Application of Prompt Self Powered Neutron Detectors to the LFR Demonstrator ALFRED: a critical evaluation

[+] Author and Article Information
Luigi Lepore

Ph.D., P. E., Department of Basic and Applied Sciences for Engineering, Sapienza - University of Rome, Via Antonio Scarpa, 14 - 00161, Rome - Italy

Romolo Remetti

Ph.D., P. E., Professor, Department of Basic and Applied Sciences for Engineering, Sapienza - University of Rome, Via Antonio Scarpa, 14 - 00161, Rome - Italy

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037262 History: Received March 23, 2017; Revised June 30, 2017


The Advanced Lead Fast Reactor European Demonstrator (ALFRED) is a European research initiative into the framework of GEN-IV facilities. One of the open issues is linked to the neutron flux in-core monitoring system because of the harshness of the environment the detectors should be installed in, due to high temperatures, and the neutron-gamma radiation fields. Monte Carlo simulation is a possible way of facing the problem, reproducing into a virtual world the reactor core, the surrounding structures and radiation interactions. In previous works, neutron spectra and gamma doses at possible detectors' locations in ALFRED where calculated, with consideration on the applicability of each suitable device currently available. Fission Chambers were found to be exploited at reactor start-up and intermediate power range. Prompt Self Powered Neutron Detectors (SPNDs) seemed to be the best solution to monitor the reactor full power, becoming the main research target: their effective applicability on field has to be demonstrated. The lack of data when SPND sense fast neutron fluxes in terms of prompt-response, pushed the authors to deepen the study in such direction. The work herein shows the mathematical approach based on the MCNPX simulation code, as to study its capability in reproducing SPNDs' signals while experimented on field. Such a verification turned out to be the preliminary stage for studying new concepts for SPNDs, in terms of sensitive materials and geometries, envisaging the possibility for designing, prototyping and testing new devices in suitable fast neutron-flux facilities.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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