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Impact of the thermal scattering law of H in H$_2$O on the isothermal temperature reactivity coefficients for UOX and MOX fuel lattices in cold operating conditions

Abstract : The contribution of the thermal scattering law of hydrogen in light water to isothermal temperature reactivity coefficients for UOX and MOX lattices was studied in the frame of the MISTRAL critical experiments carried out in the zero power reactor EOLE of CEA Cadarache (France). The interpretation of the core residual reactivity measured between 6°C to 80°C (by step of 5°C) was performed with the Monte-Carlo code TRIPOLI4 ®. The nuclear data from the JEFF-3.1.1 library were used in the calculations. Three different thermal scattering laws of hydrogen in light water were tested in order to evaluate their impact on the MISTRAL calculations. The thermal scattering laws of interest were firstly those recommended in JEFF-3.1.1 and ENDF/B-VII.1 and also that recently produced at the atomic center of Bariloche (CAB, Argentina) with molecular dynamic simulations. The present work indicates that the calculation-to-experimental bias is $-$0.4$\pm$0.3 pcm/°C in the UOX core and $-$1.0$\pm$0.3 pcm/°C in the MOX cores, when the JEFF-3.1.1 library is used. An improvement is observed over the whole temperature range with the CAB model. The calculation-to-experimental bias vanishes for the UOX core ($-$0.02 pcm/°C) and becomes close to $-$0.7 pcm/°C for the MOX cores. The magnitude of these bias have to be connected to the typical value of the temperature reactivity coefficient that ranges from $-$5 pcm/°C at Begining Of Cycle (BOC) up to $-$50 pcm/°C at End Of Cycle (EOC), in PWR conditions.
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Juan Pablo Scotta, Gilles Noguere, David Bernard, Jose Ignacio Marquez Damian, Alain Santamarina. Impact of the thermal scattering law of H in H$_2$O on the isothermal temperature reactivity coefficients for UOX and MOX fuel lattices in cold operating conditions. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2016, 2, pp.28. ⟨10.1051/epjn/2016020⟩. ⟨cea-02305894⟩

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