MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) is internationally accepted as the key project to lead the industrial development of the accelerator-driven system (ADS) technology. As a flexible system, MYRRHA can also operate in critical mode when decoupled from the proton accelerator. By using lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) both as a coolant and as a spallation target, MYRRHA acts as a technology demonstrator and a test platform for Heavy Liquid Metal (HLM)-cooled reactor technology for Gen IV systems. Thanks to its fast neutron spectra MYRRHA targets an efficient transmutation of minor actinides, hence playing a primary role in establishing the technological feasibility of burning high-level nuclear waste in a ADS systems. Irradiation rigs are also envisaged, to exploit the high constant neutron fluxes achieved in the reactor core representative of thermal, fast and fusion conditions.
Multiple neutronics designs of the MYRRHA critical and subcritical core configurations were proposed over the last two decades. Each release aimed at complying with requirements made available by the technical advancement of the project as a whole. The optimization process driving the latest core design (version 1.6) targeted an effective core fuel management and new layouts for material irradiation. A novel neutronics core design was recently finalized where additional constraints were introduced – e.g. a lower cladding temperature (400⁰C) and a reduction of the overall reactor size. This work describes the new layout of the MYRRHA core highlighting differences and similarities between the critical and subcritical configurations. The core neutronics performances are also investigated in terms of transmutation and material irradiation and they are compared to the catalogue requirements.
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|Affiliation/Organization||SCK CEN Belgian nuclear research center|