United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Experience With the Scale Criticality Safety Cross-Section Libraries (NUREG/CR-6686)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: August 2000
Date Published: October 2000

Prepared by:
S. M. Bowman,
W. C. Jordan,* J. F. Mincey,*
C. V. Parks, L. M. Petrie

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Managed by UT-Battelle, LLC
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6370

*Formerly with Oak Ridge National Laboratory

C. J. Withee, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Spent Fuel Project Office
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code B0009

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Abstract

This report provides detailed information on the SCALE criticality safety cross-section libraries. Areas covered include the origins of the libraries, the data on which they are based, how they were generated, past experience and validations, and performance comparisons with measured critical experiments and numerical benchmarks.

The performance of the SCALE criticality safety cross-section libraries on various types of fissile systems are examined in detail. Most of the performance areas are demonstrated by examining the performance of the libraries vs critical experiments to show general trends and weaknesses. In areas where directly applicable critical experiments do not exist, performance is examined based on the general knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the cross sections. In this case, the experience in the use of the cross sections and comparisons with the results of other libraries on the same systems are relied on for establishing acceptability of application of a particular SCALE library to a particular fissile system.

This report should aid in establishing when a SCALE cross-section library would be expected to perform acceptably and where there are known or suspected deficiencies that would cause the calculations to be less reliable. To determine the acceptability of a library for a particular application, the calculational bias of the library should be established by directly applicable critical experiments.

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