2023 journal article

An Efficient High-to-Low Iterative Method for Light Water Reactor Analysis Based on NEAMS Tools

Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2, 1–17.

By: K. Ni n & J. Hou n

UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
Source: ORCID
Added: February 21, 2023

Abstract The so-called two-step method involving the consecutive lattice physics and core simulation has been successfully and widely used in large-scale nuclear reactor calculations thanks to its superior computational efficiency and a satisfactory level of accuracy. However, its performance is challenged by the ever-increasing level of heterogeneity in core designs due to the use of infinite lattice approximation in the lattice calculation and its inability to update cross-section sets according to the core environment change. This paper introduces an alternative approach for light water reactor steady-state core analysis. During the core calculation process, iterations between the local lattice transport calculation and the global core nodal calculation are conducted. These iterations continuously update the boundary condition applied to the lattice model and generate updated cross-section sets. This is done through the iteration between the local lattice transport calculation and the global core nodal simulation. The neutronics high-to-low (Hi2Lo) scheme was formulated using Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation or NEAMS codes, in particular, with the modified PROTEUS-MOC and PROTEUS-NODAL serving as the transport lattice solver and full-core nodal solver, respectively. The verification of the implemented Hi2Lo iterative scheme on the two-dimensional C5G7-TD benchmark problem shows that the Hi2Lo scheme outperforms the two-step approach in terms of prediction accuracy for the key responses of interest (e.g., the system eigenvalue and power distribution) at a computational cost lower than that of the direct full-core transport calculation. To further improve its efficiency, an acceleration method has been developed and implemented for the Hi2Lo approach, and the results indicate that the acceleration method can significantly reduce the run time of a full-core transport solution by a factor of 14 while generating solutions with comparable accuracy.