Multiphysics Modeling and Validation of Spent Fuel Isotopics Using Coupled Neutronics/Thermal-Hydraulics Simulations

Dean Price, Majdi I. Radaideh, Travis Mui, Mihir Katare, Tomasz Kozlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiphysics coupling of neutronics/thermal-hydraulics models is essential for accurate modeling of nuclear reactor systems with physics feedback. In this work, SCALE/TRACE coupling is used for neutronic analysis and spent fuel validation of BWR assemblies, which have strong coolant feedback. 3D axial power profiles with coolant feedback are captured in these advanced simulations. The methodology is applied to two BWR assemblies (2F2DN23/SF98 and 2F2D1/F6), discharged from the Fukushima Daini-2 unit. Coupling is performed externally, where the SCALE/T5-DEPL module transfers axial power data in all axial nodes to TRACE, which in turn calculates the coolant density and temperature for each of these nodes. Within a burnup step, the data exchange process is repeated until convergence of all coupling parameters (axial power, coolant density, and coolant temperature) is observed. Analysis of axial power, criticality, and coolant properties at the assembly level is used to verify the coupling process. The 2F2D1/F6 benchmark seems to have insignificant void feedback compared to 2F2DN23/SF98 case, which experiences large power changes during operation. Spent fuel isotopic data are used to validate the coupling methodology, which demonstrated good results for uranium isotopes and satisfactory results for other actinides. This work has a major challenge of lack of documented data to build the coupled models (boundary conditions, control rod history, spatial location in the core, etc.), which encourages more advanced methods to approximate such missing data to achieve better modeling and simulation results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2764634
JournalScience and Technology of Nuclear Installations
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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