concrete system for actual handling of fuel debris.

Journal Articles

Evaluation of nuclear characteristics of light-water-moderated heterogeneous cores in modified STACY

Izawa, Kazuhiko; Aoyama, Yasuo; Sono, Hiroki; Ogawa, Kazuhiko; Yanagisawa, Hiroshi; Miyoshi, Yoshinori

Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality (ICNC 2011) (CD-ROM), 11 Pages, 2012/02

For reactor physics and criticality safety researches, the Static Experiment Critical Facility (STACY) will be modified. In the modification, the present STACY, solution-fuel-type homogeneous cores, will be converted to fuel-pin-type heterogeneous cores moderated by light water. For nuclear safety design of the modified STACY, computational analyses have been carried out by using a Monte Carlo code MVP and a transport code system DANTSYS with cross-section data based on the JENDL-3.3. In the analyses, basic nuclear characteristics have been evaluated, such as criticality, water-level worth and reactor shutdown margin. By the results of these analyses, the feasibility of reactivity control mechanism and the sufficiency of reactor shutdown margin of the modified STACY were confirmed. In addition, temperature and void coefficients of reactivity and kinetic parameters were obtained to comprehend nuclear characteristics of the modified STACY.

Journal Articles

Uncertainty factors pertaining to critical experiment using low-enriched uranyl nitrate solution

Tonoike, Kotaro; Miyoshi, Yoshinori; Uchiyama, Gunzo

Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality (ICNC 2011) (CD-ROM), 11 Pages, 2012/02

Several series of critical experiments have been conducted in the Static Critical Experiment Facility (STACY) to measure critical volume of low-enriched uranyl nitrate solution. Its purpose is to obtain critical benchmark data for validation of computation methods used in the criticality safety analysis of nuclear facilities, especially, reprocessing plants. The experiment series are: homogeneous single-unit system, homogeneous multi-unit system, and heterogeneous system. Experimental conditions such as core tank geometry and fuel solution composition, and measurement results of critical volume were carefully and precisely evaluated to produce critical benchmark data. Sensitivity analysis on uncertainties of such experimental conditions was conducted to estimate overall uncertainties of the benchmarks. In this report, features of each experimental system will be highlighted by describing results of the experiments and the sensitivity analysis. Also presented will be lessons leaned from the experimental and evaluation experience which might be valuable for design of future critical experiments.

Journal Articles

Benchmark critical experiments of a heterogeneous system of uranium fuel rods and uranium solution poisoned with gadolinium, and application of their results to JACS validation

Tonoike, Kotaro; Miyoshi, Yoshinori; Uchiyama, Gunzo

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 48(7), p.1118 - 1128, 2011/07

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:87.73(Nuclear Science & Technology)

A series of critical experiments were performed using heterogeneous cores at STACY in JAEA in order to obtain systematic benchmark criticality data concerning the dissolving process in reprocessing plants. Focusing on the use of gadolinium as a soluble poison, critical mass was measured for a combination of uranium dioxide fuel rods and uranyl nitrate solution poisoned with gadolinium (Gd). The Gd concentrations were varied up to 0.1 gGd/L. The other series of experiments were also conducted, as reference cases, varying uranium concentration in the fuel solution without Gd. The results provided benchmark criticality data for validation of neutron multiplication factor calculation on heterogeneous systems such as a dissolver. Validation calculation of JACS based on the newly obtained benchmarks supports the justification of its utilization for the criticality safety analysis.

Journal Articles

Experimental reactor physics "Past, present and future"; Towards establishment of safety basis in next generation, 5; Status and outlook of thermal reactor physics experiments in JAEA

Tonoike, Kotaro

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai-Shi, 52(12), p.819 - 823, 2010/12

Almost 50 years have passed since the former Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) started the operation of the first critical assembly (CA). Since then, CAs of various types have been served for the experimental research of the reactor physics in the former JAERI, the former Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation, and current Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), where the nuclear development history of Japan can be seen. From the view point of the power reactor development, the light water reactor (LWR) was not an obvious option in the early days while all nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Japan are LWRs. Concepts of the graphite reactor and the heavy water reactor were also studied with CAs, where possibility of the breeding with the thermal reactors was investigated as well. Only for the LWR development, various research activities have been conducted for the core and fuel design advancement of NPPs, the reactor of a nuclear propulsion ship, the high conversion reactor, etc. The criticality safety (CS) is an important research field, too, which is prevention of the criticality while the power reactor development is the research how to achieve and maintain the criticality and how to burn fuel well. The CS and the critical experiments are inseparable because the basic way of CS is the critical mass measurement of nuclear material and the enough mass reduction for the nuclear material handling in the safe subcritical condition. History from the past to the present is introduced focusing on critical experiments of the thermal reactor system conducted in JAEA. Its future perspective is also mentioned.

JAEA Reports

Basic study on the mineralization of organic solvents by the silver mediated electrochemical oxidation process with the ultrasound agitation

Kobayashi, Fuyumi; Ishii, Junichi; Shirahashi, Koichi; Umeda, Miki; Sakuraba, Koichi

JAEA-Technology 2009-056, 16 Pages, 2009/11

JAEA-Technology-2009-056.pdf:1.53MB

The silver mediated electrochemical oxidation (Ag/MEO) process with the ultrasound agitation has been developed for the purpose of the mineralization of organic wastes containing transuranium nuclides at the nuclear fuel reprocessing process. In the Ag/MEO process, organic solvents are decomposed by divalent silver cations under the relatively low temperature and the ambient pressure condition. The ultrasound agitation is effective in mixing the electrolytic solutions and the organic solvents, and is expected to promote the oxidation of the organic solvents. Therefore, the Ag/MEO process with the ultrasound agitation could be a candidate for the treatment of organic solvents. Destruction tests of TBP and dodecane by the Ag/MEO process were conducted to optimize some treatment conditions. Under optimized conditions, the destruction tests of kerosene and TODGA were carried out. It was confirmed that the Ag/MEO process is effective for the mineralization of these organic solvents.

Journal Articles

Benchmark critical experiments and FP worth evaluation for a heterogeneous system of uranium fuel rods and uranium solution poisoned with pseudo-fission-product elements

Tonoike, Kotaro; Yamamoto, Toshihiro; Miyoshi, Yoshinori; Uchiyama, Gunzo; Watanabe, Shoichi*

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 46(4), p.354 - 365, 2009/04

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:88.61(Nuclear Science & Technology)

A series of critical experiments were performed using heterogeneous cores at the Static Experiment Critical Facility in Japan Atomic Energy Agency in order to obtain systematic benchmark data concerning dissolving process in a reprocessing plant. Focusing on the introduction of the burn-up credit, critical mass measurement was conducted for a combination of uranium dioxide fuel rods (5wt% $$^{235}$$U) and uranyl nitrate solution (6wt% $$^{235}$$U) poisoned with pseudo fission product (FP) elements - samarium, cesium, rhodium, and europium. Fuel rods were arrayed with an 1.5-cm lattice interval in the poisoned fuel solution in a 60-cm diameter cylindrical tank. The uranium concentrations of the solution was roughly kept at about 320gU/L, and the FP element concentrations were adjusted to be equivalent to a burn-up of about 30GWd/t. The result provides basic experimental data for validation of computational methods to evaluate a reactivity effect of each FP element, as well as benchmark criticality data for validation of neutron multiplication factor calculation of heterogeneous systems of spent fuel. In the report, detail of the experiments and its benchmark models will be presented as well as the procedure and the result of separate reactivity worth evaluation for each FP element. The experimental result and the computational evaluation will also be compared.

JAEA Reports

Analytical work at NUCEF in FY 2006

Sakazume, Yoshinori; Aoki, Hiromichi; Haga, Takahisa; Fukaya, Hiroyuki; Sonoda, Takashi; Shimizu, Kaori; Niitsuma, Yasushi*; Ito, Mitsuo; Inoue, Takeshi

JAEA-Technology 2007-069, 44 Pages, 2008/02

JAEA-Technology-2007-069.pdf:4.55MB

Analysis of the uranyl nitrate solution fuel is carried out at the analytical laboratory of NUCEF (Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering Research Facility), which provides essential data for operation of STACY (Static Experiment Critical Facility), TRACY (Transient Experiment Critical Facility) and the fuel treatment system. Analyzed in FY 2006 were uranyl nitrate solution fuel samples taken before and after experiments of STACY and TRACY, samples for the preparation of uranyl nitrate solution fuel, and samples for nuclear material accountancy purpose. The total number of the samples analyzed in FY 2006 was 254. This report summarizes work related to the analysis and management of the analytical laboratory in the FY 2006.

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