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Testing the Sampling-Based NUSS-RF Tool for the Nuclear Data–Related Global Sensitivity Analysis with Monte Carlo Neutronics Calculations

Ting Zhu, Alexander Vasiliev, Hakim Ferroukhi, Dimitri Rochman, Andreas Pautz

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 184 / Number 1 / September 2016 / Pages 69-83

Technical Paper /

First Online Publication:June 28, 2016
Updated:September 1, 2016

NUSS-RF is a tool for nuclear data uncertainty propagation through neutronics calculations with continuous-energy Monte Carlo codes and ACE-formatted nuclear data libraries. Many existing codes, including the original version of NUSS (Nuclear data Uncertainty Stochastic Sampling), are based on simple random sampling algorithms. The NUSS-RF extension now uses a frequency-based sampling algorithm, called the random balance design (RBD), to analyze individual nuclear data uncertainty contributions in regard to the total output (e.g., keff) uncertainty. The implementation of the RBD method into NUSS-RF is initially verified by comparing the computed individual input variance contributions with analytical solutions for two analytical test cases. As well, it is assessed against the alternative approach based on the use of correlation coefficients. NUSS-RF is then used for an analysis of the Jezebel and Godiva fast-spectrum criticality benchmarks: in a first step, the overall effect of the 239Pu(n,f) and 235U(n,f) cross-section uncertainties on keff is evaluated, while in a second step, the contributions from the individual energy groups are quantified. As an additional verification, the NUSS-RF results are assessed against sensitivity and uncertainty analysis based on perturbation theory, showing good agreement between the two solutions. Finally, the capability of NUSS-RF is demonstrated for ranking the input parameters with respect to their influence on the total uncertainty of the output parameters, taking into account possible correlations between input parameters. Possible future improvements for the current computational scheme are discussed in the conclusions.

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