Coupled fine-mesh neutronics and thermal-hydraulics - modeling and implementation for PWR fuel assemblies
Journal article, 2015
In this paper we present a fine-mesh solver aimed at resolving in a coupled manner and at the pin cell level the neutronic and thermal-hydraulic fields. Presently, the tool considers Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) conditions. The methods and implementation strategy are such that the coupled neutronic and thermal-hydraulic problem is formulated in a fully three-dimensional (3D) and fine mesh manner, and for steady-state situations. The solver is built on finite volume discretization schemes, matrix solvers and capabilities for parallel computing that are available
in the open source C++ library foam-extend-3.0. The angular neutron flux is determined with a multigroup discrete ordinates method (SN ), solved by a sweeping algorithm. The thermal-hydraulics is based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models for the moderator/coolant mass, momentum, and energy equations, together with the fuel pin energy equation. The multiphysics coupling is solved by making use of an iterative algorithm, and convergence is ensured for both the separate equations and the coupled scheme. Since all the equations are implemented in the same software, all fields can be directly accessed in such a manner that external transfer and external mapping are avoided. The parallelization relies on a domain decomposition which is shared between the neutronics and the thermal-hydraulics. The latter allows to exchange the coupled data locally on each CPU, thus minimizing the data transfer. The code is tested on a quarter of a 15 × 15 PWR fuel lattice. The results show that convergence is successfully reached, and correct physical behaviors of all fields can be achieved with a reasonable computational effort.
coupled deterministic nuclear reactor modeling