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Validation of Physics Code Results compared to site data

Canadian Nuclear Industry


Validate Canadian Industry reactor physics codes by comparing their result to site data.


The Canadian nuclear industry decided in 2008 to update all IST reactor physics codes for newer versions and to switch to nuclear data library ENDF/B-VII. This major project ($ 6 million) includes code validation against site data and calculation of code uncertainties using the SCALE sequence, including TSUNAMI.

The validation of neutronics codes is carried out in Canada by identifying the physical phenomena of importance in accident analysis such as temperature feedback, fuel burnup effect,  reactivity of control rods, and neutron flux perturbations. These phenomena are modelled and computed mainly in the reactor code RFSP, and also at the fuel bundle level with WIMS -AECL and for the control rods in DRAGON.

The project included a first phase for the validation of the DRAGON code for 3D transport calculation. DRAGON is used to compute the nuclear properties of the control rods into the reactor, and to determine the fine flux profile in the fuel rods. For this validation phase, the task consisted of reproducing the commissioning tests carried out in the Bruce A Unit 3 reactor. Positions of control rods (LZC) and poison concentration (here Gadolinium) were measured for each critical condition in the reactor at cold conditions.

The DRAGON software has also been validated against fine flux profile measurements within the research reactor ZED- 2, Chalk River Canada. The work consisted of reproducing flux measurements in a 2D or 3D model of part of the research reactor. Uncertainty calculations were established and compared with experimental uncertainties.

For reactor core, the RFSP code has been validated against commissioning tests of various reactors Bruce A and Darlington, and against power measurements during core follow-up for Gentilly -2. The task consisted of modelling the different reactors, modelling of control devices (SOR and LZC) and moderator poison concentrations, and representing the core conditions and xenon transient during a refueling transient.

NOTE:  This work was performed / lead by MNS personnel during their previous employment


  • Reactivity mechanism models (LZC, SOR) in DRAGON in 3D.
  • ZED-2 models in DRAGON
  • Models of reactor cores for Bruce A, Darlington, & Gentilly-2
  • Production of SCM tables for Gentilly-2 using ENDF/B-VII library.
  • Validation report for flux profiles in Zed-2 research reactor
  • Validation of DRAGON against critical states during Bruce A commissioning tests, including comparison against MCNP full core results for the same critical conditions.
  • Validation report of reactor physics codes (WIMS-AECL, DRAGON, RFSP) against Bruce A and Darlington commissioning tests.
  • Validation report of reactor physics codes (WIMS-AECL, DRAGON, RFSP) against Gentilly-2 refueling transient, including comparison of channel powers close to refuelled channel and of vanadium detector readings


  • Physics
  • Code Validation
  • Commissionning Tests
  • Refueling


CANDU Owners Group (COG)



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