Including experimental information in TMC using file weights from automatically generated experimental covariance matrices
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The Total Monte Carlo methodology (TMC) for nuclear data (ND) uncertainty propagation has been subject to some critique because the nuclear reaction parameters are sampled from distributions which have not been rigorously determined from experimental data. In this study, it is thoroughly explained how random ND files are weighted with likelihood function values computed by comparing the ND files to experimental data, using experimental covariance matrices generated from information in the experimental database EXFOR and a set of simple rules. A proof that such weights give a consistent implementation of Bayes' theorem is provided. The impact of the weights is mainly studied for a set of integral systems/applications, e.g., a set of shielding fuel assemblies which shall prevent aging of the pressure vessels of the Swedish nuclear reactors Ringhals 3 and 4.For many applications, the weighting does not have much impact, something which can be explained by too narrow prior distributions. Another possible explanation is that the integral systems are highly sensitive to resonance parameters, which effectively are not treated in this work. In other cases, only a very small number of files get significantly large weights, which can be due to the prior parameter distributions or model defects.Further, some parameters used in the rules for the EXFOR interpretation have been varied. The observed impact from varying one parameter at a time is not very strong. This can partially be due to the general insensitivity to the weights seen for many applications, and there can be strong interaction effects. The automatic treatment of outliers has a quite large impact, however. To approach more justified ND uncertainties, the rules for the EXFOR interpretation shall be further discussed and developed, in particular the rules for rejecting outliers, and random ND files that are intended to describe prior distributions shall be generated. Further, model defects need to be treated.
Nuclear data, Uncertainty propagation, Total Monte Carlo, Experimental correlations
Research subject Physics with specialization in Applied Nuclear Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265323DiVA: diva2:865170