International Reactor Physics Experiment Evaluation (IRPhE) Project

IRPhE Handbook

2017 edition and availability

IRPhE Handbook cover image

The International Reactor Physics Evaluation (IRPhE) Project was initiated as a pilot in 1999 by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Nuclear Science Committee (NSC). The project was endorsed as an official activity of the NSC in June 2003. While the NEA co-ordinates and administers the IRPhE Project at the international level, each participating country is responsible for the administration, technical direction and priorities of the project within their respective countries. The information and data included in this handbook are available to NEA member countries, to all contributing countries and to others on a case-by-case basis.

The IRPhE Project is patterned after the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP). It closely co-ordinates with the ICSBEP to avoid duplication of efforts and publication of conflicting information. Some benchmark data are applicable to both nuclear criticality safety and reactor physics technology. Some have already been evaluated and published by the ICSBEP, but have been extended to include other types of measurements in addition to the critical configuration.

Through this effort, the IRPhE Project will be able to 1) consolidate and preserve the existing worldwide information base; 2) retrieve lost data; 3) identify areas where more data are needed; 4) draw upon the resources of the international reactor physics community to help fill knowledge gaps; 5) identify discrepancies between calculations and experiments due to deficiencies in reported experimental data, cross-section data, cross-section processing codes and neutronics codes; 6) eliminate a large amount of redundant research and processing of reactor physics experiment data, and 7) improve future experimental planning, execution and reporting.

This handbook contains reactor physics benchmark specifications that have been derived from experiments performed at nuclear facilities around the world. The benchmark specifications are intended for use by reactor designers, safety analysts and nuclear data evaluators to validate calculation techniques and data. Example calculations are presented; these do not constitute a validation or endorsement of the codes or cross-section data.

This edition of the International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments contains data from 151 experimental series that were performed at 50 reactor facilities. To be published as approved benchmarks, the experiments must be evaluated against agreed technical criteria and reviewed by the IRPhE Technical Review Group. A total of 146 of the 151 evaluations are published as approved benchmarks. The remaining five evaluations are published as draft documents only.

The front cover of the handbook shows the MINERVE reactor in Cadarache, France. Evaluation was completed of the CERES Phase II validation of fission product poisoning through reactivity worth measurements, which includes 13 fission products

Comments (recommendations, additions, deletions and corrections), which may be of use in improving this handbook, should be addressed to:

John D. Bess
Idaho National Laboratory
2525 North Fremont
Idaho Falls, ID  83415-3855
United States of America


Tatiana Ivanova
NEA Division of Nuclear Science
46 quai Alphonse Le Gallo
92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Requesting the IRPhE Handbook

The Handbook is published in electronic format (pdf files), where the experiments are grouped into evaluations, categorised by (1) Reactor Name, (2) Reactor Type, (3) Facility Type, and (4) Measurement Type.

The Handbook was prepared by a working party comprised of experienced reactor physics personnel from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, P.R. of China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The IRPhEP Handbook, featuring the IRPhEP Database and Analysis Tool (IDAT), is distributed on DVD and online. It can be requested by completing the request form.

The IRPhEP Handbook is available to authorised requesters from the OECD member countries and to contributing establishments from non-OECD countries. Other requests are handled on a case by case basis. Find out more about the restrictions, the disclaimer, and providing feedback

Accessing the IRPhE Handbook on-line

If you have already been authorised access to the 2017 edition, you can access it through the link below:

Access the IRPhE Handbook online (password protected | reminder).


For questions or more information, please send an e-mail to .

Last reviewed: 14 April 2017

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