Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 155 / Number 3 / March 2007 / Pages 395-408
Technical Paper / Mathematics and Computation, Supercomputing, Reactor Physics and Nuclear and Biological Applications
The Numerical Nuclear Reactor (NNR) was developed to provide a high-fidelity tool for light water reactor analysis based on first-principles models. High fidelity is accomplished by integrating full physics, highly refined solution modules for the coupled neutronic and thermal-hydraulic phenomena. Each solution module employs methods and models that are formulated faithfully to the first principles governing the physics, real geometry, and constituents. Specifically, the critical analysis elements that are incorporated in the coupled code capability are a direct whole-core neutron transport solution and an ultra-fine-mesh computational fluid dynamics / heat transfer solution, each obtained with explicit (sub-fuel-pin-cell level) heterogeneous representations of the components of the core. The considerable computational resources required for such highly refined modeling are addressed by using massively parallel computers, which together with the coupled codes constitute the NNR. To establish confidence in the NNR methodology, verification and validation of the solution modules have been performed and are continuing for both the neutronic module and the thermal-hydraulic module for single-phase and two-phase boiling conditions under prototypical pressurized water reactor and boiling water reactor conditions. This paper describes the features of the NNR and validation of each module and provides the results of several coupled code calculations.