2022 journal article
CTF: A modernized, production-level, thermal hydraulic solver for the solution of industry-relevant challenge problems in pressurized water reactors
NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, 397.
CTF is a thermal hydraulic (T/H) subchannel tool that has been extensively developed over the past ten years as part of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) program. The code was selected early in the CASL program for support of high-impact challenge problems that were found to be relevant to the nuclear industry and its currently operating fleet of pressurized water reactors (PWRs), including issues such as departure from nucleate boiling (DNB), crud-induced power shifts (CIPSs), and reactivity-insertion accidents (RIAs). By incorporating CTF into the multiphysics Virtual Environment for Reactor Application (VERA) core simulator software developed by CASL, CTF has become the primary means of providing fluid and fuel thermal feedback, as well as T/H figure-of-merits (FOMs) in large-scale reactor simulations. With the goal of solving industry challenge problems, CASL placed great emphasis on developing high-quality, high-performance, validated software tools that offer higher fidelity than what is currently possible with current industry methods. In support of this effort, CTF was developed from a research tool into an nuclear quality assurance (NQA-1)–compliant, production-level software tool that is capable of addressing the stated challenge problems and goals of CASL. This paper presents a review of the major technological achievements that were realized in developing CTF over the past decade of the CASL program and presents an overview of the code solution approach and closure models. • CTF is a two-fluid, three-field subchannel code which is a modernized version of COBRA-TF. • New closure models have been implemented for pressurized water reactor analysis. • A nuclear quality assurance program has been implemented for code maintenance. • CTF has been coupled to other codes in the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications. • CTF has been used for analysis of several industry challenge problems.