To fully model the physics present within the proposed supercritical water reactor (SCWR), the thermal hydraulics calculations (yielding temperatures and densities in each material as a function of space) must be coupled to the neutronic calculations (yielding reactivity and neutron flux shapes). To enable this full coupling, a 3D model of a supercritical water reactor is being implemented in the CFD software OpenFOAM with the same geometry as a 3D MCNP (neutronics) model. Coupling will performed through result exchange between the two codes — densities and temperatures from OpenFOAM to MCNP, with heat generation returned from the neutronics calculations. Use of a reduced-geometry model is advisable due to the high computational cost of each OpenFOAM/MCNP coupling iteration. In the present work, a 1.5D thermal model of a single fuel pin was coupled with a 3D MCNP model. The thermal model includes single channel analysis (cladding/coolant heat transfer) as well as heat transfer within the cladding, helium gas gap, and uranium dioxide fuel itself. These heat transfer zones provide specific data points of the radial temperature profile. Because no radial mesh is considered, full radial dependence is not possible. The model provides limited radial dependence unlike what a 1D code could provide; thus, 1.5D is used to indicate the incomplete radial dependence that is included in the model. Iteration between the two codes is performed until heat generation is converged to within 10% between successful MCNP results. A discussion of these 3D/1.5D coupled results and the path forward to fully 3D coupling is provided.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.