Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Software for Nuclear Safety Analyses of Spent Fuel
The Standard Computer Analyses for Licensing Evaluation (SCALE) system of nuclear and heat transfer software provides standard analytical sequences for the safety analysis of equipment and facilities intended for the handling, storage and transport of spent reactor fuel and other radioactive materials. SCALE was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in order to provide an easy-to-use system for criticality, shielding, and thermal analysis of nuclear facility and package designs. This program has evolved since 1976 when it was developed to allow the use of the KENO Monte Carlo code in well defined analytical sequences in the calculation of the k-effective of complex systems. The development of SCALE was instigated because of the poor quality of existing safety analyses as well as the need for easy-to-use systems for novice and/or occasional users.
Using SCALE, the software user can perform sophisticated criticality safety, radiation shielding and heat transfer analyses by selecting the appropriate standard analytical sequence and providing the system description in easily visualized engineering parameters. Important features of SCALE include its modular system of well-established programs and data, control modules that automate data processing and functional analysis into standard analysis sequences, easy parameter input into the control modules, and system maintenance and enhancements provided under active quality assurance and configuration plans.
SCALE has been continually updated and improved, with over $4 million spent to develop and maintain the program. Seven new software and documentation releases of SCALE have been distributed to worldwide organizations. SCALE can be used for safety evaluations of production, research, and storage facilities and transportation packages with fissile and/or radioactive materials, design calculations, and spent fuel and high-level waste characterization.
The use of SCALE has improved the quality of safety analyses, and its versatility and ease-of-use have reduced training time for users. Because it is technically accepted, well documented, and continues to be maintained and improved under an approved quality assurance and configuration control plan, the SCALE system will promote standardization and ease the qualification of the safety analyses submitted in the licensing process.
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