The ANSWERS Seminar, 21st-23rd May 2013

The 28th ANSWERS Annual Seminar was held at the Haven Hotel near Poole. Over one hundred and twenty attendees from the UK, Europe and China were present for all or part of the three day event covering Shielding, Reactor Physics and Criticality.

The programme included presentations from ANSWERS staff on recent software developments and related activities, presentations from customers on the application of ANSWERS software and demonstration sessions to enable customers to try their hand at some of the range of code supporting productivity tools.

Day 1: Radiation Shielding

The seminar started with a day focused on Radiation Shielding. In a change from previous years, each of the four sessions had a different host. Session 1 was hosted by Pat Cowan, Session 2 by Julie Martin, Session 3 by George Wright and Session 4 by Geoff Dobson.

Pat Cowan, the ANSWERS Applications Area Manager for Radiation Shielding, introduced the programme for the shielding day, including a variety of presentations on the recent developments in the ANSWERS Shielding codes and supporting tools and a number of applications using the ANSWERS codes.

The morning started with a presentation given by Pat Cowan entitled "Examples of New Features in MCBEND 11A". The presentation gave examples of input data for a number of significant new features including new CAD import facilities, the BINGO collision processor, one step coupled calculations and the new Unified Tally scoring module. The second presentation, entitled "B159 Underwater Radiation Survey" was given by Ian Adsley of Nuvia and described an underwater survey on a sunken nuclear submarine off Murmansk. In the event, the radiation survey failed to find any contamination because the reactor had not leaked, but the high-resolution images from the ultrasound survey were 'amazing'. The final talk of the first session was given by David Picton, and was entitled "Modelling Waste Stores with MCBEND 11A". He demonstrated the use of several new features in MCBEND 11A, including activation and fission production sources in the Unified Source module and scoring meshes defined in the new Unified Tally module. He also demonstrated a draft Generic Results capability in Visual Workshop 3A.

Following the morning break, the second session opened with a presentation by Ray Perry on "Data Decay Evaluation". Ray described an evaluation programme to remedy deficiencies in the JEFF 3.1.1 decay data, following a study of gamma dose rates from a postulated accident. Seven nuclides were evaluated and are proposed for inclusion in the JEFF 3.2 library. The second talk, entitled "Shielding the Dounreay Silo Waste Retrieval Facility" was given by Ellen Gill of Babcock International and described a modelling strategy using RANKERN. The third talk, "Modelling the Activation of Irradiated Graphite from UK Reactors", was given by Greg Black from the University of Manchester. He described a calculation path using WIMS, MCBEND and FISPACT and presented comparisons of calculated and measured activities. The final talk in the morning was a presentation by Adam Bird on Visual Workshop. Selected new features in Visual Workshop 3A were described, including features specific to MONK, RANKERN and WIMS and new results display capabilities.

The first afternoon session started with a presentation by Ahmed Aslam entitled "Radiation Maps Application". He described the development of a product for the display of interactive radiation maps throughout the ITER facility, which could have a more general application for other facilities. The next talk was given by Tim Ware, University of Manchester, on "Using MCBEND in Fission Fragment Analysis". His presentation described a project to produce high-accuracy fission product data, including mass and charge distributions and prompt gamma-ray emission spectra. The final talk before the afternoon break was given by Adam Bird on the subject of "IGES Import with MCBEND and RANKERN and the Poly body". The new CAD import features using IGES and STL bodies were described and speed comparisons between IGES and STL geometries and equivalent FG geometries were presented, and a description of the new Poly body was given.

Following the afternoon break a presentation was given by Paolo Mason from EDF Energy, on "EDF Energy Practice in the Verification of Variance-Reduced MCBEND calculations". This talk focused on the HRA/HYA octant model and described strategies for detecting and characterising "flyers" – high-weight contributions to the score. The following talk, given by George Wright, was entitled "New Approaches to Uncertainty Analysis" and described an alternative methodology, involving the stochastic propagation of uncertainties in nuclear data. The final presentation was given by Geoff Dobson and briefly described the status and current plans of shielding and graphics codes.


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