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Title: Integrated Radiation Transport and Nuclear Fuel Performance for Assembly-Level Simulations

Abstract

The Advanced Multi-Physics (AMP) Nuclear Fuel Performance code (AMPFuel) is focused on predicting the temperature and strain within a nuclear fuel assembly to evaluate the performance and safety of existing and advanced nuclear fuel bundles within existing and advanced nuclear reactors. AMPFuel was extended to include an integrated nuclear fuel assembly capability for (one-way) coupled radiation transport and nuclear fuel assembly thermo-mechanics. This capability is the initial step toward incorporating an improved predictive nuclear fuel assembly modeling capability to accurately account for source-terms, such as neutron flux distribution, coolant conditions and assembly mechanical stresses, of traditional (single-pin) nuclear fuel performance simulation. A novel scheme is introduced for transferring the power distribution from the Scale/Denovo (Denovo) radiation transport code (structured, Cartesian mesh with smeared materials within each cell) to AMPFuel (unstructured, hexagonal mesh with a single material within each cell), allowing the use of a relatively coarse spatial mesh (10 million elements) for the radiation transport and a fine spatial mesh (3.3 billion elements) for thermo-mechanics with very little loss of accuracy. With this novel capability, AMPFuel was used to model an entire 1717 pressurized water reactor fuel assembly with many of the features resolved in three dimensions (for thermo-mechanics and/ormore » neutronics). A full assembly calculation was executed on Jaguar using 40,000 cores in under 10 hours to model over 160 billion degrees of freedom for 10 loading steps. The single radiation transport calculation required about 50% of the time required to solve the thermo-mechanics with a single loading step, which demonstrates that it is feasible to incorporate, in a single code, a high-fidelity radiation transport capability with a high-fidelity nuclear fuel thermo-mechanics capability and anticipate acceptable computational requirements. The results of the full assembly simulation clearly show the axial, radial, and azimuthal variation of the neutron flux, power, temperature, and deformation of the assembly, highlighting behavior that is neglected in traditional axisymmetric fuel performance codes that do not account for assembly features, such as guide tubes and control rods.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1039625
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: PHYSOR 2012, Knoxville, TN, USA, 20120415, 20120420
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; ACCURACY; CONTROL ELEMENTS; COOLANTS; DEFORMATION; DEGREES OF FREEDOM; DIMENSIONS; DISTRIBUTION; GUIDE TUBES; NEUTRON FLUX; NUCLEAR FUELS; PERFORMANCE; POWER DISTRIBUTION; PWR TYPE REACTORS; RADIATION TRANSPORT; REACTORS; SAFETY; SIMULATION; SOURCE TERMS; STRAINS; STRESSES; multiphysics; nuclear fuel performance; thermomechanics

Citation Formats

Hamilton, Steven P, Clarno, Kevin T, Philip, Bobby, Berrill, Mark A, Sampath, Rahul S, and Allu, Srikanth. Integrated Radiation Transport and Nuclear Fuel Performance for Assembly-Level Simulations. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Hamilton, Steven P, Clarno, Kevin T, Philip, Bobby, Berrill, Mark A, Sampath, Rahul S, & Allu, Srikanth. Integrated Radiation Transport and Nuclear Fuel Performance for Assembly-Level Simulations. United States.
Hamilton, Steven P, Clarno, Kevin T, Philip, Bobby, Berrill, Mark A, Sampath, Rahul S, and Allu, Srikanth. 2012. "Integrated Radiation Transport and Nuclear Fuel Performance for Assembly-Level Simulations". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1039625,
title = {Integrated Radiation Transport and Nuclear Fuel Performance for Assembly-Level Simulations},
author = {Hamilton, Steven P and Clarno, Kevin T and Philip, Bobby and Berrill, Mark A and Sampath, Rahul S and Allu, Srikanth},
abstractNote = {The Advanced Multi-Physics (AMP) Nuclear Fuel Performance code (AMPFuel) is focused on predicting the temperature and strain within a nuclear fuel assembly to evaluate the performance and safety of existing and advanced nuclear fuel bundles within existing and advanced nuclear reactors. AMPFuel was extended to include an integrated nuclear fuel assembly capability for (one-way) coupled radiation transport and nuclear fuel assembly thermo-mechanics. This capability is the initial step toward incorporating an improved predictive nuclear fuel assembly modeling capability to accurately account for source-terms, such as neutron flux distribution, coolant conditions and assembly mechanical stresses, of traditional (single-pin) nuclear fuel performance simulation. A novel scheme is introduced for transferring the power distribution from the Scale/Denovo (Denovo) radiation transport code (structured, Cartesian mesh with smeared materials within each cell) to AMPFuel (unstructured, hexagonal mesh with a single material within each cell), allowing the use of a relatively coarse spatial mesh (10 million elements) for the radiation transport and a fine spatial mesh (3.3 billion elements) for thermo-mechanics with very little loss of accuracy. With this novel capability, AMPFuel was used to model an entire 1717 pressurized water reactor fuel assembly with many of the features resolved in three dimensions (for thermo-mechanics and/or neutronics). A full assembly calculation was executed on Jaguar using 40,000 cores in under 10 hours to model over 160 billion degrees of freedom for 10 loading steps. The single radiation transport calculation required about 50% of the time required to solve the thermo-mechanics with a single loading step, which demonstrates that it is feasible to incorporate, in a single code, a high-fidelity radiation transport capability with a high-fidelity nuclear fuel thermo-mechanics capability and anticipate acceptable computational requirements. The results of the full assembly simulation clearly show the axial, radial, and azimuthal variation of the neutron flux, power, temperature, and deformation of the assembly, highlighting behavior that is neglected in traditional axisymmetric fuel performance codes that do not account for assembly features, such as guide tubes and control rods.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2012,
month = 1
}

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  • The Advanced Multi-Physics (AMP) Nuclear Fuel Performance code (AMPFuel) is focused on predicting the temperature and strain within a nuclear fuel assembly to evaluate the performance and safety of existing and advanced nuclear fuel bundles within existing and advanced nuclear reactors. AMPFuel was extended to include an integrated nuclear fuel assembly capability for (one-way) coupled radiation transport and nuclear fuel assembly thermo-mechanics. This capability is the initial step toward incorporating an improved predictive nuclear fuel assembly modeling capability to accurately account for source-terms and boundary conditions of traditional (single-pin) nuclear fuel performance simulation, such as the neutron flux distribution, coolantmore » conditions, and assembly mechanical stresses. A novel scheme is introduced for transferring the power distribution from the Scale/Denovo (Denovo) radiation transport code (structured, Cartesian mesh with smeared materials within each cell) to AMPFuel (unstructured, hexagonal mesh with a single material within each cell), allowing the use of a relatively coarse spatial mesh (10 million elements) for the radiation transport and a fine spatial mesh (3.3 billion elements) for thermo-mechanics with very little loss of accuracy. In addition, a new nuclear fuel-specific preconditioner was developed to account for the high aspect ratio of each fuel pin (12 feet axially, but 1 4 inches in diameter) with many individual fuel regions (pellets). With this novel capability, AMPFuel was used to model an entire 17 17 pressurized water reactor fuel assembly with many of the features resolved in three dimensions (for thermo-mechanics and/or neutronics), including the fuel, gap, and cladding of each of the 264 fuel pins; the 25 guide tubes; the top and bottom structural regions; and the upper and lower (neutron) reflector regions. The final, full assembly calculation was executed on Jaguar using 40,000 cores in under 10 hours to model over 162 billion degrees of freedom for 10 loading steps. The single radiation transport calculation required about 50% of the time required to solve the thermo-mechanics with a single loading step, which demonstrates that it is feasible to incorporate, in a single code, a high-fidelity radiation transport capability with a high-fidelity nuclear fuel thermo-mechanics capability and anticipate acceptable computational requirements. The results of the full assembly simulation clearly show the axial, radial, and azimuthal variation of the neutron flux, power, temperature, and deformation of the assembly, highlighting behavior that is neglected in traditional axisymmetric fuel performance codes that do not account for assembly features, such as guide tubes and control rods.« less
  • The Advanced Multi-Physics (AMP) Nuclear Fuel Performance code (AMPFuel) is focused on predicting the temperature and strain within a nuclear fuel assembly to evaluate the performance and safety of existing and advanced nuclear fuel bundles within existing and advanced nuclear reactors. AMPFuel was extended to include an integrated nuclear fuel assembly capability for (one-way) coupled radiation transport and nuclear fuel assembly thermo-mechanics. This capability is the initial step towards incorporating an improved predictive nuclear fuel assembly modeling capability to accurately account for source terms, such as the neutron flux distribution, coolant conditions, and assembly mechanical stresses, of traditional (single-pin) nuclearmore » fuel performance simulation. AMPFuel was used to model an entire 17 x 17 Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel assembly with many of the features resolved in three dimensions (for thermo-mechanics and/or neutronics), including the fuel, gap, and cladding of each of the 264 fuel pins, the 25 guide tubes, top and bottom structural regions, and the upper and lower (neutron) reflector regions. The final full-assembly calculation was executed on Jaguar (Cray XT5) at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility using 40,000 cores in under 10 hours to model over 162 billion degrees of freedom for 10 loading steps.« less
  • A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis has been performed to investigate a flow-mixing and heat-transfer enhancement caused by a mixing-vane spacer in a LWR fuel assembly which is a rod bundle. This paper presents the CFD simulations of a flow mixing and heat transfer in a fully heated 5x5 array of a rod bundle with a split-vane and hybrid-vane spacer. The CFD prediction at a low Reynolds number of 42,000 showed a reasonably good agreement of the initial heat transfer enhancement with the measured one for a partially heated experiment using a similar spacer structure. The CFD simulation also predictedmore » the decay rate of a normalized Nusselt number downstream of the split-vane spacer which agrees fairly well with those of the experiment and the correlation. The CFD calculations for the split vane and hybrid vane at the LWR operating conditions(Re = 500,000) predicted hot fuel spots in a streaky structure downstream of the spacer, which occurs due to the secondary flow occurring in an opposite direction near the fuel rod. However, the split-vane and hybrid-vane spacers are predicted to significantly enhance the overall heat transfer of a LWR nuclear fuel assembly. (authors)« less