Neutronic and thermal-hydraulic coupling for 3D reactor core modeling combining MCB and fluent
Three-dimensional simulations of neutronics and thermal hydraulics of nuclear reactors are a tool used to design nuclear reactors. The coupling of MCB and FLUENT is presented, MCB allows to simulate neutronics, whereas FLUENT is computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. The main purpose of the coupling is to exchange data such as temperature and power profile between both codes. Temperature required as an input parameter for neutronics is significant since cross sections of nuclear reactions depend on temperature. Temperature may be calculated in thermal hydraulics, but this analysis needs as an input the power profile, which is a result from neutronic simulations. Exchange of data between both analyses is required to solve this problem. The coupling is a better solution compared to the assumption of estimated values of the temperatures or the power profiles; therefore the coupled analysis was created. This analysis includes single transient neutronic simulation and several steady-state thermal simulations. The power profile is generated in defined points in time during the neutronic simulation for the thermal analysis to calculate temperature. The coupled simulation gives information about thermal behavior of the reactor, nuclear reactions in the core, and the fuel evolution in time. Results show that there is strong influence of neutronics on thermal hydraulics. This impact is stronger than the impact of thermal hydraulics on neutronics. Influence of the coupling on temperature and neutron multiplication factor is presented. The analysis has been performed for the ELECTRA reactor, which is lead-cooled fast reactor concept, where the coolant fl ow is generated only by natural convection
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