This year's ANSWERS Seminar saw a change of venue to the Highcliff Hotel in Bournemouth, a pleasantly situated hotel with fine views of the Dorset coastline. Over fifty delegates attended all or part of the three-day meeting, with the programme covering the reactor physics, criticality and shielding technical areas. Programmes topics included ANSWERS code developments, code applications, related general interest issues and software demonstrations. The demonstration part of the programme included updates to existing products and new developments such as VISTA-MOVIE (for animated visualisation), LaunchPad (a calculation controller) and a graphical front-end for FISPIN. The developing customer-only Web pages were also trailed, aimed at providing a significant additional on-line resource for ANSWERS code users. As in previous years, a major highlight of the meeting was the many high quality presentations made by guest speakers. In addition to the seminar itself, a parallel meeting of the UK Shielding Forum was hosted at the same venue on the second day of the seminar.
The first day of the meeting started with presentations of recent and on-going developments to the WIMS code, specifically in the areas of three-dimensional modelling and improved resonance treatment methods. Guest presentations included a description of the application of WIMS to international programmes, AGR and MOX systems, and the validation of WIMS/PANTHER for LWR systems in Belgium and UK. Two presentations in the afternoon discussed issues associated with reactor steam-line break transients, with recent work and inter-comparison results being reported.
Temperature variation modelling for VVER systems was presented followed by a temperature co-efficient validation study for LWR cores. The day concluded with a look to the future and a demonstration session, where new developments were shown and were available for trial use.
Day two focussed on criticality safety and in particular the MONK code. Presentations on MONK8B were made, with beta testing of this new version about to commence. Related developments to the supporting visualisation packages were also described. Validation remains a key topic in criticality and the recent work here was presented. The international JEFF data project status was reviewed, with the status of the validation documentation for JEF2.2 and the planned improvements for JEFF3 being summarised. Two guest presentations focused on the recent accident at Tokai-Mura, firstly in terms of potential lessons for the UK and the second in terms of developments to the UK accident modelling code. The application of MONK to spent fuel pools following Boraflex degradation was also presented. Later in the day the focus shifted to the future with the current status of the BINGO project and other future developments being outlined. A demonstration session again concluded the day.
The final day saw attention switch to shielding and dosimetry. Features of MCBEND9E were explored in terms of theory and applications and as on the previous day, a review of JEFF data activity in the relevant technical area was made. Recent development of a package called LanuchPad, for controlling the launching of MCBEND calculations, and developments to the MCBEND capability of determining data-related uncertainties were described. Guest presentations discussed the calculation of activation rates for a PWR and the validation of MCBEND for duct streaming. Geometry modelling and visualisation options were reviewed in the afternoon, together with recent improvements to MCBEND acceleration techniques. A guest presentation on the use of MCBEND in medical physics applications made for an interesting extension to the scope of the meeting. The final part of the seminar followed the pattern of the earlier days, a look to the future and demonstrations.