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Coupling of Time-Dependent Neutron Transport Theory with the Thermal Hydraulics Code ATHLET and Application to the Research Reactor FRM-II

Andreas Pautz, Adolf Birkhofer

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 145 / Number 3 / November 2003 / Pages 320-341

Technical Paper

We introduce a new coupled neutronics/thermal hydraulics code system for analyzing transients of nuclear power plants and research reactors, based on a neutron transport theory approach. For the neutron kinetics, we have developed the code DORT-TD, a time-dependent extension of the well-known discrete ordinates code DORT. DORT-TD uses a fully implicit time integration scheme and is coupled via a general interface to the thermal hydraulics system code ATHLET, a generally applicable code for the analyses of LWR accident scenarios. Feedback is accounted for by interpolating multigroup cross sections from precalculated libraries, which are generated in advance for user-specified, discrete sets of thermal hydraulic parameters, e.g., fuel and coolant temperature. The coupled code system is applied to the high-flux research reactor FRM-II (Germany). Several design basis accidents are considered, namely the unintended control rod withdrawal, the loss of offsite power, and the loss of the secondary heat sink as well as a hypothetical transient with large reactivity insertion.

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