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Numerical Experiment to Validate an Advanced Methodology for Dosimetry in French Nuclear Reactors
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The embrittlement monitoring in the reactor pressure vessel is of major interest for the operators of nuclear power plants. An upgrading of the procedure used to analyze dosimeters in the French surveillance capsules has been developed in the last years to improve the accuracy of the current methodology. This enhancement corresponds to the evolution of both the calculation codes and the nuclear data libraries in the last 20 years. Recent codes carry out more accurate neutron transport (TRIPOLI-4®) and depletion (DARWIN/PEPIN2) calculations and use modern cross-section data (JEFF3.1.1 and IRDF2002). This improvement goes together with the generation of a new adjustment code, CALMAR, to fit the fast calculated flux with dosimeter measurements. The validation of this upgraded methodology is partially attained comparing adjusted results with a large number of experiments available for the French pressurized water reactor fleet. Additional results are obtained with simulated “experiments” resulting from purely numerical simulations allowing one to test the robustness of the overall methodology versus input data. Information such as water density, compound expansion, steel thicknesses, water gaps, and fission spectra are investigated in order to test the capability of the methodology to find the solution even if input data are known with little accuracy. In addition, these numerical experiments aim to enrich the validation database of the CALMAR adjustment algorithm through comparisons with other adjustment codes widely used in the field of reactor dosimetry.
reactor pressure vessel, surveillance dosimetry, methodology, validation, spectrum adjustment, CALMAR code