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.
- Coupled simulation
- System thermal-hydraulics
- Uncertainty quantification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering