Operation and reactivity measurements of an accelerator driven subcritical TRIGA reactor
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Experiments were performed at the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory (NETL) in 2005 and 2006 in which a 20 MeV linear electron accelerator operating as a photoneutron source was coupled to the TRIGA (Training, Research, Isotope production, General Atomics) Mark II research reactor at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) to simulate the operation and characteristics of a full-scale accelerator driven subcritical system (ADSS). The experimental program provided a relatively low-cost substitute for the higher power and complexity of internationally proposed systems utilizing proton accelerators and spallation neutron sources for an advanced ADSS that may be used for the burning of high-level radioactive waste. Various instrumentation methods that permitted ADSS neutron flux monitoring in high gamma radiation fields were successfully explored and the data was used to evaluate the Stochastic Pulsed Feynman method for reactivity monitoring.