Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2012)
Application of Ex-vessel Neutron Dosimetry Combined with In-core Measurements for Correction of Neutron Source Used for Reactor Pressure Vessel Fluence Calculations
This paper deals with calculated and semi-analytical evaluations of VVER-1000 reactor core neutron source distributions and their influence on measurements and calculations of the integral through-vessel neutron leakage. Neutron activation measurements analyzed in the paper were carried out in an ex-vessel air cavity at different nuclear power plant units with VVER-1000 during different fuel cycles. The time-integrated neutron source distributions used for DORT calculations were prepared via two different approaches based on (a) calculated fuel burnup (standard routine procedure) and (b) in-core measurements by means of self-powered detectors (SPDs) and thermocouples (TCs) (new approach). Considering that fuel burnup distributions in operating VVER may be evaluated now by the use of analytical methods (calculations) only, it is necessary to develop new approaches for the testing and correction of calculated evaluations of a neutron source. The results presented in this paper allow one to consider the reverse task of the alternative estimation of fuel burnup distributions. The proposed approach is based on the adjustment (fitting) of time-integrated neutron source distributions, and thus fuel burnup patterns, in some part of the reactor core, taking into account neutron leakage measurements, neutron-physical calculations, and in-core SPD and TC measurement data.