Conference paper Open Access

About the impact of the Unresolved Resonance Region in Monte Carlo simulations of Sodium Fast Reactors

Jiménez-Carrascosa, Antonio; Fridman, Emil; García-Herranz, Nuria; Alvarez-Velarde, Francisco; Romojaro, Pablo; Bostelmann, Frederike

In the last few years, and within the framework of different European projects, KENO-VI code from SCALE system has been employed to perform detailed continuous-energy Monte Carlo transport calculations for advanced fast reactors. The core characterization of both the sodium-cooled ASTRID and the lead-cooled ALFRED reactors was performed during the FP7 cross-cutting ESNII+ project; more recently, core calculations for the sodium-cooled Superphénix reactor and the improved European Sodium Fast Reactor design were performed within the HORIZON 2020 ESFR-SMART project. In all cases, the effective multiplication factor predicted by KENO-VI was systematically higher (around 400-500 pcm) than the values computed by MCNP and Serpent Monte Carlo codes, using the same nuclear data library. In order to provide insight into the origin of the observed discrepancies, a simplified 2D MOX-fueled SFR pin-cell benchmark has been launched. The multiplication factor, as well as 1-group and VITAMINJ 175-group cross-sections computed by KENO-VI, Serpent and MCNP codes employing ENDF/B-VII.1 data library, have been compared. Significant differences between KENO-VI and the other codes have been found in the unresolved resonance regions of 239Pu and 241Pu capture and production cross sections, while negligible differences appeared outside those energy ranges. On the other hand, calculations without using probability tables have shown very good agreement. Quantitative comparison is presented and analyzed, along with a discussion of the impact of the probability-table treatment in the three codes for MOX-fueled systems with typical SFR spectrum.

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