Monte Carlo Neutronics and Thermal Hydraulics Analysis of Reactor Cores with Multilevel Grids
1 Institut für Kernenergetik und Energiesysteme (IKE), Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 31, D 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
2 Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) mbH, Forschungszentrum, Boltzmannstrasse 14, D 85748 Garching, Germany
* Corresponding Author, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Power reactors are composed of assemblies with fuel pin lattices or other repeated structures with several grid levels, which can be modeled in detail by Monte Carlo neutronics codes such as MCNP6 using corresponding lattice options, even for large cores. Except for fresh cores at beginning of life, there is a varying material distribution due to burnup in the different fuel pins. Additionally, for power states the fuel and moderator temperatures and moderator densities vary according to the power distribution and cooling conditions. Therefore, a coupling of the neutronics code with a thermal hydraulics code is necessary. Depending on the level of detail of the analysis, a very large number of cells with different materials and temperatures must be regarded. The assignment of different material properties to all elements of a multilevel grid is very elaborate and may exceed program limits if the standard input procedure is used. Therefore, an internal assignment is used which overrides uniform input parameters. The temperature dependency of continuous energy cross sections, probability tables for the unresolved resonance region and thermal neutron scattering laws is taken into account by interpolation, requiring only a limited number of data sets generated for different temperatures. The method is applied with MCNP6 and proven for several full core reactor models. For the coupling of MCNP6 with thermal hydraulics appropriate interfaces were developed for the GRS system code ATHLET for liquid coolant and the IKE thermal hydraulics code ATTICA-3D for gaseous coolant. Examples will be shown for different applications for PWRs with square and hexagonal lattices, fast reactors (SFR) with hexagonal lattices and HTRs with pebble bed and prismatic lattices.
Key words: Monte Carlo / Thermal Hydraulics / PWR / SFR / HTR / Neutronics
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014