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Development and validation of uncertainty neutron transport calculations at an industrial scale

Julien Gaillet 1, 2, * Thomas Bonaccorsi 1, 2 Gilles Noguere 1, 3 Guillaume Truchet 1, 2
* Corresponding author
2 LPN - Laboratoire de Projets Nucléaires
SPRC - Service de Physique des Réacteurs et du Cycle : DEN/DER
3 LEPH - Laboratoire d'Etudes de PHysique
SPRC - Service de Physique des Réacteurs et du Cycle : DEN/DER
Abstract : Evaluating uncertainties on nuclear parameters such as reactivity is a major issue for conception of nuclear reactors. These uncertainties mainly come from the lack of knowledge on nuclear and technological data. Today, the common method used to propagate nuclear data uncertainties is Total Monte Carlo [1] but this method suffers from a long time calculation. Moreover, it requires as many calculations as uncertainties sought. An other method for the propagation of the nuclear data uncertainties consists in using the standard perturbation theory (SPT) to calculate reactivity sensitivity to the desire nuclear data. In such a method, sensitivities are combined with a priori nuclear data covariance matrices such as the COMAC set developed by CEA. The goal of this work is to calculate sensitivites by SPT with the full core diffusion code CRONOS2 for propagation uncertainties at the core level. In this study, COMAC nuclear data uncertainties have been propagated on the BEAVRS benchmark using a two-step APOLLO2/CRONOS2 scheme, where APOLLO2 is the lattice code used to resolve Boltzmann equation within assemblies using a high number of energy groups, and CRONOS2 is the code resolving the 3D full core diffusion equation using only four energy groups. A module implementing the SPT already exists in the APOLLO2 code but computational cost would be too expensive in 3D on the whole core. Consequently, an equivalent procedure has been created in CRONOS2 code to allow full-core uncertainty propagation. The main interest of this procedure is to compute sensitivities on reactivity within a reduced turnaround time for a 3D modeled core, even after fuel depletion. In addition, it allows access to all sensitivites by isotope, reaction and energy group in a single calculation. Reactivity sensitivities calculated by this procedure with four energy groups are compared to reference sensitivities calculated by the iterated fission probability (IFP) method in Monte Carlo code. For the purpose of the tests, dedicated covariance matrix have been created by condensation from 49 to 4 groups of the COMAC matrix. In conclusion, sensitivities calculated by CRONOS2 agree with the sensitivities calculated by the IFP method, which validates the calculation procedure, allowing analysis to be done quickly. In addition, reactivity uncertainty calculated by this method is close to values found for this type of reactor.
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Julien Gaillet, Thomas Bonaccorsi, Gilles Noguere, Guillaume Truchet. Development and validation of uncertainty neutron transport calculations at an industrial scale. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2018, 4, pp.45. ⟨10.1051/epjn/2018031⟩. ⟨cea-02304370⟩

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