Simulation of in-core dose rates for an offline CANDU reactor
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This thesis describes the development of a Monte Carlo simulation to predict the dose rates that will be encountered by a novel robotic inspection system for the pressure tubes of an offline CANDU reactor. Simulations were performed using the Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) radiation transport code, version 6.1. The radiation fields within the reactor, even when shut down, are very high, and can cause significant damage to certain structural components and the electronics of the inspection system. Given that the robotic system will rely heavily on electronics, it is important to know the dose rates that will be encountered, in order to estimate the component lifetimes. The MCNP simulation was developed and benchmarked against information obtained from Ontario Power Generation and the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. The benchmarking showed a good match between the simulated values and the expected values. This simulation, coupled with the accompanying user interface, represent a tool in dose field prediction that is currently unavailable. Predicted dose rates for a postulated inspection at 7 days after shutdown, with 2:5 cm of tungsten shielding around the key components, would survive for approximately 7 hours in core. This is anticipated to be enough time to perform an inspection and shows that the use of this tool can aid in designing the new inspection system.