Nuclear data for fusion : validation of typical pre-processing methods for radiation transport calculations

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Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Nuclear data form the basis of the radiation transport codes used to design and simulate the behaviour of nuclear facilities, such as the ITER and DEMO fusion reactors. Typically these data and codes are biased towards fission and high-energy physics applications yet are still applied to fusion problems. With increasing interest in fusion applications, the lack of fusion specific codes and relevant data libraries is becoming increasingly apparent. Industry standard radiation transport codes require pre-processing of the evaluated data libraries prior to use in simulation. Historically these methods focus on speed of simulation at the cost of accurate data representation. For legacy applications this has not been a major concern, but current fusion needs differ significantly. Pre-processing reconstructs the differential and double differential interaction cross sections with a coarse binned structure, or more recently as a tabulated cumulative distribution function. This work looks at the validity of applying these processing methods to data used in fusion specific calculations in comparison to fission. The relative effects of applying this pre-processing mechanism, to both fission and fusion relevant reaction channels are demonstrated, and as such the poor representation of these distributions for the fusion energy regime. For the natC(n,el) reaction at 2.0 MeV, the binned differential cross section deviates from the original data by 0.6% on average. For the 56Fe(n,el) reaction at 14.1 MeV, the deviation increases to 11.0%. We show how this discrepancy propagates through to varying levels of simulation complexity. Simulations were run with Turnip-MC and the ENDF-B/VII.1 library in an effort to define a new systematic error for this range of applications. Alternative representations of differential and double differential distributions are explored in addition to their impact on computational efficiency and relevant simulation results.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Early online date21 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015