In a limiting critical break loss of coolant accident in a CANDU reactor significant degradation of heat transfer from the fuel can occur. As a result of the subsequent increase in fuel temperature it is possible that the pressure tube undergoes heat up at intermediate pressure during blowdown. This can result in ballooning deformation of the pressure tube into contact with its calandria tube. It is required that fuel channels not fail as a consequence of the thermal mechanical deformation of the pressure tube and calandria tube in such events. Dynamic sensitivity functions are derived as analytical partial differential equations derived from the equations used to model the time-dependent behavior of physical systems. The dynamic sensitivity functions can be used to propagate uncertainties using a time-dependent perturbation approach in which the variations in a set of output variables, with respect to perturbations of the input parameters, are evaluated about reference response trajectories of the input parameters and associated output variables. The dynamic sensitivity method is described in this paper and results are presented for the pressure tube heatup phase of a LOCA. These results show the importance of all key parameters with respect to specified safety evaluation criteria. The dynamic sensitivity method is applied in a probabilistic uncertainty analysis to evaluate the probability of a pressure tube experiencing creep strain deformation to contact its calandria tube during the early stages of a LOCA.

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