The ANSWERS Seminar, 21 to 23 May 2002


This year's ANSWERS Seminar was held at the Wessex Hotel in Bournemouth, a location near to the superb Dorset coast and in close proximity to the town centre. 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. In addition to the seminar itself, a parallel meeting of the UK Shielding Forum was hosted at the same venue.


The first day of the meeting, which was the reactor physics day, started with presentations on the developments to the WIMS code which will result in the WIMS9 release. The first talk and later talks covered the changes to library, resonance treatment, 3D methods and code structure that would be a major new feature of this release. There was also an interesting demonstration of the recently released OECD-NEA Data Bank JANIS package that helps users to visualise the data going into the WIMS package. There were 3 very interesting Guest presentations, included a tallk on some work using ANSWERS codes to analyse ex-core detector responses on Sizewell B, a talk on PBMR design work and a talk on burnup credit calculations with WIMS. The morning session also included an interesting talk on future reactor designs where the objective was to burn actinides. The afternoon started with two presentations on work on a NIREX repository, looking at possible criticality excursions. The day concluded with a short talk on the SSQA teams work and then a demonstration session where the developments to the FISPIN GUI and WIMSBUILDER were shown and all ANSWERS reactor physics products were available for trial use.


Day two focussed on criticality safety, and in particular the MONK code. The day began with a guest presentation by OECD on the status of the JEFF project, its history, file contents, and plans for future releases. This was followed by a guest presentation discussing the issues of NII regulatory interest such as criticality emergency planning, ALARP/ToR, and the application of burnup credit. The ongoing development of LaunchPad was highlighted by a demonstration of several new features, including the ability both to run MONK burnup calculations, and to make use of include files. A presentation gave an update on the status of BINGO and recent experience of its use in MONK. The current status of the MONK validation database was given followed by a talk on the new PBMR modelling capability in MONK. This new modelling capability is not restricted to PBMR modelling, and can be used wherever the new holes are deemed appropriate. After lunch there was a guest presentation discussing the Phase IV-B burnup credit benchmark results, and the plutonium levels in MOX. Either side of this talk were two presentations: the first discussed the problems of using simplifying assumptions when modelling systems, and where an understanding of the hole geometries is useful in making better use of their capabilities. The second talk was a reprise of the basic principles of Hole geometries. A guest presentation discussing code reliability was given and this raised issues of demonstrating code reliability. The day was brought to a close by two talks, the first a summary of future MONK developments, and the second a description of SSQA activities. As on the previous day, attendees were invited to make use of the computers available in the seminar room for further demonstrations of any of the codes.


The final day saw attention switch to shielding. Throughout the day new developments recently undertaken in MCBEND were described: automatic generation of splitting meshes, window Parts and user Holes. An interesting application of MCBEND to determine the shielding required for a reactor on Mars was described. Uncertainty analysis theory and application were explained. The morning session ended with an demonstration of the JANIS program to display and compare cross-sections and secondary angle and energy distributions. Guest presentations described the application of MCBEND to a neutron skyshine problem and applied a visualisation tool to the contents of a first flight source file. A demonstration of new facilities in LAUNCHPAD and of looping in VISAGE was given in the afternoon. An investigation into build up factors for RANKERN was described and the BINGO collision processor presented. A study into the use of forced collisions for streaming problems was also described.


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