Coupling of system thermal-hydraulics and Monte-Carlo code: Convergence criteria and quantification of correlation between statistical uncertainty and coupled error

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Coupled multi-physics approach plays an important role in improving computational accuracy. Compared with deterministic neutronics codes, Monte Carlo codes have the advantage of a higher resolution level. In the present paper, a three-dimensional continuous-energy Monte Carlo reactor physics burnup calculation code, Serpent, is coupled with a thermal-hydraulics safety analysis code, RELAP5. The coupled Serpent/RELAP5 code capability is demonstrated by the improved axial power distribution of UO2and MOX single assembly models, based on the OECD-NEA/NRC PWR MOX/UO2Core Transient Benchmark. Comparisons of calculation results using the coupled code with those from the deterministic methods, specifically heterogeneous multi-group transport code DeCART, show that the coupling produces more precise results. A new convergence criterion for the coupled simulation is developed based on the statistical uncertainty in power distribution in the Monte Carlo code, rather than ad-hoc criteria used in previous research. The new convergence criterion is shown to be more rigorous, equally convenient to use but requiring a few more coupling steps to converge. Finally, the influence of Monte Carlo statistical uncertainty on the coupled error of power and thermal-hydraulics parameters is quantified. The results are presented such that they can be used to find the statistical uncertainty to use in Monte Carlo in order to achieve a desired precision in coupled simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-387
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
Volume75
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Carlo
  • Coupled simulation
  • Monte
  • System thermal-hydraulics
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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