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Analysis of loss of flow without scram test in the FFTF reactor – Part I: preparation of neutronics data

Nikitin, E.; Fridman, E.; Ponomarev, A.


This study presents a benchmark analysis of an unprotected loss of flow transient in a sodium-cooled fast reactor at the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), carried out as part of an IAEA coordinate research project. Three codes, namely Serpent (Monte Carlo), DYN3D (3D nodal diffusion) and ATHLET (system thermal hydraulics), were employed in the benchmark exercise. Two distinct modeling approaches were utilized: 1) stand-alone ATHLET with point kinetics (PK) and system thermal hydraulics (TH); and 2) coupled DYN3D/ATHLET with spatial kinetics (SK) and system TH. Neutronics data essential for both approaches were generated using Serpent. The study is organized into three parts.

Part I presents a summary of the preparation of neutronics data for PK or coupled SK/TH simulations and includes the outcomes of the static neutronics stage of the benchmark. The main focus lies on verifying the cross-section generation method for DYN3D by comparing its results against the reference Monte Carlo solutions obtained with Serpent.

Part II will provide a detailed description of the ATHLET TH model of the system. This model will be thoroughly evaluated by comparing the results with the ANL benchmark solution and experimental data for the transient. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis will be conducted to explore various modeling options and assess their impact on the simulation results.

Part III will showcase the transient calculation results using the two modeling approaches. Additionally, an adaptive decay heat model for nodal codes will be introduced. The performance of both modeling approaches will be assessed by comparing their results to the available experimental data.

Keywords: SFR; Serpent; DYN3D; neutronics benchmark; homogenized cross section

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