EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Core Analysis Methods|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
GENERATION OF NODAL CORE SIMULATOR UTILIZING VERA
1 Statehouse, LLC 618 North Boylan Avenue, Suite 724 Raleigh, NC 27603 USA
2 Oak Ridge National Laboratory P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge TN 37831 USA
3 WSC, Inc. 7196 Crestwood Blvd., Suite 300 Frederick, MD 21703 USA
Published online: 22 February 2021
Nuclear core simulators based upon few-group nodal diffusion method currently are widely used to predict light water reactor core behavior. Nodal parameters’ input, e.g. cross-sections, discontinuity factors, and pin form factors, are typically generated utilizing lattice physics codes. In doing so, a number of approximations are introduced related to using zero current boundary conditions, 2-D radial geometry, and uniform thermal conditions in coolant and fuel. Usage of full core models with prediction fidelity typical of lattice physics to predict nodal parameters would eliminate these approximations. The VERA code can serve as such a full core model and was so utilized in this work. Via subsequent processing of VERA predictions, for a range of state points, nodal parameters and their functionalization in terms of coolant density, fuel temperature, and soluble poison concentration, were obtained and input to the NESTLE nodal code. By processing VERA predictions using consistent nodal methodologies as used in NESTLE, when using nodal parameters after functionalization based upon All-Rods-Out (ARO) VERA state points, the maximum reactivity and pin power differences between VERA and NESTLE were 2 pcm and 0.003 for ARO core simulations. For rodded core simulations, these maximum differences grew to 58 pcm and 0.04. Increases in differences were determined to be attributed to usage of unrodded nodal parameters generated using the VERA ARO state points whether the core is partially rodded or not, consistent with lattice physics practice. Obtaining unrodded nodal parameters using the VERA rodded state points reduced maximum differences to 2 pcm and 0.003 in pin powers.
Key words: nuclear core simulator / nodal cross-sections
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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