EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Verification & Validation|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
IDENTIFICATION OF REACTOR PHYSICS BENCHMARKS FOR NUCLEAR DATA TESTING: TOOLS AND EXAMPLES
Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) 46 Quai A. Le Gallo, 92100 Boulogne Billancourt, France
Published online: 22 February 2021
Measurements of reactor physics quantities aimed at identifying the reactivity worth of materials, spectral ratios of cross-sections, and reactivity coefficients have ensured reactor physics codes can accurately predict nuclear reactor systems. These measurements were critical in the absence of sufficiently accurate differential data, and underpinned the need for experiments through the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Data from experimental campaigns were routinely incorporated into nuclear data libraries either through changes to general nuclear data libraries, or more commonly in the local libraries generated by a particular institution or consortium interested in accurately predicting a specific nuclear system (e.g. fast reactors) or parameters (e.g. fission gas release, yields). Over the last three decades, the model has changed. In tandem access to computing power and monte carlo codes rose dramatically. The monte carlo codes were well suited to computing k-eff, and owing to the availability of high quality criticality benchmarks and these benchmarks were increasing used to test the nuclear data. Meanwhile, there was a decline in the production of local libraries as new nuclear systems were not being built, and the existing systems were considered adequately predicted. The cost-to-benefit ratio of validating new libraries relative to their improved prediction capability was less attractive. These trends have continued. It is widely acknowledged that the checking of new nuclear data libraries is highly skewed towards testing against criticality benchmarks, ignoring many of the high quality reactor physics benchmarks during the testing and production of general-purpose nuclear data libraries. However, continued increases in computing power, methodology (GPT), and additional availability reactor physics experiments from sources such as the International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Experiments should result in better testing of new libraries and ensured applicability to a wide variety of nuclear systems. It often has not. Leveraging the wealth of historical reactor physics measurements represents perhaps the simplest way to improve the quality of nuclear data libraries in the coming decade. Resources at the Nuclear Energy Agency can be utilized to assist in interrogating available identify benchmarks in the reactor physics experiments handbook, and expediting their use in verification and validation. Additionally, high quality experimental campaigns that should be examined in validation will be highlighted to illustrate potential improvements in the verification and validation process.
Key words: Benchmark / Integral Experiment / Nuclear Data / Validation
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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