Experimental estimation of the delayed neutron fraction beta(eff) of the MAESTRO core in the MINERVE zero power reactor Academic Article uri icon


  • A method for determining the effective delayed neutron fraction βeff using in-pile reactivity oscillations and Fourier analysis is presented. This method is based on measurements of the reactor’s power response to small periodic in-pile reactivity perturbations and utilizes Fourier analysis for reconstruction of the reactor zero power transfer function. This approach enables the estimation of βeff usingmulti-parameter nonlinear weighted least-squares fit. The method extends previous works by accounting for higher harmonics excitation in the frequency domain by the trapezoidal reactivity signal, both in the reactivity perturbation and in the reactor power response.We show that by using this new approach it is possible to obtain the reactor transfer function in a wide range of frequencies, using only a single oscillation frequency. This method is applied to a set of measurements of the MAESTRO core configuration in the MINERVE zero power reactor (ZPR) located at the Cadarache Research Center. The derived value of βeff, using this method, is 711 ± 17 pcm.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015