Validation of ORIGEN for LWR used fuel decay heat analysis with SCALE

by Germina Ilas, Ian C. Gauld, Henrik Liljenfeldt


The energy release rate from the decay of radionuclides can be a critical design parameter for used nuclear fuel storage, transportation, and repository engineered systems. Validation of the SCALE nuclear analysis code system capabilities in predicting decay heat for commercial used fuel applications has been performed using decay heat measurements for fuel assemblies irradiated in pressurized and boiling water reactors. The experimental data used for validation include a large number of full-length-assembly decay heat measurements that were performed between 2003 and 2010 at the Swedish Central Interim Storage Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel, Clab, operated by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, SKB. The measured fuel assemblies cover the burnup range 14–51 GWd/MTU and cooling times between 12 and 27 years, which are times of interest to used fuel transportation and storage applications. The validation results indicate good agreement between calculated and measured decay heat values, generally within the reported measurement uncertainty. The effects of key modeling assumptions and data used in the calculations are presented and discussed.

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Publication Citation

Nuclear Engineering and Design 2014 pp 58-67
DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2014.02.026