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Title: IAEA Coordinated Research Project on HTGR Physics, Thermal Hydraulics, and Depletion Uncertainty Analysis: PHISICS/RELAP5-3D Results for the Phase III Coupled Core Exercises

Abstract

This report details the Parallel and Highly Innovative Simulation for INL Code System (PHISICS)/Reactor Excursions and Leak Analysis Program (RELAP5)-3D results obtained for the neutronics stand-alone core exercises defined for Phase II of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on high-temperature gas cooled reactor (HTGR) uncertainty analysis in modeling (UAM). The Phase II models and results are linked to the earlier Standardized Computer Analyses for Licensing Evaluation (SCALE)/Sampler/New ESC-based Weighting Transport (NEWT) data generated for the lattice physics (lattice) stage Phase I of the CRP. The focus of this report is the propagation of cross-section uncertainties from the lattice to the core calculation (core) phase of the prismatic 350 megawatt (MW) General Atomics (GA) Modular HTGR (MHTGR). The Phase II neutronics exercises consist of two sub-cases (II-2a and II-2b) specified for the fresh and mixed core loading of the MHTGR-350 prismatic high-temperature reactor design. Exercises II-2a and II-2b are performed without temperature feedback using isothermal temperature profiles. For the nominal lattice physics (i.e., best-estimate) model, a series of fresh and depleted single block and super cell SCALE/KENO and SCALE/NEWT models were developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to assess the impact of spectral effects on themore » few-group cross sections. A combination of these lattice cells were used in a super cell calculation to construct 8-group cross-section libraries for use in the INL-developed PHISICS/RELAP5-3D code suite. The block-level homogenized libraries were assigned to the 220 fuel zones utilized in the MHTGR-350 PHISICS core model, according to the fresh and mixed fresh/depleted core loading pattern. In order to evaluate the effect of uncertainty propagation, several sets consisting of 1,000 perturbed NEWT lattice and PHISICS/RELAP5-3D core calculations were performed using the SCALE 6.2 ENDF/B-VII.1 cross-section co-variance data and the stochastic sampling module Sampler in SCALE 6.2.0. The Figures of Merit (FOM) investigated include the mean and standard deviation uncertainty values obtained for the eigenvalues, control rod worth values, block-averaged power profiles, power axial offsets, and isothermal temperature feedback coefficients. A sensitivity study on the main nuclide reaction contributors to the FOM uncertainties has not yet been performed since the SCALE/PHISICS/RAVEN coupling with ENDF/B-VII co-variance data is still being developed. It was found that uncertainties in the cross sections lead to uncertainties in the local power values of up to 1.5%. The variances between the fresh and mixed/depleted core models are not as large as the axial variations between the top and bottom within each core model. The core eigenvalue uncertainty is approximately 0.5%, which is significant in comparison to typical eigenvalue difference targets (less than ~0.1% for LWRs). The power peaking and axial offset uncertainties are smaller (0.10% – 0.15%) and probably below the level of significance in typical core design metrics. The use of an 8-group energy structure slightly under-estimates some of the uncertainties, but in absolute terms, the uncertainty results are reasonably close to the 26-group results. The 26- and 8-group mean and nominal results differ by a larger degree, and if it can be afforded in terms of calculation resources, the 26-group structure should be used for HTGR calculations. The 8-group structure can, however, still be useful for reasonably accurate uncertainty assessments of transient cases where computational time is important. It was furthermore found that the use of a super cell during the cross-section generation process for better representation of the spectral environment at the core periphery did not lead to significant changes in the core eigenvalues, axial offset, and power peaking uncertainties. The impact of the super cell cross sections on the nominal and mean eigenvalues is, however, important enough (0.6% – 1.1% lower) to justify the use of these super cells for HTGR core simulation to represent the softer spectral environment in the core peripheral regions for nominal best-estimate calculations. The use of super cells for HTGR uncertainty studies is, therefore, not strictly necessary, but the improvements in nominal results could justify their use.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1561232
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-19-55546-Rev000
DOE Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 - ENGINEERING; SCALE/KENO; SCALE/NEWT; International Atomic Energy Agency

Citation Formats

Strydom, Gerhard. IAEA Coordinated Research Project on HTGR Physics, Thermal Hydraulics, and Depletion Uncertainty Analysis: PHISICS/RELAP5-3D Results for the Phase III Coupled Core Exercises. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1561232.
Strydom, Gerhard. IAEA Coordinated Research Project on HTGR Physics, Thermal Hydraulics, and Depletion Uncertainty Analysis: PHISICS/RELAP5-3D Results for the Phase III Coupled Core Exercises. United States. doi:10.2172/1561232.
Strydom, Gerhard. Wed . "IAEA Coordinated Research Project on HTGR Physics, Thermal Hydraulics, and Depletion Uncertainty Analysis: PHISICS/RELAP5-3D Results for the Phase III Coupled Core Exercises". United States. doi:10.2172/1561232. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1561232.
@article{osti_1561232,
title = {IAEA Coordinated Research Project on HTGR Physics, Thermal Hydraulics, and Depletion Uncertainty Analysis: PHISICS/RELAP5-3D Results for the Phase III Coupled Core Exercises},
author = {Strydom, Gerhard},
abstractNote = {This report details the Parallel and Highly Innovative Simulation for INL Code System (PHISICS)/Reactor Excursions and Leak Analysis Program (RELAP5)-3D results obtained for the neutronics stand-alone core exercises defined for Phase II of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on high-temperature gas cooled reactor (HTGR) uncertainty analysis in modeling (UAM). The Phase II models and results are linked to the earlier Standardized Computer Analyses for Licensing Evaluation (SCALE)/Sampler/New ESC-based Weighting Transport (NEWT) data generated for the lattice physics (lattice) stage Phase I of the CRP. The focus of this report is the propagation of cross-section uncertainties from the lattice to the core calculation (core) phase of the prismatic 350 megawatt (MW) General Atomics (GA) Modular HTGR (MHTGR). The Phase II neutronics exercises consist of two sub-cases (II-2a and II-2b) specified for the fresh and mixed core loading of the MHTGR-350 prismatic high-temperature reactor design. Exercises II-2a and II-2b are performed without temperature feedback using isothermal temperature profiles. For the nominal lattice physics (i.e., best-estimate) model, a series of fresh and depleted single block and super cell SCALE/KENO and SCALE/NEWT models were developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to assess the impact of spectral effects on the few-group cross sections. A combination of these lattice cells were used in a super cell calculation to construct 8-group cross-section libraries for use in the INL-developed PHISICS/RELAP5-3D code suite. The block-level homogenized libraries were assigned to the 220 fuel zones utilized in the MHTGR-350 PHISICS core model, according to the fresh and mixed fresh/depleted core loading pattern. In order to evaluate the effect of uncertainty propagation, several sets consisting of 1,000 perturbed NEWT lattice and PHISICS/RELAP5-3D core calculations were performed using the SCALE 6.2 ENDF/B-VII.1 cross-section co-variance data and the stochastic sampling module Sampler in SCALE 6.2.0. The Figures of Merit (FOM) investigated include the mean and standard deviation uncertainty values obtained for the eigenvalues, control rod worth values, block-averaged power profiles, power axial offsets, and isothermal temperature feedback coefficients. A sensitivity study on the main nuclide reaction contributors to the FOM uncertainties has not yet been performed since the SCALE/PHISICS/RAVEN coupling with ENDF/B-VII co-variance data is still being developed. It was found that uncertainties in the cross sections lead to uncertainties in the local power values of up to 1.5%. The variances between the fresh and mixed/depleted core models are not as large as the axial variations between the top and bottom within each core model. The core eigenvalue uncertainty is approximately 0.5%, which is significant in comparison to typical eigenvalue difference targets (less than ~0.1% for LWRs). The power peaking and axial offset uncertainties are smaller (0.10% – 0.15%) and probably below the level of significance in typical core design metrics. The use of an 8-group energy structure slightly under-estimates some of the uncertainties, but in absolute terms, the uncertainty results are reasonably close to the 26-group results. The 26- and 8-group mean and nominal results differ by a larger degree, and if it can be afforded in terms of calculation resources, the 26-group structure should be used for HTGR calculations. The 8-group structure can, however, still be useful for reasonably accurate uncertainty assessments of transient cases where computational time is important. It was furthermore found that the use of a super cell during the cross-section generation process for better representation of the spectral environment at the core periphery did not lead to significant changes in the core eigenvalues, axial offset, and power peaking uncertainties. The impact of the super cell cross sections on the nominal and mean eigenvalues is, however, important enough (0.6% – 1.1% lower) to justify the use of these super cells for HTGR core simulation to represent the softer spectral environment in the core peripheral regions for nominal best-estimate calculations. The use of super cells for HTGR uncertainty studies is, therefore, not strictly necessary, but the improvements in nominal results could justify their use.},
doi = {10.2172/1561232},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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