Nucl. Sci. Eng. 153, pp. 1-7 (2006)

Evaluation and Propagation of the 239Pu fission cross-section uncertainties using a Monte Carlo technique

T. Kawano, K.M. Hanson, S.C. Frankle, P. Talou, M.B. Chadwick, R.C. Little
Los Alamos National Laboratory


We present an approach to uncertainty quantification for nuclear applications, which combines the covariance evaluation of differential cross-sections data and the error propagation from matching a criticality experiment using a neutron-transport calculation. We have studied the reduction in uncertainty of 239Pu fission cross sections by using a one-dimensional neutron-transport calculation with the PARTISN code. The evaluation of 239Pu differential cross-section data is combined with a criticality measurement (Jezebel) using a Bayesian method. To quantify the uncertainty in such calculations, we generate a set of random samples of the cross sections, which represents the covariance matrix, and estimate the distribution of calculated quantities, such as criticality. We show that inclusion of the Jezebel data reduces uncertainties in estimating neutron multiplicity.

Keywords: 239Pu fission cross section evaluation, JEZEBEL, criticality experiment, Bayesian updating, correlation matrix, posterior predictive distribution, Monte Carlo sampling, uncertainty prediction

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