A Study on the Optimal Position for the Secondary Neutron Source in Pressurized Water Reactors

Jungwon Sun, Mohd Syukri Yahya, Yonghee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new and efficient scheme to determine the optimal neutron source position in a model near-equilibrium pressurized water reactor, which is based on the OPR1000 Hanul Unit 3 Cycle 7 configuration. The proposed scheme particularly assigns importance of source positions according to the local adjoint flux distribution. In this research, detailed pin-by-pin reactor adjoint fluxes are determined by using the Monte Carlo KENO-VI code from solutions of the reactor homogeneous critical adjoint transport equations. The adjoint fluxes at each allowable source position are subsequently ranked to yield four candidate positions with the four highest adjoint fluxes. The study next simulates ex-core detector responses using the Monte Carlo MAVRIC code by assuming a neutron source is installed in one of the four candidate positions. The calculation is repeated for all positions. These detector responses are later converted into an inverse count rate ratio curve for each candidate source position. The study confirms that the optimal source position is the one with very high adjoint fluxes and detector responses, which is interestingly the original source position in the OPR1000 core, as it yields an inverse count rate ratio curve closest to the traditional 1/M line. The current work also clearly demonstrates that the proposed adjoint flux-based approach can be used to efficiently determine the optimal geometry for a neutron source and a detector in a modern pressurized water reactor core.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1302
Number of pages12
JournalNuclear Engineering and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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