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Title: The IAEA coordinated research programme on HTGR uncertainty analysis: Phase I status and Ex. I-1 prismatic reference results

The quantification of uncertainties in design and safety analysis of reactors is today not only broadly accepted, but in many cases became the preferred way to replace traditional conservative analysis for safety and licensing analysis. The use of a more fundamental methodology is also consistent with the reliable high fidelity physics models and robust, efficient, and accurate codes available today. To facilitate uncertainty analysis applications a comprehensive approach and methodology must be developed and applied, in contrast to the historical approach where sensitivity analysis were performed and uncertainties then determined by a simplified statistical combination of a few important input parameters. New methodologies are currently under development in the OECD/NEA Light Water Reactor (LWR) Uncertainty Analysis in Best-Estimate Modelling (UAM) benchmark activity. High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) designs require specific treatment of the double heterogeneous fuel design and large graphite quantities at high temperatures. The IAEA has therefore launched a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on HTGR Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling (UAM) in 2013 to study uncertainty propagation specifically in the HTGR analysis chain. Two benchmark problems are defined, with the prismatic design represented by the General Atomics (GA) MHTGR-350 and a 250 MW modular pebble bed design similar to themore » Chinese HTR-PM. Work has started on the first phase and the current CRP status is reported in the paper. A comparison of the Serpent and SCALE/KENO-VI reference Monte Carlo results for Ex. I-1 of the MHTGR-350 design is also included. It was observed that the SCALE/KENO-VI Continuous Energy (CE) k values were 395 pcm (Ex. I-1a) to 803 pcm (Ex. I-1b) higher than the respective Serpent lattice calculations, and that within the set of the SCALE results, the KENO-VI 238 Multi-Group (MG) k values were up to 800 pcm lower than the KENO-VI CE values. The use of the latest ENDF-B-VII.1 cross section library in Serpent lead to ~180 pcm lower k values compared to the older ENDF-B-VII.0 dataset, caused by the modified graphite neutron capture cross section. Furthermore, the fourth beta release of SCALE 6.2 likewise produced lower CE k∞ values when compared to SCALE 6.1, and the improved performance of the new 252-group library available in SCALE 6.2 is especially noteworthy. A SCALE/TSUNAMI uncertainty analysis of the Hot Full Power variant for Ex. I-1a furthermore concluded that the 238U(n,γ) (capture) and 235U(View the MathML source) cross-section covariance matrices contributed the most to the total k uncertainty of 0.58%.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna International Centre, Vienna (Austria)
  3. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493; PII: S0029549315005956
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Engineering and Design
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Nuclear Engineering and Design; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; HTGR; uncertainty; prismatic; pebble bed
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1397883