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Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences pres.

PhD Defense: Jennifer Arthur

Subcritical Neutron Multiplication Inference Measurements for Nuclear Data and Computational Methods Validation

Jennifer Arthur PhD Defense flyer Jennifer Arthur PhD Defense flyer
Jennifer Arthur PhD Defense flyer
Title: Subcritical Neutron Multiplication Inference Measurements for Nuclear Data and Computational Methods Validation

Co-Chair: Prof. Sara Pozzi
Co-Chair: Dr. Rian Bahran

ABSTRACT: Subcritical measurements have been continually performed since the 1940s, and simulation capabilities were developed alongside the measurements for comparison purposes. The accuracy of predictive radiation transport simulations are limited by the accuracy of the Monte Carlo simulation codes and underlying nuclear data. A subcritical benchmark measurement is a high-quality subcritical measurement in which all physical parameters and uncertainties are well characterized to a high degree of accuracy, and which is peer reviewed and compiled with other benchmark experiments into a database such as the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP). Benchmark measurements are therefore trusted to provide accurate comparisons between experimental and simulated data, for nuclear data and radiation transport code validation purposes. Critical benchmarks are plentiful, but are not sensitive to correlated neutron parameters in the way that the handful of existing subcritical benchmarks are. This work demonstrates how we can apply subcritical neutron multiplication measurements and simulations to better validate relevant nuclear data and radiation transport computational methods currently used for nuclear nonproliferation and safety applications. The work encompasses the entire process of an advanced subcritical measurement, from the earliest planning stages to the final analysis and comparison to simulated results. Both the Critical and Subcritical 0-Power Experiment at Rensselaer (CaSPER) measurement, a novel advanced subcritical measurement, and the SCRαP measurement, a state-of-the-art subcritical benchmark measurement, campaigns have been completed. Simulations of LANL ICSBEP benchmark-quality reflected plutonium (BeRP) ball subcritical measurements have been conducted using various radiation transport codes that take into account the correlated physics of fission neutrons. Comparisons of both the results and the underlying neutron multiplicity models applied by the codes have been investigated, as well as new methods of applying comparisons of these subcritical neutron multiplication inference measurements and the associated simulations to nuclear data and computational methods validation. Optimization algorithm frameworks have been applied to both nuclear data evaluation based on subcritical neutron multiplication inference benchmarks, and the design of subcritical neutron multiplication inference benchmarks.
Jennifer Arthur PhD Defense flyer Jennifer Arthur PhD Defense flyer
Jennifer Arthur PhD Defense flyer
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