Accuracy and Efficiency of a Coupled Neutronics and Thermal Hydraulics Model

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The accuracy requirements for modern nuclear reactor simulation are steadily increasing due to the cost and regulation of relevant experimental facilities. Because of the increase in the cost of experiments and the decrease in the cost of simulation, simulation will play a much larger role in the design and licensing of new nuclear reactors. Fortunately as the work load of simulation increases, there are better physics models, new numerical techniques, and more powerful computer hardware that will enable modern simulation codes to handle the larger workload. This manuscript will discuss a numerical method where the six equations of two-phase flow, ... continued below

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Mousseau, Vincent A. & Pope, Michael A. September 1, 2007.

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The accuracy requirements for modern nuclear reactor simulation are steadily increasing due to the cost and regulation of relevant experimental facilities. Because of the increase in the cost of experiments and the decrease in the cost of simulation, simulation will play a much larger role in the design and licensing of new nuclear reactors. Fortunately as the work load of simulation increases, there are better physics models, new numerical techniques, and more powerful computer hardware that will enable modern simulation codes to handle the larger workload. This manuscript will discuss a numerical method where the six equations of two-phase flow, the solid conduction equations, and the two equations that describe neutron diffusion and precursor concentration are solved together in a tightly coupled, nonlinear fashion for a simplified model of a nuclear reactor core. This approach has two important advantages. The first advantage is a higher level of accuracy. Because the equations are solved together in a single nonlinear system, the solution is more accurate than the traditional “operator split” approach where the two-phase flow equations are solved first, the heat conduction is solved second and the neutron diffusion is solved third, limiting the temporal accuracy to 1st order because the nonlinear coupling between the physics is handled explicitly. The second advantage of the method described in this manuscript is that the time step control in the fully implicit system can be based on the timescale of the solution rather than a stability-based time step restriction like the material Courant. Results are presented from a simulated control rod movement and a rod ejection that address temporal accuracy for the fully coupled solution and demonstrate how the fastest timescale of the problem can change between the state variables of neutronics, conduction and two-phase flow during the course of a transient.

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  • NURETH-12,Pitsburgh, Pennsylvania,09/30/2007,10/04/2007

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-07-12487
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 920398
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902210

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  • September 1, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 7:04 p.m.

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Mousseau, Vincent A. & Pope, Michael A. Accuracy and Efficiency of a Coupled Neutronics and Thermal Hydraulics Model, article, September 1, 2007; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902210/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.