Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses of the tritium production in the HCPB breeder blanket mock-up experiment

D. Leichtle*, U. Fischer, I. Kodeli, R. L. Perel, M. Angelone, P. Batistoni, P. Carconi, M. Pillon, I. Schäfer, K. Seidel, R. Villari, G. Zappa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A neutronics experiment performed at the Frascati Neutron Generator (FNG) on a mock-up of the Helium-Cooled Pebble Bed (HCPB) breeder test blanket module (TBM) has been analysed on the basis of neutron transport, sensitivity and uncertainty calculations using both deterministic and probabilistic computational methods. The calculations revealed a slight but systematic underestimation of the measured tritium activities by 5 to 10% on average, independent of the nuclear data used that were taken from the EFF-3 and FENDL-2.0, -2.1 data files. The uncertainty assessments showed data related uncertainties of the calculated tritium production rates at a level of 4% (2σ confidence level). The beryllium cross-section data were shown to be the main source of these uncertainties. The total uncertainties of the tritium production prediction including the data uncertainties, the statistical uncertainties of the Monte Carlo calculation and the experimental uncertainties are in the order of 8 to 10% (2σ). The observed underestimation of the measured tritium production is at the lower bound of the assessed uncertainty margin. The obtained results indicate that design calculations for the tritium breeding ratio (TBR) of fusion power reactors employing a HCPB type breeder blanket are conservative. Thus, an additional TBR margin is provided which allows compensation for potential other uncertainties.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2406-2412
Number of pages7
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number15-24
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work, supported by the European Communities under the contract of Association between EURATOM/Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe/ENEA Frascati, was carried out within the framework of the European Fusion Development Agreement.


  • Neutronics
  • Nuclear cross sections
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Tritium breeder blanket
  • Tritium production rate
  • Uncertainty analysis


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