The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has considered revising the 10 CFR 50.46C rule [1] for analyzing reactor accident scenarios to take the effects of burn-up rate into account. Both maximum temperature and oxidation of the cladding must be cast as functions of fuel exposure in order to find limiting conditions, making safety margins dynamic limits that evolve with the operation and reloading of the reactor. In order to perform such new analysis in a reasonable computational time with good accuracy, INL (Idaho National Laboratory) has developed new multi-physics tools by combining existing codes and adding new capabilities. The PHISICS (Parallel Highly Innovative Simulation INL Code System) toolkit [2,3] for neutronic and reactor physics is coupled with RELAP5-3D [4] (Reactor Excursion and Leak Analysis Program) for the LOCA (Loss of Coolant Accident) analysis and RAVEN [5] for the PRA (Probabilistic Risk Assessment) and margin characterization analysis.

In order to perform this analysis, the sequence of RELAP5-3D input models had to get executed in a sequence of multiple input decks, each of them had to restart and slightly modify the previous model (in this case, on the neutronic side only) This new RELAP5-3D multi-deck processing capability has application to parameter studies and uncertainty quantification. The combined RAVEN/PHISICS/RELAP5-3D tool is used to analyze a typical PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor).

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