The challenge for any nuclear data evaluation project is to periodically release a revised, fully consistent and complete library – with all the necessary data and covariances – and to ensure that it is robust and reliable for a variety of applications. Within such evaluation efforts, benchmarking activities are the final crucial step in validating the proposed library. The major data evaluations – JEFF, ENDF/B, JENDL, CENDL, ROSFOND/BROND and TENDL – all aim to provide such a library. Thus, they each require a coherent and efficient benchmarking process. In the past, this has been achieved through ad-hoc efforts by many participants typically using many different benchmarking suites. This process is prone to error and misunderstanding and considerable time can be wasted tracking down, for example, typographical or modeling errors that can be avoided by a more systematic approach.
The last two decades have seen the rise of tremendous new resources to address this issue: the international handbooks for criticality safety, reactor physics, fuel burnup, and radiation shielding. These peer reviewed references comprise our best understanding of the benchmark experiments by which we validate the nuclear data that we use for predictions of neutron reactivity, criticality safety, radiation shielding and other aspects of particle transport; and, more recently, for predictions of isotopic transmutation for waste disposal and dosimetry. This subgroup is working to (1) provide a methodology to assemble Quality Assured (QA) versions of these inputs for the MCNP and other transport codes; (2) to provide an initial repository of the major collections of such inputs and begin the QA process for them; and, (3) to provide the tools necessary to extract standardised information from such validation tests presented in a harmonised way.
The NEA's nuclear data evaluation co-operation activities involve the following evaluation projects: ENDF (United States), JENDL (Japan), ROSFOND/BROND (Russia), JEFF (other Data Bank member countries) and CENDL (China) in close co-operation with the Nuclear Data Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
WPEC Subgroup 47 (SG47) works in close coordination with other NEA activities such as WPRS Expert Group on Radiation Transport and Shielding (EGRTS), WPEC SG45, SG46, Collaborative International Evaluated Library Organisation (CIELO) Pilot Project and the JEFF project, where the work could be used to guide the evaluations. Feedback from these groups on the specific needs and the use of Shielding Integral Benchmark Archive and Database (SINBAD) data is expected. SINBAD evaluation work shall be tightly coordinated with the interest of SG46 on Efficient and Effective Use of Integral Experiments for Nuclear Data Validation. Past experience in integral benchmark evaluations from the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP), the International Reactor Physics Experiment Evaluation (IRPhE) Project and SINBAD will be valuable.