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Data Uncertainty Influence on Reactor Parameters Variances


Development of the Basis for Neutron-Physical Calculations of Reactor Value Variances Caused with Uncertainties of Initial Data

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-MOD/Modelling/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow


  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA, IL, Argonne

Project summary

Application and modernization of computation tools for predicting emergency situations, or their progress if precautionary measures failed, are of great importance for nuclear energy. This is so, since in nuclear energy, unlike other energy technologies, the probability of a failure is small but its consequences are disastrous.
Neutron-physics calculations of nuclear reactors have always been important and constantly improved. But despite improving precision of computation methods, there is always a great deal of uncertainty about characteristics being calculated. In this respect, one needs to know how large that uncertainty is. There are three main sources of uncertainty in neutron-physics calculations: (i) the first one is associated with inaccuracy of mathematical model applied - let us call it a methodological error; (ii) the second one is related to the lack of knowledge about microconstants - let it be a constant component; (iii) the third one is stipulated by imprecise knowledge about nuclide structure of reactor active zone. The latter error exists since the very first stage of reactor building due to technological errors; it also changes during the operational cycle as a result of burn-ups, temperature changes, etc. We will call this kind of error a technological one.
In recent times, there have been issued a large number of papers on various aspects of radioactive emanation transportation within stochastic environment. First, there are researches that account for stochastic nature of the processes. Second, there are works on determination of effective characteristics of stochastic environment. And finally, there are papers that use theory of disturbance (disturbance coefficients) for estimating the impact of some factors, mainly errors in microconstants, on reactor characteristics. Despite great scientific importance of above-mentioned works on various transportation problems, there is no way for applying their results directly for solving the problem underlined here - creation of a computation tool for estimating uncertainty associated with functionals that reactor physics are interested in.
The main result of the project will be the creation of computational basis for estimating the impact of uncertainty about initial parameters on neutron-physics characteristics of cells, fuel assemblies and reactor in general.
There will be created a prototype of the computational tool for calculation of neutron-physics characteristics of cells, fuel assemblies, and reactor in general together with estimation of variances of those characteristics.
The project team consists of 5 scientists, 3 of them with large experience in development and production of weapon. Labor-insensitiveness of the project totals 115 man-months within 36 months. The load of scientists with weapon development experience will be 65 man-months.
Total amount of financing is USD $83,200.


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