Thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and thermal-hydraulic codes for systems

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In summary, the neutron kinetic codes need to be coupled with sub-channel TH codes for steady-state operation, but they do not need to be coupled with system TH codes for accident analysis.
  • #1
gsyou
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I am quite confused for the thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and the thermal-hydraulic codes for systems. I know COBRA is a thermal-hydraulic code for cores and RELAP is a thermal-hydraulic code for systems. For the reactor transient analysis, Does it need to couple the neutron kinetics codes (like PARCS) with the thermal-hydraulic codes for cores(like COBRA) and then couple with the thermal-hydraulic codes for systems (like RELAP)? Or, only one kind of thermal-hydraulic codes is needed to be coupled?
Some code like SIMULATE and SIMULATE-3k should have thermal-hydraulic feedback themselves. Is that thermal-hydraulic feedback just like the thermal-hydraulic codes for cores? And, does it still need to couple the thermal-hydraulic codes for systems (RELAP) to do the reactor transient analysis? Does PARCS have such thermal-hydraulic feedback inside the code?
Thank you!
 
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  • #2
Traditionally, core simulation codes had simpler or idealized TH models and TH codes had simplified power inputs. Coupling has been done in the form of chaining, i.e., feeding the output of one code to the input of the other, e.g., SIMULATE output into COBRA (or one of its derivatives). Meanwhile, Studsvik has been improving the TH model in SIMULATE.

At the moment, there are efforts to develop 'fully coupled' neutronics and TH/CFD systems. However, that requires substantial computing resources, particularly as the resolution of the problem increases, i.e., becomes finer. For example, it's relatively easy to run a single channel with idealized flow resistance to grids, but quite another matter to incorporate a detailed subchannel mode that captures the rotational flow of a mid-grid with mixing vanes.

COBRA/VIPRE are subchannel TH codes. RELAP/RETRAN are larger system (primary) TH/codes.

Beyond coupling neutronics/TH is the goal of coupling neutronics/TH/FTM systems, where FTM is fuel thermo-mechanical codes. Coupling the three systems is the goal of the CASL program, and to some extent NEAMS.
 
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  • #3
Astronuc,
Thank you for your reply.
So in what situation, the neutron kinetic codes need to be coupled with sub-channel TH codes, and in what situation coupled with system TH codes? Is it necessary to couple the neutron codes with all of these two kinds of TH codes together for accident analysis?
Thank you!
 
  • #4
gsyou said:
Astronuc,
Thank you for your reply.
So in what situation, the neutron kinetic codes need to be coupled with sub-channel TH codes, and in what situation coupled with system TH codes? Is it necessary to couple the neutron codes with all of these two kinds of TH codes together for accident analysis?
Thank you!
For steady-state operation, it seems the simplistic models in current neutronics codes (core simulators) are fine. For AOOs and transients, one might want a more mechanistic (CFD) code. The system codes like RELAP or RETRAN handle the primary system, as opposed to the details of the core.

One has to realize that the legacy codes have evolved from earlier models that were necessarily simplistic because of the limits on computational systems back in the 60s and 70s. Now we have computing power that is orders of magnitudes greater, and so now we are developing multiphysics simulation system to take advantage of the high performance computing (HPC) systems.

With respect to coupling codes, the need depends on the goal. In safety analysis, one only needs to show that one will not exceed specified limits. Over the decades, we've increased the energy generated per unit mass of fuel (burnup), and that pushes us closer to technical and safety limits of the fuel, but that doesn't necessarily mean increased risk, as long as we have good simulation capability that can quantify the margins to those limits. It turns out that the older methods had lots of margin because they had so much uncertainty. With better simulation technology, we can get more out of the fuel, nuclear reactors and plants without increasing risk.
 
  • #5


I can explain the purpose and function of thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems in the context of reactor transient analysis. Thermal-hydraulic codes are computer programs that simulate the behavior of fluids, such as water or steam, and their interaction with heat transfer processes in nuclear reactors. These codes are essential tools for analyzing and predicting the performance of nuclear power plants.

COBRA and RELAP are two commonly used thermal-hydraulic codes in the nuclear industry. COBRA is specifically designed for modeling the thermal-hydraulic behavior of the reactor core, while RELAP is used for modeling the entire nuclear power plant system. Both codes are needed for a comprehensive analysis of reactor transients.

In a reactor transient analysis, it is necessary to consider both the neutron kinetics (PARCS) and thermal-hydraulic (COBRA and RELAP) aspects. Neutron kinetics codes simulate the behavior of neutrons in the reactor core, while thermal-hydraulic codes model the flow of coolant and heat transfer processes. Therefore, it is important to couple these two types of codes to accurately predict the behavior of the reactor during a transient.

Some codes, such as SIMULATE and SIMULATE-3k, have thermal-hydraulic feedback built into them. This means that the code takes into account the thermal-hydraulic behavior of the core while simulating the neutronics. However, it is still necessary to couple these codes with thermal-hydraulic codes for systems (like RELAP) to fully analyze the transient behavior of the reactor.

PARCS does not have thermal-hydraulic feedback built into the code. It is primarily used for neutronics calculations, and therefore must be coupled with thermal-hydraulic codes for a complete reactor transient analysis.

In summary, both thermal-hydraulic codes for cores (COBRA) and systems (RELAP) are necessary for a thorough analysis of reactor transients. While some codes may have thermal-hydraulic feedback built in, it is still important to couple them with other thermal-hydraulic codes for a comprehensive analysis.
 

Related to Thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and thermal-hydraulic codes for systems

What are thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems?

Thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems are computer programs that simulate and model the thermal and hydraulic behavior of a nuclear reactor core or system. They are used to analyze and predict the performance of nuclear reactors, including the distribution of temperature and pressure, fluid flow, and heat transfer within the core and its surrounding systems.

What are the key components of thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems?

The key components of thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems include mathematical models that describe the physical processes occurring within the reactor, such as heat transfer, fluid flow, and neutron kinetics. These codes also incorporate data on the reactor's geometry, materials, and operating conditions to accurately simulate the behavior of the system.

How are thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems used in the nuclear industry?

Thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems are used in the nuclear industry for a variety of purposes, including reactor design and optimization, safety analysis, and accident simulation. They are also used for training and education, as well as to support the operation and maintenance of existing nuclear power plants.

What are the limitations of thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems?

While thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems are valuable tools for analyzing and predicting the behavior of nuclear reactors, they have some limitations. These codes rely on mathematical models and assumptions, which may not always accurately reflect the complex and dynamic nature of nuclear reactor systems. Additionally, these codes require extensive validation and verification to ensure their accuracy and reliability.

What advancements are being made in thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems?

As the nuclear industry continues to evolve and improve, so too do the thermal-hydraulic codes for cores and systems. Recent advancements include the incorporation of advanced modeling techniques, such as computational fluid dynamics and coupled multiphysics simulations, as well as the development of more comprehensive and realistic models to better simulate the behavior of nuclear reactors.

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