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Title: An assessment of coupling algorithms for nuclear reactor core physics simulations

This paper evaluates the performance of multiphysics coupling algorithms applied to a light water nuclear reactor core simulation. The simulation couples the k-eigenvalue form of the neutron transport equation with heat conduction and subchannel flow equations. We compare Picard iteration (block Gauss–Seidel) to Anderson acceleration and multiple variants of preconditioned Jacobian-free Newton–Krylov (JFNK). The performance of the methods are evaluated over a range of energy group structures and core power levels. A novel physics-based approximation to a Jacobian-vector product has been developed to mitigate the impact of expensive on-line cross section processing steps. Furthermore, numerical simulations demonstrating the efficiency of JFNK and Anderson acceleration relative to standard Picard iteration are performed on a 3D model of a nuclear fuel assembly. Both criticality (k-eigenvalue) and critical boron search problems are considered.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9991; PII: S0021999116000668
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Computational Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 311; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9991
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING multiphysics; Jacobian-free Newton–Krylov; Anderson acceleration; nuclear reactor analysis