Multiphysics methods development for high temperature gas reactor analysis
Multiphysics computational methods were developed to perform design and safety analysis of the next generation Pebble Bed High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors. A suite of code modules was developed to solve the coupled thermal-hydraulics and neutronics field equations. The thermal-hydraulics module is based on the three dimensional solution of the mass, momentum and energy equations in cylindrical coordinates within the framework of the porous media method. The neutronics module is a part of the PARCS (Purdue Advanced Reactor Core Simulator) code and provides a fine mesh finite difference solution of the neutron diffusion equation in three dimensional cylindrical coordinates. Coupling of the two modules was performed by mapping the solution variables from one module to the other. Mapping is performed automatically in the code system by the use of a common material mesh in both modules.
The standalone validation of the thermal-hydraulics module was performed with several cases of the SANA experiment and the standalone thermal-hydraulics exercise of the PBMR-400 benchmark problem. The standalone neutronics module was validated by performing the relevant exercises of the PBMR-268 and PBMR-400 benchmark problems. Additionally, the validation of the coupled code system was performed by analyzing several steady state and transient cases of the OECD/NEA PBMR-400 benchmark problem.