Development of a dynamic stochastic neutronics code for the analysis of conventional and hybrid nuclear reactors

The necessity for precise simulations of a nuclear reactor especially in case of complex core and fuel configurations has imposed the increasing use of Monte Carlο neutronics codes. Besides, a demand of additional stochastic codes’ inherent capabilities has emerged regarding mainly the simulation of the temporal variations in the core isotopic composition as well as the incorporation of the Thermal Hydraulic feedback. In addition to the above, the design of innovative nuclear reactor concepts such as the Accelerator Driven Systems (ADSs, a promising alternative for an improved management of highly active nuclear waste), imposed extra requirements of simulation capabilities. More specifically, the combination of an accelerator and a nuclear reactor in the ADS requires the simulation of both subsystems for an integrated system analysis. Therefore a need arises for more advanced simulation tools, able to cover the broad neutrons energy spectrum involved in these systems. In the frame of this thesis, ANET, a new stochastic code was further developed aiming to satisfy the following issues: a) the reliability in simulating certain reactor parameters important to safety, i.e. the reactor criticality as well as the neutron flux and fission rates, b) the internal “on-the-fly” core inventory evolution and fuel depletion calculation and c) the improvement of the ADSs simulation. The ANET reliability in analyzing typical configurations was tested using various installations and international benchmarks along with parallel simulations by different codes. The results obtained by the ANET code verify its ability to successfully simulate important parameters of critical and subcritical systems. Also, the application of the enhanced ANET for dynamic reactor core analysis is very promising since it indicates the code capability to inherently provide a reasonable prediction for the core inventory evolution. Lastly, the inherent ANET capability of analyzing ADSs was demonstrated by the satisfactory code performance in the analysis of a prototype accelerator driven system fulfilling thus the requirements of an advanced stochastic neutronics code with scope of application at both conventional and innovative nuclear fission reactors.

INRASTES - Official Web Site
Skip to content