Volume 9, Issue 3 (March 2012)
Analysis of Gamma-Ray Dosimetry Experiments in the Zero Power MINERVE Facility
The objective of this study is to develop nuclear heating measurement methods in zero power experimental reactors. These developments contribute to the qualification of photonics calculation schemes for the assessment of gamma heating in the future Jules Horowitz Material Testing Reactor. This paper presents the analysis of thermoluminescent detector (TLD) experiments in the UO2 core of the MINERVE Research Reactor at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission center in Cadarache. The experimental sources of uncertainty in the gamma dose have been reduced by improving the measurement conditions and the repeatability of the calibration step for each individual TLD. The interpretation of these measurements needs to take into account the calculation of cavity correction factors related to calibration and irradiation configurations, as well as neutron correction calculations. These calculations are based on Monte Carlo simulations of neutron-gamma and gamma-electron transport coupled particles. The comparison between calculated and measured integral gamma-ray absorbed doses in the aluminum material surrounding the TLD shows that calculations slightly overestimate the measurement, with a calculated versus experimental ratio equal to 1.04 ± 5.7 % (k = 2).