Nuclear data evaluation methodology including estimates of covariances
1 Nuclear Data Section, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria
2 Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
3 Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Evaluated nuclear data rather than raw experimental and theoretical information are employed in nuclear applications such as the design of nuclear energy systems. Therefore, the process by which such information is produced and ultimately used is of critical interest to the nuclear science community. This paper provides an overview of various contemporary methods employed to generate evaluated cross sections and related physical quantities such as particle emission angular distributions and energy spectra. The emphasis here is on data associated with neutron induced reaction processes, with consideration of the uncertainties in these data, and on the more recent evaluation methods, e.g., those that are based on stochastic (Monte Carlo) techniques. There is no unique way to perform such evaluations, nor are nuclear data evaluators united in their opinions as to which methods are superior to the others in various circumstances. In some cases it is not critical which approaches are used as long as there is consistency and proper use is made of the available physical information. However, in other instances there are definite advantages to using particular methods as opposed to other options. Some of these distinctions are discussed in this paper and suggestions are offered regarding fruitful areas for future research in the development of evaluation methodology.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2010