The 'code-user effect' and the international training program in support of safety analysis
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Thermal-hydraulic system computer codes are extensively used worldwide for analysis of nuclear facilities by utilities, regulatory bodies, nuclear power plant designers and vendors, nuclear fuel companies, research organizations, consulting companies, and technical support organizations. The computer code user represents a source of uncertainty that can influence the results of system code calculations. This influence is commonly known as the 'user effect' and stems from the limitations embedded in the codes as well as from the limited capability of the analysts to use the codes. Code user training and qualification is an effective means for reducing the variation of results caused by the application of the codes by different users. This paper describes a systematic approach to training code users who, upon completion of the training, should be able to perform calculations making the best possible use of the capabilities of best estimate codes. In other words, the program aims at contributing towards solving the problem of user effect. The 3D S.UN.COP (Scaling, Uncertainty and 3D COuPled code calculations) seminars have been organized as follow-up of the proposal to IAEA for the Permanent Training Course for System Code Users . Seven seminars have been held at University of Pisa (2003, 2004), at The Pennsylvania State University (2004), at University of Zagreb (2005), at the School of Industrial Engineering of Barcelona (January-February 2006), in Buenos Aires, Argentina (October 2006, requested by ARN -Autoridad Regulatoria Nuclear- NA-SA -Nucleoelectrica Argentina S.A- and CNEA -Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica) and at Texas A&M University (January-February 2007). It was recognized that such courses represented both a source of continuing education for current code users and a mean for current code users to enter the formal training structure of a proposed 'permanent' stepwise approach to user training. The 3D S.UN.COP 2007 at Texas A&M. (http://dimnp.ing.unipi.it/3dsuncop/2007) was successfully held with the attendance of 26 participants coming from 12 countries and 17 different institutions (universities, vendors, national laboratories and regulatory bodies). About 30 scientists (coming from 11 countries and 19 different institutions) were involved in the organization of the seminar, presenting theoretical aspects of the proposed methodologies and holding the training and the final examination. A certificate was released to participants that successfully solved the assigned problems.
author list (cited authors)
Petruzzi, A., D'Auria, F., Hassan, Y., Bajs, T., & Reventos, F.