The ANSWERS Seminar, 13 to 15 May 2003


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 shielding, reactor physics and criticality technical areas. Programmes topics included ANSWERS code developments, code applications, related general interest issues and software demonstrations. In addition to the seminar itself, parallel meetings of the UK Shielding Forum and the UK Working Party on Criticality were hosted at the same venue.


The first day of the meeting was the Shielding day, which started with two presentations on MCBEND 10A. The first gave an overview of the new features of MCBEND 10A and an update on where we are with testing the code. The second presentation showed an application using the new features of MCBEND 10A. Later in the day the new MCBEND 10 user guide was described. Other presentations during the morning included the feasibility of a simplified Monte Carlo code M3, recent work on the angular elastic cross-section data for Carbon and a study on gamma-ray damage in Graphite. The morning session finished with a talk on Serco Assurance's Environmental Software, which proved to be an interesting overview. The afternoon started with a demonstration of the new features of VISAGE and VISTA-RAY which were very impressive. This was followed by an informative presentation on the SINBAD shielding database. Recent developments in MCBEND were also described during the afternoon session such as the PVM batching enhancements, one-step coupled calculations plus an overview of other current and future developments in the ANSWERS Shielding area. Guest presentations throughout the day included a review of the reactor dosimetry program that has supported Magnox power plant operation over the last ten years, a shielding and safety study for shipping, the development of the GENEX code to calculate cross-sections and the use of the EVENT code for shielding problems. Overall there was a good variety of presentations which gave a very good start to the Seminar.


The second day of the meeting, which was the reactor physics day, started with presentations on the library which expounded some methods of dealing with resonances in cans or control rods. There were then 2 presentations on the MAX option in WIMS for treating 3D problems in AGR, showing how this method had come of age. One of these talks being a guest presentation. After a short break there were 2 presentations on validation aspects of WIMS. First an outline of the improvements obtained when applying WIMS9 to a range of experimental situations and then a comparison of WIMS with a Monte Carlo analysis of Pu fuelled HTR problems.The morning finished with a talk about gas cooled fast reactors and possible uses of the UK experience in AGR technologies.The afternoon started with a presentation on work on a space reactor that might be used on Mars. We then came back down to earth with a guest presentation on PIE work related to the REBUS programme in Belgium. The final presentation before the break summarised the changes for the user when using WIMS9. After the break there were two further presentations from guest speakers looking at validation of WIMS. In one case against PIE, the other talk looked at the Belgian experience with getting approval for using WIMS/PANTHER for plant calculations. The day concluded with a look to the future, outlining future work on WIMS9 and then a demonstration session where the developments to the JANIS code were shown and all ANSWERS reactor physics products were available for trial use.


The final day focussed on criticality safety and in particular the MONK code. The day began with a presentation by BE on the migration of old MONK models to MONK8B and how the QA for models can be improved. This was followed by a presentation from BNFL on their experience of using a version of MONK with the new BINGO collision processor and the excellent results they are getting. The first session finished with a talk oriented towards the assessor, describing MONK best practice and how to handle temperature sensitivity issues. The second session began with a BNFL presentation of their new approach to criticality safety assessment of PCM at Sellafield. A presentation was given by the NII on the current legislation and new research arrangements, followed by a BNFL talk on recent activities in Burnup Credit at the OECD, IAEA and BNFL. The morning closed with a presentation primarily on the new features of VISTA-RAY, including the powerful multiple definitions display. The afternoon session began with two BNFL presentations: the first on the tools MONKCheck and CodeMore which are used to check MONK outputs and to generate multiple runs from looping data respectively; the second on the design of a decontamination facility and the control of criticality within it. The third session closed with a talk on the requirements for a CIDAS system for B13 at Windscale, with a brief comparison to a CSA. The final session began with a presentation from Imperial College on the status of the FETCH-3D coupled criticality code for modelling transients. This was followed by a presentation on the comparison of DICE, BINGO and MCNP when modelling a range of higher actinides, and the excellent results obtained with BINGO. The day was brought to a close by a talk on the status of MONK and some of the planned future developments. As on the previous days, attendees were invited to make use of the computers available in the seminar room for further demonstrations of any of the codes.


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