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Application of the EGPT methodology in the analysis of small-sample reactivity worth experiments

Abstract : In the current paper, we investigate the application of the Equivalent Generalized Perturbation Theory (EGPT) to derive trends and associated covariances on the neutron capture cross section of one major fission product for both light water reactors and sodium-cooled fast reactors which is Rhodium-103. To do so, we have considered the ERMINE-V/ZONA1 & ZONA3 fast spectrum experiment and the MAESTRO thermal-spectrum experiment, where samples of these materials were oscillated in the MINERVE facility. In the paper, the theoretical formulation of EPGT is described and its derivation in the special case of the close loop oscillation technique where the reactivity worth is determined thanks to a power control system. A numerical benchmark is presented to assess the relevance of sensitivity coefficients provided by EGPT against direct perturbations where the microscopic cross sections are manually changed before calculating the adjoint and forward flux. The breakdown between direct and indirect contributions in the sensitivity analysis of the sample reactivity worth is presented and discussed, with the impact of using a calibration reference sample to normalize the measured reactivity worth. Finally, the assimilation of integral trends is done with the CONRAD code, using C/E comparisons between TRIPOLI4/JEFF3.2 calculations and experimental results and the sensitivity coefficients provided by the EGPT. Preliminary results of this study are showing that the JEFF3.2 evaluation of $^{103}$Rh gives satisfactory agreements in both thermal and fast spectrum experiments and that the combination of them can lead to a significant uncertainty reduction on the capture cross section, from $\pm$5% to $\pm$3% in the resolved resonance range (1 eV-10 keV) and from $\pm$8% to $\pm$5% in the unresolved resonance range (10 keV-1 MeV).
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 10:40:21 AM
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Pierre Leconte, Jean Tommasi, Alain Santamarina, Patrick Blaise, Paul Ros. Application of the EGPT methodology in the analysis of small-sample reactivity worth experiments. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2018, 4, pp.44. ⟨10.1051/epjn/2018041⟩. ⟨cea-02304319⟩



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