SCALE capabilities for analysis of advanced fast reactors

The SCALE code system, developed and maintained by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is presented as a powerful tool for the neutronic analysis of advanced nuclear reactors thanks to its comprehensive and integrated set of computational codes. SCALE is a widely used modeling and simulation suite for nuclear safety analysis and design, providing tools for criticality safety, reactor physics, radiation shielding, radioactive source term characterization, and sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. Since 1980, SCALE has been employed by regulators and research institutions worldwide.

Considering the capabilities provided by SCALE, it has been selected as an essential tool for advanced reactor physics analyses at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). Thus, the UPM has contributed to the neutronic characterization of different advanced nuclear designs in the frame of various European projects. These contributions have been focused on studying liquid metal-cooled fast reactors, both sodium and lead-cooled designs.

Participation of UPM in different European projects and advanced systems considered.

The Horizon2020 European project European Sodium Fast Reactor – Safety Measures and Research Tools (ESFR-SMART) was launched in 2017. This project has been a unique framework to apply and assess SCALE capabilities for the analysis of advanced reactors. In this paper, a general overview of the activities carried out by UPM within the ESFR-SMART project is presented.

Neutron calculation scheme based on SCALE.

As a consequence, a computational scheme has been developed based on different SCALE modules. This scheme involves nuclear data processing, neutron transport and burnup calculations, decay heat characterization, and nuclear data sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. Its capabilities have been assessed through different benchmarking activities, both code-to-code comparison and against selected experimental data. Overall, SCALE is shown to be able to provide consistent results concerning the mentioned applications.

Given that SCALE is a dynamic tool in continuous development, efforts at UPM will be done for maintaining the know-how and incorporating into the currently established scheme the new capabilities that will emerge in future versions.

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