Advanced Test Reactor Core Modeling Update Project Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012

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Legacy computational reactor physics software tools and protocols currently used for support of Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) core fuel management and safety assurance, and to some extent, experiment management, are inconsistent with the state of modern nuclear engineering practice, and are difficult, if not impossible, to properly verify and validate (V&V) according to modern standards. Furthermore, the legacy staff knowledge required for application of these tools and protocols from the 1960s and 1970s is rapidly being lost due to staff turnover and retirements. In late 2009, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) initiated a focused effort, the ATR Core Modeling Update ... continued below

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David W. Nigg, Principal Investigator & Kevin A. Steuhm, Project Manager September 1, 2012.

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Description

Legacy computational reactor physics software tools and protocols currently used for support of Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) core fuel management and safety assurance, and to some extent, experiment management, are inconsistent with the state of modern nuclear engineering practice, and are difficult, if not impossible, to properly verify and validate (V&V) according to modern standards. Furthermore, the legacy staff knowledge required for application of these tools and protocols from the 1960s and 1970s is rapidly being lost due to staff turnover and retirements. In late 2009, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) initiated a focused effort, the ATR Core Modeling Update Project, to address this situation through the introduction of modern high-fidelity computational software and protocols. This aggressive computational and experimental campaign will have a broad strategic impact on the operation of the ATR, both in terms of improved computational efficiency and accuracy for support of ongoing DOE programs as well as in terms of national and international recognition of the ATR National Scientific User Facility (NSUF). The ATR Core Modeling Update Project, targeted for full implementation in phase with the next anticipated ATR Core Internals Changeout (CIC) in the 2014-2015 time frame, began during the last quarter of Fiscal Year 2009, and has just completed its third full year. Key accomplishments so far have encompassed both computational as well as experimental work. A new suite of stochastic and deterministic transport theory based reactor physics codes and their supporting nuclear data libraries (HELIOS, KENO6/SCALE, NEWT/SCALE, ATTILA, and an extended implementation of MCNP5) has been installed at the INL under various licensing arrangements. Corresponding models of the ATR and ATRC are now operational with all five codes, demonstrating the basic feasibility of the new code packages for their intended purpose. Of particular importance, a set of as-run core depletion HELIOS calculations for all ATR cycles since August 2009, Cycle 145A through Cycle 151B, was successfully completed during 2012. This major effort supported a decision late in the year to proceed with the phased incorporation of the HELIOS methodology into the ATR Core Safety Analysis Package (CSAP) preparation process, in parallel with the established PDQ-based methodology, beginning late in Fiscal Year 2012. Acquisition of the advanced SERPENT (VTT-Finland) and MC21 (DOE-NR) Monte Carlo stochastic neutronics simulation codes was also initiated during the year and some initial applications of SERPENT to ATRC experiment analysis were demonstrated. These two new codes will offer significant additional capability, including the possibility of full-3D Monte Carlo fuel management support capabilities for the ATR at some point in the future. Finally, a capability for rigorous sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification based on the TSUNAMI system has been implemented and initial computational results have been obtained. This capability will have many applications as a tool for understanding the margins of uncertainty in the new models as well as for validation experiment design and interpretation.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-12-27059
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • DOI: 10.2172/1060998 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1060998
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc835785

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  • September 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 1:38 p.m.

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David W. Nigg, Principal Investigator & Kevin A. Steuhm, Project Manager. Advanced Test Reactor Core Modeling Update Project Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012, report, September 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc835785/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.