Experimental estimation of the delayed neutron fraction β eff of the MAESTRO core in the MINERVE zero power reactor

Erez Gilad, Oleg Rivin, Hanania Ettedgui, Ilan Yaar, Benoit Geslot, Alexandra Pepino, Jacques Di Salvo, Adrien Gruel, Patrick Blaise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A method for determining the effective delayed neutron fraction βeff using in-pile reactivity oscillations and Fourier analysis is presented. This method is based on measurements of the reactor's power response to small periodic in-pile reactivity perturbations and utilizes Fourier analysis for reconstruction of the reactor zero power transfer function. This approach enables the estimation of βeff using multi-parameter nonlinear weighted least-squares fit. The method extends previous works by accounting for higher harmonics excitation in the frequency domain by the trapezoidal reactivity signal, both in the reactivity perturbation and in the reactor power response. We show that by using this new approach it is possible to obtain the reactor transfer function in a wide range of frequencies, using only a single oscillation frequency. This method is applied to a set of measurements of the MAESTRO core configuration in the MINERVE zero power reactor (ZPR) located at the Cadarache Research Center. The derived value of βeff, using this method, is 711 ± 17 pcm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1026-1033
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Science and Technology
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2015


  • critical experiment
  • effective delayed neutron fraction
  • reactor kinetics
  • reactor physics
  • reactor safety
  • response function

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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