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The Analytic Coarse-Mesh Finite Difference Method for Multigroup and Multidimensional Diffusion Calculations

José M. Aragonés, Carol Ahnert, and Nuria García-Herranz

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 157 / Number 1 / September 2007 / Pages 1-15

Technical Paper /

In this work we develop and demonstrate the analytic coarse-mesh finite difference (ACMFD) method for multigroup - with any number of groups - and multidimensional diffusion calculations of eigenvalue and external source problems. The first step in this method is to reduce the coupled system of the G multigroup diffusion equations, inside any homogenized region (or node) of any size, to the G independent modal equations in the real or complex eigenspace of the G × G multigroup matrix. The mathematical and numerical analysis of this step is discussed for several reactor media and number of groups.

As a second step, we discuss the analytical solutions in the general (complex) modal eigenspace for one-dimensional plane geometry, deriving the generalized Chao's relation among the surface fluxes and the net currents, at a given interface, and the node-average fluxes, essential in the ACMFD method. We also introduce here the treatment of heterogeneous nodes, through modal interface flux discontinuity factors, and show the analytical and numerical application to core-reflector problems, for a single infinite reflector and for reflectors with two layers of different materials.

Then, we address the general multidimensional case, with rectangular X-Y-Z geometry considered, showing the equivalency of the methods of transverse integration and incomplete expansion of the multidimensional fluxes, in the real or complex modal eigenspace of the multigroup matrix. A nonlinear iteration scheme is implemented to solve the multigroup multidimensional nodal problem, which has shown a fast and robust convergence in proof-of-principle numerical applications to realistic pressurized water reactor cores, with heterogeneous fuel assemblies and reflectors.

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