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Evaluation of Pin-Cell Homogenization Techniques for PWR Pin-by-Pin Calculation

Bin Zhang, Hongchun Wu, Yunzhao Li, Liangzhi Cao, Wei Shen

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 186 / Number 2 / May 2017 / Pages 134-146

Technical Paper /

First Online Publication:May 11, 2017

In general, spatial homogenization, energy group condensation, and angular approximation are all included in the homogenization process. For the traditional pressurized water reactor (PWR) two-step calculation, the assembly homogenization with assembly discontinuity factors plus two-group (2G) neutron diffusion calculation have been proved to be a very efficient combination. However, this changes and becomes unsettled for the pin-by-pin calculation. Thus, this paper evaluates pin-cell homogenization techniques by comparison with the two-dimensional one-step whole-core transport calculation. For the homogenization, both the generalized equivalence theory (GET) and the superhomogenization (SPH) methods are studied. Considering the spectrum interference effect between different types of fuel pin cells, both 2G and 7-group (7G) structures are condensed from the 69-group WIMS-D4 library structure. For practical reactor core applications, the low-order angular approximations, including the diffusion and the SP3 methods, are compared with each other to determine which one is accurate enough for the PWR pin-by-pin calculation. Numerical results have demonstrated that both the GET and the SPH methods work effectively in pin-cell homogenization. In consideration of the spectrum interference effect, the 7G structure is sufficient for the pin-by-pin calculation. Compared with the diffusion method, the SP3 method can decrease the errors dramatically.