INVESTIGATION OF THE POSSIBILITY TO USE A FINE-MESH SOLVER FOR RESOLVING COUPLED NEUTRONICS AND THERMAL-HYDRAULICS
Paper in proceedings, 2013
The development of a fine-mesh coupled neutronic/thermal-hydraulic solver is touched upon in this paper. The reported work investigates the feasibility of using finite volume techniques to discretize a set of conservation equations modeling neutron transport, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer within a single numerical tool. With the long-term objective of developing fine-mesh computing capabilities for a few selected fuel assemblies in a nuclear core, this preliminary study considers an infinite array of a single fuel assembly having a finite height. Thermal-hydraulic conditions close to the ones existing in PWRs are taken as a first test case. The neutronic modeling relies on the diffusion approximation in a multi-energy group formalism, with cross-sections pre-calculated and tabulated at the sub-pin level using a Monte Carlo technique. The thermal-hydraulics is based on the Navier-Stokes equations, complemented by an energy conservation equation. The non linear coupling terms between the different conservation equations are fully resolved using classical iteration techniques. Early tests demonstrate that the numerical tool provides an unprecedented level of details of the coupled solution estimated within the same numerical tool and thus avoiding any external data transfer, using fully consistent models between the neutronics and the thermal-hydraulics.
coupled deterministic nuclear reactor modeling