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NEW CRP: Neutronics Benchmark of CEFR Start-Up Tests (I31032)

New Coordinated Research Project

The China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) is China’s first fast neutron reactor and went into operation in July 2011. The pool-type fast reactor has a thermal capacity of 65 MW and can produce 20 MW of electrical power. (Photo: China Institute of Atomic Energy)

The IAEA supports Member States in the area of advanced fast reactor technology development by providing a major forum for information exchange and via collaborative research programmes. The IAEA’s activities in this field are mainly carried out within the framework of the Technical Working Group on Fast Reactors (TWG-FR), which assists in the implementation of corresponding IAEA support, and ensures that all technical activities are in line with expressed needs of Member States. Among this broad range, the IAEA proposes and establishes coordinated research projects (CRPs), aimed at improving Member State capabilities in fast reactor design and analysis.

The China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE) proposed and presented this CRP to TWG-FR members in May 2016. Endorsed by the 50th meeting of the TWG-FR in May 2017, this project will focus on neutronics benchmark analysis of start-up tests performed at the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) in 2010-2011. CEFR is a small size sodium cooled fast reactor (SFR) with a high neutron leakage core fuelled with uranium oxide and a stainless steel radial reflector. Neutronics Benchmark of CEFR Start-Up Tests will include evaluation of the criticality, control rod worth, reactivity effects, and neutron spectral characteristics. The recorded experimental data from the CEFR start-up will provide an excellent opportunity for validation of the physical models and neutronics simulation codes.

CRP Overall Objective

This CRP is aimed at improving Member States' fast reactor simulation analytical capabilities, international validation, and qualification of codes currently employed in the field of fast reactor neutronics.

Work Proposal

The CRP is planned for four years. The expected flow of work would be:

  • Preparing the CEFR reactor core model;
  • Performing 'blind' neutronics calculations independently;
  • Comparison of the simulation results among participants against experimental data;
  • Improving the physical models and simulation codes, and performing refined simulations; 
  • Publication of the benchmark results.

CRP Expected Outcomes

  • Improved understanding of the start-up of SFRs and validation of the state-of-the-art fast reactor analysis computer codes against the experimental data;
  • Validation of physical/mathematical models and fast reactor neutronics simulation codes;
  • Reduced uncertainty in SFR neutronics simulation codes;
  • Facilitated training of the young generation of reactor physicists;
  • Identification of additional research and development work needed to resolve open gaps/issues.

How to join the CRP?

Please submit your research proposal before 1 April 2018 to the IAEA’s Research Contracts Administration Section, using the form templates on the CRA pages. For further information related to this CRP, potential applicants can contact the Project Officers, Vladimir Kriventsev and Chirayu Batra, from the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, Division of Nuclear Power, IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy.


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