Experimental Validation of Coupled Neutronics and Thermal Hydraulics Codes Using the RPI Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility (RCF)

The goal of the project is to validate multi-physics codes from the SHARP package (PROTEUS for neutronics and Nek5000 for thermal hydraulics) by performing coupled physics experiments in a real life nuclear reactor, the RCF. Thanks to its low power and open pool configuration, the reactor is easily manipulated and several experiments have been designed and performed, on top of the existing capabilities: Moderator temperature coefficient of reactivity, circulating hot water at the center of the core influence on reactivity, reactor change of state by thermal equilibrium between loop water and moderator, and many more. The broad range of experimental results is compared to the simulation results, and the accuracy of the codes can be assessed.

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