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CESAR5.3: Isotopic depletion for Research and Testing Reactor decommissioning

Abstract : CESAR stands in French for "simplified depletion applied to reprocessing". The current version is now number 5.3 as it started 30 years ago from a long lasting cooperation with ORANO, co-owner of the code with CEA. This computer code can characterize several types of nuclear fuel assemblies, from the most regular PWR power plants to the most unexpected gas cooled and graphite moderated old timer research facility. Each type of fuel can also include numerous ranges of compositions like UOX, MOX, LEU or HEU. Such versatility comes from a broad catalog of cross section libraries, each corresponding to a specific reactor and fuel matrix design. CESAR goes beyond fuel characterization and can also provide an evaluation of structural materials activation. The cross-sections libraries are generated using the most refined assembly or core level transport code calculation schemes (CEA APOLLO2 or ERANOS), based on the European JEFF3.1.1 nuclear data base. Each new CESAR self shielded cross section library benefits all most recent CEA recommendations as for deterministic physics options. Resulting cross sections are organized as a function of burn up and initial fuel enrichment which allows to condensate this costly process into a series of Legendre polynomials. The final outcome is a fast, accurate and compact CESAR cross section library. Each library is fully validated, against a stochastic transport code (CEA TRIPOLI 4) if needed and against a reference depletion code (CEA DARWIN). Using CESAR does not require any of the neutron physics expertise implemented into cross section libraries generation. It is based on top quality nuclear data (JEFF3.1.1 for ∼400 isotopes) and includes up to date Bateman equation solving algorithms. However, defining a CESAR computation case can be very straightforward. Most results are only 3 steps away from any beginner's ambition: Initial composition, in core depletion and pool decay scenario. On top of a simple utilization architecture, CESAR includes a portable Graphical User Interface which can be broadly deployed in R&D or industrial facilities. Aging facilities currently face decommissioning and dismantling issues. This way to the end of the nuclear fuel cycle requires a careful assessment of source terms in the fuel, core structures and all parts of a facility that must be disposed of with "industrial nuclear" constraints. In that perspective, several CESAR cross section libraries were constructed for early CEA Research and Testing Reactors (RTR's). The aim of this paper is to describe how CESAR operates and how it can be used to help these facilities care for waste disposal, nuclear materials transport or basic safety cases. The test case will be based on the PHEBUS Facility located at CEA À Cadarache.
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Guillaume Ritter, Romain Eschbach, Richard Girieud, Maxime Soulard. CESAR5.3: Isotopic depletion for Research and Testing Reactor decommissioning. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2018, 4, pp.10. ⟨10.1051/epjn/2018008⟩. ⟨cea-02305808⟩

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