Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 145 / Number 3 / November 2003 / Pages 291-298
In the response matrix method, a numerical divergence problem has been reported when extremely small or large discontinuity factors are utilized in the calculations. In this paper, an alternative response matrix formulation to solve the divergence problem is discussed, and properties of iteration matrixes are investigated through eigenvalue analyses. In the conventional response matrix formulation, partial currents between adjacent nodes are assumed to be discontinuous, and outgoing partial currents are converted into incoming partial currents by the discontinuity factor matrix. Namely, the partial currents of the homogeneous system (i.e., homogeneous partial currents) are treated in the conventional response matrix formulation. In this approach, the spectral radius of an iteration matrix for the partial currents may exceed unity when an extremely small or large discontinuity factor is used. Contrary to this, an alternative response matrix formulation using heterogeneous partial currents is discussed in this paper. In the latter approach, partial currents are assumed to be continuous between adjacent nodes, and discontinuity factors are directly considered in the coefficients of a response matrix. From the eigenvalue analysis of the iteration matrix for the one-group, one-dimensional problem, the spectral radius for the heterogeneous partial current formulation does not exceed unity even if an extremely small or large discontinuity factor is used in the calculation; numerical stability of the alternative formulation is superior to the conventional one. The numerical stability of the heterogeneous partial current formulation is also confirmed by the two-dimensional light water reactor core analysis. Since the heterogeneous partial current formulation does not require any approximation, the converged solution exactly reproduces the reference solution when the discontinuity factors are directly derived from the reference calculation.