Recent advances in perturbative methods applied to nuclear engineering problems

F.R. Andrade Lima, A. Gandini, A. Blanco, C.A.B.O. Lira, E.S.G. Maciel, A.C.M. Alvim, F.C. Silva, P.F.F. Melo, W.F.L. Franca, J.L. Baliño, A.E. Larreteguy, A. Lorenzo

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This paper describes the main perturbative methods used in sensitivity analysis. It also presents several applications to calculate sensitivity coefficients of interest to nuclear engineering problems. These topics will cover only the papers presented in the 10th Brazilian Meeting on Reactor Physics and Thermal Hydraulics - X ENFIR First the matrix formalism of the perturbation theory is applied in a simplified model to study the hot channel of PWR reactors. The mass, linear momentum and energy conservation equations and appropriate heat transfer and fluid mechanic correlations describe the discretized system. After calculating system's thermal hydraulic properties, the matrix formalism is applied and the sensitivity coefficients are determined for each case of interest. Comparisons between perturbative and direct calculations show good agreement, which demonstrates that the matrix formalism is an important tool for discretized system analysis. A second application of the GPT methodology to a reliability engineering problem of great practical interest follows: that of the analysis of the influence of the demand rate on the reliability of a process plant equipped with a single protective channel. The application of the GPT approach needs the solution of the system for a few points (reference solutions). The results agree very well with those published in the literature. In a third application, the so called differential method was applied to the sensitivity analysis of the waterhammer effect in hydraulic networks. As an example, a constant-level tank connected through a pipe to a valve discharging to atmosphere was considered. The sensitivity coefficients for given responses obtained by using both the differential method and the response surface generated by the computer code WHAT were calculated. The results obtained show excellent agreement. As a fourth application, the GPT formalism is used to analyze the sensitivity of some responses of interest to boron neutron capture therapy. Attention is focused on diffusive source-driven systems. Finally a methodology is described relevant to the use of data from experimental facilities with respect to a reference design. The method makes use of GPT methods for the calculation of the sensitivity coefficients relevant to the responses of interest with respect to the system parameters. Adjustment and data transposition methods extensively used in the reactor physics neutronic domain are considered as applicable to other fields of interest, in particular to the thermal-hydraulic field. © 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23 - 97
Number of pages75
JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Andrade Lima, F. R., Gandini, A., Blanco, A., Lira, C. A. B. O., Maciel, E. S. G., Alvim, A. C. M., ... Lorenzo, A. (1998). Recent advances in perturbative methods applied to nuclear engineering problems. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 33(1-2), 23 - 97.