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Title: Use of Neutron Flux Calculated by Shift in a Grizzly Reactor Pressure Vessel Fracture Simulation

Abstract

The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) plays the critical role of containing the reactor and coolant in a light water reactor nuclear power plant, and must be able to safely perform this function under a variety of normal and off-normal transient loading conditions. The RPV is subjected to harsh environmental conditions (elevated temperature and high neutron flux) whenever the plant is operating, which leads to embrittlement of the steel over time. RPVs contain populations of flaws introduced during the manufacturing process, and the primary safety concern is that during a transient event, a fracture could initiate at the site of one of these flaws and lead to rupture of the RPV. RPVs are very rugged structures, and the probability of this occurring is very low, but as the RPV's steel becomes embrittled over time, its resistance to fracture decreases and this becomes more likely. Assessing the likelihood of RPV fracture during a transient event involves performing a probabilistic fracture mechanics analysis, in which random sampling procedures are used to assess the probability of fracture of a population of flaws. Grizzly offers unique capabilities for modeling the RPV using 1D, 2D, or 3D representations, taking advantage of parallel computing for this typemore » of analysis. One of the important inputs to Grizzly is the spatial distribution of the neutron fluence, which has a large impact on the material embrittlement, and should thus be characterized as accurately as possible. The VERA core simulator developed by the CASL program takes advantage of high performance computing resources to perform high-fidelity multiphysics simulations of reactor physics, including the effects of neutron transport, fuel performance, and thermal hydraulics. Recently a capability was developed to also evaluate neutron fluxes away from the reactor core through the Shift code. This allows for a detailed 3D map of the spatial variation of the fluence in components such as the RPV to be computed, which is ideal for use with Grizzly. This report documents a procedure developed to use the fluences computed in Shift in a Grizzly simulation, which allows for improved realisim in the prediction of the effects of environmental exposure on propensity for reactor pressure vessel fracture. This capability demonstrated on RPVs with multiple types of configurations.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
  2. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1572406
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-19-55617-Rev000
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
97 - MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; 22 - GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; reactor pressure vessel; neutron transport; probabilistic fracture mechanics

Citation Formats

Spencer, Benjamin W, Hoffman, William M, Collins, Benjamin S, and Henderson, Shane C. Use of Neutron Flux Calculated by Shift in a Grizzly Reactor Pressure Vessel Fracture Simulation. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1572406.
Spencer, Benjamin W, Hoffman, William M, Collins, Benjamin S, & Henderson, Shane C. Use of Neutron Flux Calculated by Shift in a Grizzly Reactor Pressure Vessel Fracture Simulation. United States. doi:10.2172/1572406.
Spencer, Benjamin W, Hoffman, William M, Collins, Benjamin S, and Henderson, Shane C. Tue . "Use of Neutron Flux Calculated by Shift in a Grizzly Reactor Pressure Vessel Fracture Simulation". United States. doi:10.2172/1572406. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1572406.
@article{osti_1572406,
title = {Use of Neutron Flux Calculated by Shift in a Grizzly Reactor Pressure Vessel Fracture Simulation},
author = {Spencer, Benjamin W and Hoffman, William M and Collins, Benjamin S and Henderson, Shane C},
abstractNote = {The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) plays the critical role of containing the reactor and coolant in a light water reactor nuclear power plant, and must be able to safely perform this function under a variety of normal and off-normal transient loading conditions. The RPV is subjected to harsh environmental conditions (elevated temperature and high neutron flux) whenever the plant is operating, which leads to embrittlement of the steel over time. RPVs contain populations of flaws introduced during the manufacturing process, and the primary safety concern is that during a transient event, a fracture could initiate at the site of one of these flaws and lead to rupture of the RPV. RPVs are very rugged structures, and the probability of this occurring is very low, but as the RPV's steel becomes embrittled over time, its resistance to fracture decreases and this becomes more likely. Assessing the likelihood of RPV fracture during a transient event involves performing a probabilistic fracture mechanics analysis, in which random sampling procedures are used to assess the probability of fracture of a population of flaws. Grizzly offers unique capabilities for modeling the RPV using 1D, 2D, or 3D representations, taking advantage of parallel computing for this type of analysis. One of the important inputs to Grizzly is the spatial distribution of the neutron fluence, which has a large impact on the material embrittlement, and should thus be characterized as accurately as possible. The VERA core simulator developed by the CASL program takes advantage of high performance computing resources to perform high-fidelity multiphysics simulations of reactor physics, including the effects of neutron transport, fuel performance, and thermal hydraulics. Recently a capability was developed to also evaluate neutron fluxes away from the reactor core through the Shift code. This allows for a detailed 3D map of the spatial variation of the fluence in components such as the RPV to be computed, which is ideal for use with Grizzly. This report documents a procedure developed to use the fluences computed in Shift in a Grizzly simulation, which allows for improved realisim in the prediction of the effects of environmental exposure on propensity for reactor pressure vessel fracture. This capability demonstrated on RPVs with multiple types of configurations.},
doi = {10.2172/1572406},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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