Bayesian Calibration with Summary Statistics for the Prediction of Xenon Diffusion in UO2 Nuclear Fuel


The evolution and release of fission gas impacts the performance of UO2 nuclear fuel. We have created a Bayesian framework to calibrate a novel model for fission gas transport that predicts diffusion rates of uranium and xenon in UO2 under both thermal equilibrium and irradiation conditions. Data sets are taken from historical diffusion, gas release, and thermodynamic experiments. These data sets consist invariably of summary statistics, including a measurement value with an associated uncertainty. Our calibration strategy uses synthetic data sets in order to estimate the parameters in the model, such that the resulting model predictions agree with the reported summary statistics. In doing so, the reported uncertainties are effectively reflected in the inferred uncertain parameters. Furthermore, to keep our approach computationally tractable, we replace the fission gas evolution model by a polynomial surrogate model with a reduced number of parameters, which are identified using global sensitivity analysis. We discuss the efficacy of our calibration strategy, and investigate how the contribution of the different data sets, taken from multiple sources in the literature, can be weighted in the likelihood function constructed as part of our Bayesian calibration setup, in order to account for the different number of data points in each set of data summaries. Our results indicate a good match between the calibrated diffusivity and non-stoichiometry predictions and the given data summaries. We demonstrate a good agreement between the calibrated xenon diffusivity and the established fit from Turnbull et al. (1982), indicating that the dominant uranium vacancy diffusion mechanism in the model is able to capture the trends in the data.

Computational Materials Science