Neutronic analyses of the FREYA experiments in support of the ALFRED lead-cooled fast reactor core design and licensing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Institutes & Expert groups

  • ENEA - Italian National Agency for New Technologies
  • Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A.
  • HZDR - Helmholtz,Zentrum Dresden, Rossendorf
  • AGH - University of Science and Technology in Kraków

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During the EURATOM FP7 project FREYA, a number of experiments were performed in a critical core assembled in the VENUS-F zero-power reactor able to reproduce the ALFRED lead-cooled fast reactor spectrum in a dedicated island. The experiments dealt with the measurements of integral and local neutronic parameters, such as the core criticality, the control rod and the lead void reactivity worth, the axial distributions of fission rates for the nuclides of major interest in a fast spectrum, the spectral indices of important actinides (238U, 239Pu, 237Np) with respect to 235U. With the main aim to validate the neutronic codes adopted for the ALFRED core design, the VENUS-F core and its characterization measurements were simulated with both deterministic (ERANOS) and stochastic (MCNP, SERPENT) codes, by adopting different nuclear data libraries (JEFF, ENDF/B, JENDL, TENDL). This paper summarizes the main results obtained by highlighting a general agreement between measurements and simulations, with few discrepancies for some parameters that are discussed here. Additionally, a sensitivity and uncertainty analysis was performed with deterministic methods for the core reactivity: it clearly indicates that the small over-criticality estimated by the different codes/libraries resulted to be lower than the uncertainties due to nuclear data.


Original languageEnglish
Article number011402
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science
Issue numberNERS-18-1132
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2020


  • Fast neutron reactors, Nuclear fission, Nuclides, Uncertainty, Licensing, Neutrons, Rods, Spectra, Spectroscopy

ID: 6790214