A study into the propagation of the uncertainties in nuclear data to the nuclear concentrations of nuclides in burn-up calculations
The key papers on estimating the uncertainties in nuclear data deal with the influence of these uncertainties on the effective multiplication factor by introducing the so-called sensitivity factors and only some of these are concerned with the influence of such uncertainties on the life calculation results.
On the other hand, the uncertainties in reaction rates, the neutron flux, and other quantities may lead to major distortions in findings, this making it important to be able to determine the influence of uncertainties on the nuclear concentrations of nuclides in their burn-up process.
The possibility for the neutron flux and reaction rate uncertainties to propagate to the nuclear concentrations of nuclides obtained as part of burn-up calculations are considered using an example of a MOX-fuel PWR reactor cell. To this end, three burn-up calculation cycles were performed, and the propagation of uncertainties was analyzed. The advantages of the uncertainty estimation method implemented in the VisualBurnOut code consists in that all of the root-mean-square deviations are obtained in one calculation as a statistical method, e.g. GRS (Generation Random Sampled), requires multiple calculations.
The VisualBurnOut calculation results for the root-mean-square deviations in nuclear concentrations were verified using a simple model problem. It is shown that there is a complex dependence of the propagation of the root-mean-square deviations in the nuclear concentrations of nuclides in the process of fuel burn-up, and, therefore, further studies need to aim at investigating the influence of uncertainties in nuclear data on the nuclear concentrations of nuclides.
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