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GeN-Foam: a novel OpenFOAM® based multi-physics solver for 2D/3D transient analysis of nuclear reactors

Abstract : The FAST group at the Paul Scherrer Institut has been developing a code system for reactor analysis for many years. For transient analysis, this code system is currently based on a state-of-the-art coupled TRACE-PARCS routine. This work presents an attempt to supplement the FAST code system with a novel solver characterized by tight coupling between the different equations, parallel computing capabilities, adaptive time-stepping and more accurate treatment of some of the phenomena involved in a reactor transient. The new solver is based on OpenFOAM®, an open-source C++ library for the solution of partial differential equations using finite-volume discretization. It couples together a multi-scale fine/coarse mesh sub-solver for thermal-hydraulics, a multi-group diffusion sub-solver for neutronics, a displacement-based sub-solver for thermal-mechanics and a finite-difference model for the temperature field in the fuel. It is targeted toward the analysis of pin-based reactors (e.g., liquid metal fast reactors or light water reactors) or homogeneous reactors (e.g., fast-spectrum molten salt reactors). This paper presents each “single-physics” sub-solver and the overall coupling strategy, using the sodium-cooled fast reactor as a test case, and essential code verification tests are described.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - 9:07:05 AM
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C. Fiorina, I. Clifford, M. Aufiero, K. Mikityuk. GeN-Foam: a novel OpenFOAM® based multi-physics solver for 2D/3D transient analysis of nuclear reactors. Nuclear Engineering and Design, Elsevier, 2015, 294, pp.24-37. ⟨10.1016/j.nucengdes.2015.05.035⟩. ⟨in2p3-01250598⟩



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