Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 166 / Number 3 / November 2010 / Pages 218-238

Technical Paper / dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE09-69

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We investigate the degraded effectiveness of diffusion-based acceleration schemes in terms of the adjacent-cell preconditioner (AP) in a periodically heterogeneous limit devised for the two-dimensional (2-D) periodic horizontal interface (PHI) configuration. Specifically, we demonstrate that the diffusive low-order operator employed in the AP scheme lacks the structure of the integral transport operator in the above asymptotic limit since it (1) ignores cross-derivative coupling and (2) incorrectly estimates the strength of intra-layer coupling in the optically thin layers. In order to prove propositions 1 and 2, we derive expressions for the elements of the matrix representing a certain angular (*S N*) and spatially discretized form of the 2-D neutron transport integral operator. This is the transport operator that produces the full scalar flux solution if it is directly inverted on the once-collided particle source. The properties of this operator's elements are then investigated in the asymptotic limit for PHI. The results of the asymptotic analysis point to a sparse but nonlocal matrix structure due to long-range coupling of a cell's average flux with its neighboring cells, independent of the distance between the cells in the spatial mesh. In particular, for a cell in a thin layer, cross-derivative coupling of the cell's flux to its diagonal neighbors is of the same asymptotic order as self-coupling and coupling with its north/south Cartesian neighbors. Similarly, its coupling with the fluxes in the same thin layer is of the same order, independent of the distance between the cells in the layer, as the coupling with the east/west Cartesian neighbors.

We also show that modifying the standard diffusion-based AP can lead to effective acceleration in PHI. Specifically, we devise three novel acceleration schemes, named APB, Optimized-AP (OAP), and Hybrid-AP (HAP), obtained by modifying the original AP formalism in 2-D. In the APB the five-point AP operator is extended to a nine-point stencil that accounts for cross-derivative coupling by including the matrix elements of the integral transport operator

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