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Development and Implementation of a Newton-BICGSTAB Iterative Solver in the FORMOSA-B BWR Core Simulator Code

Doddy Yozef Febrian Kastanya, Paul J. Turinsky

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 150 / Number 1 / May 2005 / Pages 56-71


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A Newton-Krylov iterative solver has been developed to reduce the CPU execution time of boiling water reactor (BWR) core simulators implemented in the core simulator part of the Fuel Optimization for Reloads Multiple Objectives by Simulated Annealing for BWR (FORMOSA-B) code, which is an in-core fuel management optimization code for BWRs. This new solver utilizes Newton's method to explicitly treat strong nonlinearities in the problem, replacing the traditionally used nested iterative approach. Newton's method provides the solver with a higher-than-linear convergence rate, assuming that good initial estimates of the unknowns are provided. Within each Newton iteration, an appropriately preconditioned Krylov solver is utilized for solving the linearized system of equations. Taking advantage of the higher convergence rate provided by Newton's method and utilizing an efficient preconditioned Krylov solver, we have developed a Newton-Krylov solver to evaluate the three-dimensional, two-group neutron diffusion equations coupled with a two-phase flow model within a BWR core simulator. Numerical tests on the new solver have shown that speedups ranging from 1.6 to 2.1, with reference to the traditional approach of employing nested iterations to treat the nonlinear feedbacks, can be achieved. However, if a preconditioned Krylov solver is employed to complete the inner iterations of the traditional approach, negligible CPU time differences are noted between the Newton-Krylov and traditional (Krylov) approaches.

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