Neutron noise analysis has been done over the decades to predict fuel assembly vibrations and to evaluate safety related issues. Neutron noise occurs due to several reasons: the vibration of the fuel rods, flow obstacles such as rod bending and crud deposition, the moderator temperature and time dependent changes caused by varying flow distributions within a fuel assembly, etc. In order to have a better insight of the neutron noise, a fluid mechanics, structural and neutronics coupled code is developed to perform detailed multiphysics simulations at the level of the fuel rods inside a fuel assembly. In this paper the coupling routine of both steady state and transient calculation is described and the outcome is discussed under several scenarios to understand the influence of rod vibration, moderator temperature and flow distribution on the neutronic field. This paper presents the methodology to couple the multiphysics Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code ANSYS-CFX 16.0 with the 3D neutron diffusion code PARCS v3.0. The model for a 16×16 Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel assembly is set up for ANSYS-CFX. A sensitivity analysis is carried out to obtain the optimal mesh parameters which results in a good accuracy, as well as a small need for computation capability. Transient cases are studied on a quarter fuel assembly applying oscillating moderator inlet boundary conditions in which the inlet moderator temperature and the inlet moderator velocity are varying over time. In order to simulate the vibration of the fuel rod, the fuel rod part is implemented as immersed solid in ANSYS-CFX. Different vibration modes are applied to both cases: individual single rods of the fuel assembly, and all rods of the fuel assembly. The results of each case are shown in this paper giving a better understanding of how axial power distribution develops with varying flow conditions and vibrating fuel rods.

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