Publications / SAND Report

Toward a more rigorous application of margins and uncertainties within the nuclear weapons life cycle : a Sandia perspective

Diegert, Kathleen V.; Klenke, S.E.; Paulsen, Robert A.; Pilch, Martin P.; Trucano, Timothy G.

This paper presents the conceptual framework that is being used to define quantification of margins and uncertainties (QMU) for application in the nuclear weapons (NW) work conducted at Sandia National Laboratories. The conceptual framework addresses the margins and uncertainties throughout the NW life cycle and includes the definition of terms related to QMU and to figures of merit. Potential applications of QMU consist of analyses based on physical data and on modeling and simulation. Appendix A provides general guidelines for addressing cases in which significant and relevant physical data are available for QMU analysis. Appendix B gives the specific guidance that was used to conduct QMU analyses in cycle 12 of the annual assessment process. Appendix C offers general guidelines for addressing cases in which appropriate models are available for use in QMU analysis. Appendix D contains an example that highlights the consequences of different treatments of uncertainty in model-based QMU analyses.