Assessment of the control rods shadow effect in the VENUS-F core

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The partitioning and transmutation (P&T) of spent nuclear fuel is an important field of present development of nuclear energy technologies. One of the possible ways to carry out the P&T process is to use the accelerator driven systems (ADS). This technology has been developed within the EURATOM Framework Programmes for several years now. Current research in this field is carried out within the scope of 7th FP project FREYA. Important parts of the project are experiments performed in the GUINEVERE facility devoted to characterising the subcritical core kinetics and development of reactivity monitoring techniques. The present paper considers the effects of control rods use on the core reactivity. In order to carry out the evaluation of the experimental results, it is important to have detailed core characteristics at hand and to take into consideration the differences in the effect of control rods acting separately or together (the so-called shadow effect) on both the reactivity value and the measured neutron flux. Also any core asymmetry should be revealed. This goal was achieved by both MCNP simulations and the experimental results. However, in the case of experimental results, the need for calculating respective correction factors was unavoidable.

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