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Title: The IAEA Coordinated Research Program on HTGR Uncertainty Analysis: Phase I Status and Initial Results

The continued development of High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors (HTGRs) requires verification of HTGR design and safety features with reliable high fidelity physics models and robust, efficient, and accurate codes. One way to address the uncertainties in the HTGR analysis tools is to assess the sensitivity of critical parameters (such as the calculated maximum fuel temperature during loss of coolant accidents) to a few important input uncertainties. The input parameters were identified by engineering judgement in the past but are today typically based on a Phenomena Identification Ranking Table (PIRT) process. The input parameters can also be derived from sensitivity studies and are then varied in the analysis to find a spread in the parameter of importance. However, there is often no easy way to compensate for these uncertainties. In engineering system design, a common approach for addressing performance uncertainties is to add compensating margins to the system, but with passive properties credited it is not so clear how to apply it in the case of modular HTGR heat removal path. Other more sophisticated uncertainty modelling approaches, including Monte Carlo analysis, have also been proposed and applied. Ideally one wishes to apply a more fundamental approach to determine the predictivemore » capability and accuracies of coupled neutronics/thermal-hydraulics and depletion simulations used for reactor design and safety assessment. Today there is a broader acceptance of the use of uncertainty analysis even in safety studies, and it has been accepted by regulators in some cases to replace the traditional conservative analysis. Therefore some safety analysis calculations may use a mixture of these approaches for different parameters depending upon the particular requirements of the analysis problem involved. Sensitivity analysis can for example be used to provide information as part of an uncertainty analysis to determine best estimate plus uncertainty results to the required confidence level. In order to address uncertainty propagation in analysis and methods in the HTGR community the IAEA initiated a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on the HTGR Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling (UAM) that officially started in 2013. Although this project focuses specifically on the peculiarities of HTGR designs and its simulation requirements, many lessons can be learned from the LWR community and the significant progress already made towards a consistent methodology uncertainty analysis. In the case of LWRs the NRC has already in 1988 amended 10 CFR 50.46 to allow best-estimate (plus uncertainties) calculations of emergency core cooling system performance. The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also established an Expert Group on "Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling" which finally led to the definition of the "Benchmark for Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling (UAM) for Design, Operation and Safety Analysis of LWRs". The CRP on HTGR UAM will follow as far as possible the on-going OECD Light Water Reactor UAM benchmark activity.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1212133
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-14-33350
TRN: US1600012
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: HTR2014,Weihai, China,10/27/2014,10/31/2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
DOE - NE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; HTGR TYPE REACTORS; NEA; LOSS OF COOLANT; COORDINATED RESEARCH PROGRAMS; SAFETY ANALYSIS; SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS; IAEA; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DESIGN; THERMAL HYDRAULICS; ECCS; BENCHMARKS; HEAT; PERFORMANCE; RISK ASSESSMENT; ACCURACY; REMOVAL; VERIFICATION; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; REACTOR KINETICS; DATA COVARIANCES Coordinated Research Project; Phenomena Identification Ranking Table; Light Water Reactor (LWR)