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Monte Carlo uncertainty quantification of the effective delayed neutron fraction

Iwamoto, Hiroki  ; Stankovskiy, A.*; Fiorito, L.*; Van den Eynde, G.*

The applicability of Monte Carlo techniques, namely the Monte Carlo sensitivity method and the random-sampling method, for uncertainty quantification of the effective delayed neutron fraction $$beta_{rm eff}$$ is investigated using the continuous-energy Monte Carlo transport code, MCNP, from the perspective of statistical convergence issues. This study focuses on the nuclear data as one of the major sources of $$beta_{rm eff}$$ uncertainty. For validation of the calculated $$beta_{rm eff}$$, a critical configuration of the VENUS-F zero-power reactor was used. It is demonstrated that Chiba's modified $$k$$-ratio method is superior to Bretscher's prompt $$k$$-ratio method in terms of reducing the statistical uncertainty in calculating not only $$beta_{rm eff}$$ but also its sensitivities and the uncertainty due to nuclear data. From this result and a comparison of uncertainties obtained by the Monte Carlo sensitivity method and the random-sampling method, it is shown that the Monte Carlo sensitivity method using Chiba's modified $$k$$-ratio method is the most practical for uncertainty quantification of $$beta_{rm eff}$$. Finally, total $$beta_{rm eff}$$ uncertainty due to nuclear data for the VENUS-F critical configuration is determined to be approximately 2.7% with JENDL-4.0u, which is dominated by the delayed neutron yield of $$^{235}$$U.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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