Nuclear data sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of critical VENUS-F cores with the Serpent Monte Carlo code

E. Fridman (Corresponding Author), Ville Valtavirta, M. Aufiero

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In the framework of the FP7 Euratom project FREYA, the Serpent Monte Code was used to characterize a number of critical VENUS-F core configurations. Several neutronic parameters calculated by Serpent were compared to the available experimental data and reported in a previous study. Although a generally reasonable agreement between the calculated and experimental values was obtained, the study also revealed some important issues related to the modeling results such as a systematic overestimation of reactivity and a systematic underestimation of U238 to U235 fission rate ratio (designated as F28/F25 spectral index). The objective of the current follow-up study is to assess the impact of nuclear data uncertainties on the Monte Carlo estimates of reactivity and spectral indices. The analysis is carried out for two critical VENUS-F cores using a recently upgraded version of Serpent which is capable to perform sensitivity analysis, based on the collision history method and to propagate and quantify nuclear data uncertainties using multi-group covariance libraries in an automated way. The criticality calculations were performed using the ENDV/B-VII.1 based cross sections while the uncertainties due to nuclear data were obtained using 56-group neutron cross section covariance library from the SCALE-6.2 package. The estimated uncertainties due to nuclear data are of the order of 2200 pcm and 8% on k-eff and F28/F25 spectral index, respectively. It was found that the major contributor to the k-eff uncertainty is the capture cross section of U235. In the F28/F25 case, the total uncertainty is dominated by inelastic scattering cross section of U238, fission spectrum of U235, and capture cross section of U235.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107196
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
Early online date15 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Critical experiments
  • Monte Carlo
  • Serpent
  • Uncertainty quantification


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