Probabilistic margin evaluation on accidental transients for the ASTRID reactor project
CEA, DEN, DER, F-13108, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France
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ASTRID is a technological demonstrator of Sodium cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) under development. The conceptual design studies are being conducted in accordance with the Generation IV reactor objectives, particularly in terms of improving safety. For the hypothetical events, belonging to the accidental category “severe accident prevention situations” having a very low frequency of occurrence, the safety demonstration is no more based on a deterministic demonstration with conservative assumptions on models and parameters but on a “Best-Estimate Plus Uncertainty” (BEPU) approach. This BEPU approach ispresented in this paper for an Unprotected Loss-of-Flow (ULOF) event. The Best-Estimate (BE) analysis of this ULOFt ransient is performed with the CATHARE2 code, which is the French reference system code for SFR applications. The objective of the BEPU analysis is twofold: first evaluate the safety margin to sodium boiling in taking into account the uncertainties on the input parameters of the CATHARE2 code (twenty-two uncertain input parameters have been identified, which can be classified into five groups: reactor power, accident management, pumps characteristics, reactivity coefficients, thermal parameters and head losses); secondly quantify the contribution of each input uncertainty to the overall uncertainty of the safety margins, in order to refocusing R&D efforts on the most influential factors. This paper focuses on the methodological aspects of the evaluation of the safety margin. At least for the preliminary phase of the project (conceptual design), a probabilistic criterion has been fixed in the context of this BEPU analysis; this criterion is the value of the margin to sodium boiling, which has a probability 95% to be exceeded, obtained with a confidence level of 95% (i.e. the M5,95percentile of the margin distribution). This paper presents two methods used to assess this percentile: the Wilks method and the Bootstrap method ; the effectiveness of the two methods is compared on the basis of 500 simulations performed with theCATHARE2 code. We conclude that, with only 100 simulations performed with the CATHARE2 code, which is a number of simulations workable in the conceptual design phase of the ASTRID project where the models and the hypothesis are often modified, it is best in order to evaluate the percentile M5,95 of the margin to sodium boiling to use the bootstrap method, which will provide a slightly conservative result. On the other hand, in order to obtain an accurate estimation of the percentileM5,95, for the safety report for example, it will be necessary to perform at least 300 simulations with the CATHARE2 code. In this case, both methods (Wilks and Bootstrap) would give equivalent results.
Key words: Sodium cooled Fast Reactor / sodium boiling / probabilistic margin
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014