The Effect of Serpent 2 Calculation Parameters on Evaluated Spent Nuclear Fuel Source Term

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The estimation of spent nuclear fuel source term (decay heat, reactivity, nuclide inventory, etc.) has several sources of uncertainty such as uncertainties in nuclear data, uncertainties in the operation history, and choice of calculation parameters. In this work the effect of calculation parameters is studied by estimating the source term with the built-in burnup capability of SERPENT. The effect of the following parameters is considered: depletion zone division, burnup steps, unresolved resonance probability table sampling, Doppler-Broadening Rejection Correction (DBRC) and energy-dependent branching ratios. As a test case, a 2D Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) fuel assembly was modeled by first running a burnup calculation followed by a decay calculation. The following source term components were considered when investigating the effect of the studied parameters: total decay heat, photon emission rate and spontaneous fission rate. In general, the differences resulting from the use of different parameter variations were small for all three studied source term components. For the decay heat largest absolute relative difference was approximately 0.6% and for the photon emission rate approximately 1.1%. For the spontaneous fission rate maximum absolute relative difference of nearly 8% was observed. For all three components the variation of the depletion zone division resulted in the largest relative differences. Clear differences were also observed for burnup step length and DBRC variations. The use of unresolved resonance probability table sampling and energy-dependent branching ratios had an insignificant effect on the studied source term components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044503
JournalJournal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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