Implementation of the Acumen Concept on 1-D Core Neutronics Codes

Implementation of the Acumen Concept on 1-D Core Neutronics Codes

M. Albarhoum (Atomic Energy Commission of Syria, Syria)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/ijeoe.2012070104


An example of how to implement the acumen concept to 1-D neutronics codes is presented here. The acumen concept makes these codes capable of detecting the execution time errors in addition to the usual user physical, geometrical, read-write errors in the input file so that these errors can be corrected before wrong calculations and results are obtained, with indication of their potential origin in the input file. Acumen-provided codes can detect the error, but they cannot correct it. The next generation of codes (the “intelligent” codes) can be the final solution to the problem with the help of databases serving as the basis for expert systems which can detect and correct the errors. Acumen-provided codes are directed to save both the user’s time and effort. These codes are examples of how The System Theory (ST) can be successfully applied to systems consisting of programs written in some third generation programming languages.
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The codes which are talked about are computer programs designed to perform specific tasks and computations for complex systems producing power like nuclear reactors, or parts of nuclear reactors. There are different code types among which there are:

  • 1.

    The neutronics codes which perform neutronics calculations especially for the core of nuclear reactors like CITATION (Fowler et al., 1971) and GNOMER (Trkov, 1994), which are 3-D codes based on Diffusion Theory (DT) (Ameglio, 1981; Lamarsh, 1983; Ronen, 1986), and SCALE (Bowman et al., 1993) and KENO (Knight, 1984), which are based on the transport theory, in addition to the codes which are based on the Monte Carlo Method like MCNP (Briesmeister, 2001) and PENELOPE (Sempau et al., 2003).

  • 2.

    The thermal-hydraulic ones which perform calculations for the determination of the “thermal” status of the reactor and the hydraulic parameters such as the coolant velocity, the pressure drop, etc. An example of these codes can be RELAP5 (Polkinghorne et al., 1991), PARET (Obenchain, 1969), THYD (Albarhoum, 2009) and many other codes (Chao, 1980; Mansouri, 1994; Mele & Zefran, 1992).

  • 3.

    There are other code types which solve fuel burn-up issues and perform the related calculations such as ORIGIN-2 (Groff, 1980), LEOPARD-MICRO (Barrey, 1963), REBUS-PC 1.4 (Hoover et al., 1971), and PSG2 / Serpent (Leppänen, 2009).

Many codes of the 1st type can substitute the codes of the 3d type. Sometimes neutronic calculations use two-step computations: first using a cell code like WIMSD4 (Askew et al., 1966) and second a core calculation code like CITATION. There exist some packages that perform these computations automatically like BMAC (Albarhoum, 2008).

All codes, regardless the type, are written using some programming languages (of the 3rd generation) like FORTRAN (Chivers & Sleightholmem, 2006), BASIC (Schneider & Norton, 1991), Pascal (Yester, 1992), and C (Gottfried, 1992), or other symbolic languages too.

This type of compiles, or interpreters, is based on the “instruction” concept, i.e., an order to be executed by the program. The program executes the instructions only; it does not have the ability to take decisions for new orders.

From the other side the code is written to solve a specific problem the user would like to solve and, generally speaking, a huge number of data are required as input data. Whether the input data are correct and adequate for that specific problem or not is a question to be answered by the user. If the number of data exceeds a certain limit dealing with them becomes a big issue, especially for what concerns the correct position in the input file, the correct reading of these data, the ability of the compiler and the processor to treat the results from the mathematical point of view, etc.

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