Analysis of Neutron Environments in Advanced Reactors Vs. Triga Reactor for In-Core Behavior Studies
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The Fluoride High-Temperature Reactor (FHR) and the Very High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR) are advanced reactor designs in the generation IV class. Advanced reactors operate in more strenuous conditions than older generation II designs which can be detrimental to data collecting equipment; therefore, equipment must be tested under comparable conditions to simulate how it would respond and operate. This research focuses on computationally altering Texas A&M’s TRIGA reactor neutronics using MCNP to compare against advanced reactor neutronics. Several energy spectrums of interest were collected using MCNP for the FHR and VHTR over the active fuel region, coolant, graphite (in the active core), and graphite reflector. The energy spectrum of the TRIGA’s in-core irradiation location was collected with a thermal peak centerline energy (the energy at which the peak is located) considerably lower than the FHR and VHTR in all locations. The in-core irradiation location was altered by incorporating various moderators, temperatures, and neutron absorbers and then compared, using the thermal peak centerline energy and the general spectrum shape, to determine the likeness of the altered spectrum to the advanced reactor spectrums. Based on the collected data, the FHR and VHTR core characteristics were best represented with high-temperature, 900 K, graphite in the TRIGA’s irradiation location D1. In addition, all regions of interest where spectrums were found (active core, coolant, graphite, and reflector) can be represented in the same locations. Once the peaks were adequately matched, reactor similarity factors were found which can be used to convert experimental data into predicted FHR or VHTR results in the case of an ensuing experiment.
Marcantel, Grace Ann (2018). Analysis of Neutron Environments in Advanced Reactors Vs. Triga Reactor for In-Core Behavior Studies. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from