EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Advanced Modelling and Simulation|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE MODELING OF THE TREAT REACTOR AND EXPERIMENTS
1 Reactor Physics Design and Analysis Dept.
2 Nuclear Engineering Methods Development Dept. Idaho National Laboratory P.O. Box 1625 Idaho Falls, ID 83415-3840
Published online: 22 February 2021
This paper summarizes the latest improvements and lessons learned from the modeling and simulation of the transient test reactor at Idaho National Laboratory using the MAMMOTH reactor physics application. MAMMOTH is a MOOSE-based, Finite Element Method application that specializes in the analysis of the spatial dynamics behavior of nuclear reactors. Since early 2018 several transient tests have been conducted at TREAT, thus providing the opportunity to apply and benchmark modern modeling and simulation tools. MAMMOTH was used to provide predictions of the power coupling factor between the core and the experiment for various experiments. Even though the power coupling factor predictions agree very well with the experimental data, within the bounds of the experimental uncertainty, one shortcoming was the underprediction of the total energy deposited in the core and experiment. Determination of the sources for this discrepancy is ongoing, but several key problems have been identified and resolved, thus providing valuable insights for future research. This paper discusses several of these lessons learned. First, the heat capacity data for the TREAT fuel has some significant problems due to limitations of the measurement techniques used circa 1960s. The sensitivity of the peak power and the total energy deposition to various representations of the heat capacity is approximately 5%. Second, the effects of the biological shield and thermal column on the modeling of the core are non-negligible, since they affect the mean generation time and the effective reflection of neutrons back into the core, which is suspected to be important during the core heat up. Matching the reactor period resolves the fact that the reduced spatial domain used in the MAMMOTH model underpredicts the mean generation time. The neutron reflection from these regions is marginally improved with the use of an albedo boundary condition. Third, modeling of the control rod movement with a multi-scheme method is introduced and its current limitations are exposed. Fourth, we explore the effects of using a homogenized model with Superhomogenization equivalence and how that differs from fully heterogeneous simulations. Finally, the energy condensation effects for this graphite core are significant. Solutions with 10 and 26 energy groups show the benefits of using a finer coarse group structure.
Key words: TREAT / transient / SPH / multi-scheme
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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