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B. Rouben McMaster University EP 4D03/6D03 Nuclear Reactor Analysis 2008 Sept-Dec

2008 September

1

Contents

**The Neutron-Transport Equation The Neutron-Diffusion Equation Stages of practical neutronics calculations:
**

lattice calculations full-core calculations

2008 September

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**Reactor Statics: Neutron Balance
**

In reactor statics we study time-independent phenomena Independence of time means that there is (or is assumed to be) neutron balance everywhere. Therefore, all phenomena which involve neutrons must result altogether in equality between neutron production and neutron loss (i.e., between neutron sources and sinks) at every position r in the reactor and for every neutron energy E. These phenomena are:

Production of neutrons by induced fission Production of neutrons by sources independent of the neutron flux Loss of neutrons by absorption Scattering of neutrons to other energies or directions of motion Leakage of neutrons into or out of each location in the reactor

2008 September 3

by the neutron-diffusion equation 2008 September 4 .Neutron-Balance Equations Neutron balance is expressed: essentially exactly. by the time-independent neutron-transport (Boltzmann) equation. and to some degree of approximation.

are: . we often use Q | cosU. The components of .y = sinU sinN .z = cosU Instead of U.x = sinU cosN . 2008 September 5 .Co-Ordinate System In reactor physics we usually use the coordinate system shown in the figure.

integrals over all angles can then be written ´ 2T 0 dN ´ sin U dU ! ´ dN ´ d .Integrals Over Angle Using the co-ordinate system above for angles.

cos U ! ´ dN ´ dQ 0 0 1 T 2T 1 2T 1 0 1 2008 September 6 .

Reading assignment: read and understand these pages. and it includes the time variable. 2008 September 7 . This is the integro-differential form of the equation.111-117.Neutron-Transport Equation The neutron-transport equation is derived in Duderstadt and Hamilton. therefore the time variable and time derivatives will not be included for now. p. Here we will first look at the time-independent transport equation.

43) in Duderstadt & Hamilton. (4. I write the time-independent balance equation (I use the neutron energy E rather than speed v as a variable): ´ ´ 7 s .Neutron-Transport Equation From Eq.

. E ' p E .r . .' p .

E ' . . J .' E ' .' J .' dE ' d.r .

.r . E . ! s .

E . 7t .r . .

E .r .

What is the meaning of all the terms? . J (1) where s(r. E .) is the total source of new neutrons appearing at r with energy E and in direction .r.. .. .E.

.r . gives the leakage of neutrons of energy moving in direction . The derivation of this is shown in the following 2 slides. out of an in initesimal volume at r. 2008 September 8 . .

Derivation of Expression for Leakage T Ö Ö J .

r . where dS is the outgoing nor al to the surface ( si ilar to efficacy of heat flux fro The leakage of neutrons moving in direction . out of a differential area dS on a surface is given by: the sun hitting the earth at an angle). dS . E . cont¶d 2008 September 9 . .

out of the volume V bounded by the surface is then the integral T Ö Ö Ö J .Derivation of Expression for Leakage The total leakage of neutrons moving in direction .

r. dS ! ´ J . . E .

dS . . and b y Gauss ' theore .r. . E . ´ S S we can rewrite this as the volu e int egral Ö Ö ´ J .

E .r. . . dV ! . ´ J .

. dV . E .r.

J . the leakage Ö out of a " po int" is then . V V Since the volu e V is arbitrary .

. 2008 September 10 .r.

we can write 1 s .Neutron-Transport Equation For the source term.

r. . . ! S .

S f . .r. .

4T where S is an external neutron source (independen t of the neutron flux ) and S f is the fission source : S f .r.

G.r .

! G .

´R .

' 7 f .

r. ' J .

i. The factor 1 appears because the fission source is (assumed ) isotropic.e. the fraction of neutrons which are born with energy . ' d ' ' (2) fission neutron spectrum. 4T is the 2008 September 11 .r..

Neutron-Transport Equation I therefore rewrite the time-independent transport equation as 1 . J .

E .r. ! S . .

.r. E . S f .

r. E 7t .

E .r.

J 4T ´ ´ 7 s . E . .r.

E ' p E . . .' p .r.

' J . We can then see that the equation.' dE ' d. at each position r and for each energy E. 2008 September 12 . E ' .r.' E ' (1)' It is important to understand each term of the equation. . equates the summed loss of neutrons to the summed production of neutrons. Explain the other 2 terms which I haven¶t covered yet.

. and 1 for energy. with quantities (cross sections) which are very complex functions. could be removed as a variable. Because the rates of absorption and induced fission do not depend on .) Note how complicated the transport equation is: It involves both derivatives (first-order) and integrals of the angular flux It involves integrals over very large ranges in energy (from several MeV to small fractions of 1 eV). 2 for the neutron¶s direction of motion (. it would be ³nice´ if . 2008 September 13 . especially in the resonance range It involves 6 independent variables: 3 for space (r).Neutron-Transport Equation (cont.).

this relationship is called Fick¶s Law: T J . It is much simpler than the transport equation. and it is based on an approximate relationship between the neutron current and the total (not the angular) neutron flux for any given energy E.. the dependent variable is the total flux at each energy rather than the angular flux.e. i.Neutron-Diffusion Equation The neutron-diffusion equation is an approximation to the neutron-transport equation. because it removes the neutron direction of motion from consideration.

r. E ! D .

r . E J .

r . E 2008 September (3) 14 .

and that the neutron sources are isotropic.E). pages 133-136): 1 1 D .Diffusion Coefficient In Eq. (3). i.) is only weakly dependent on angle. at most linear in Q. under the proportionality constant between the current and the gradient of the flux is called the diffusion constant D(r. Under the approximations that the angular flux J(. D can be shown to be (see derivation in Duderstadt & Hamilton in the 1-speed approximation.e..

r . E ! | 3.

7t .

r . E Q07 s .

r . E 37tr .

E and 7tr .r .

E is called the transport cross sec tion. 2008 September ( 4) where Q0 is the average value of the cos ine of the scattering angle.r . 15 .

equivalently. i. This is why diffusion theory cannot be used in lattice physics. Transport theory must be used to homogenize properties (and therefore weaken absorption. on the average) over (relatively large) lattice cells. The approximation inherent in Fick¶s Law breaks down near regions of strong sources or strong absorption. of flux). and the greater number of collisions in regions of greater density.. because the motion and collisions of neutrons are biased in or near such regions. or external boundaries.Neutron-Diffusion Equation (cont. it will be proportional to the negative of the gradient of the flux. as the fuel itself is a strong neutron absorber. 2008 September 16 .e. or near boundaries between regions with large differences in properties.) Note: Fick¶s Law expresses the fact that in regions of totally free neutron motion the net neutron current will be along the direction of greatest decrease in the neutron density (or. This is a consequence of the random nature of collisions in all directions.

Eq. The equation can also be derived simply by writing down the neutron balance at any given energy E within a differential volume at r.Neutron-Diffusion Equation (cont.) The neutron-diffusion equation is derived in Duderstadt & Hamilton on pages 124-140. The neutron balance (neutron-diffusion equation) then has the following form. (4162). or at least scan. and applying Fick¶s Law for the relationship between the current and the flux. this derivation. and ensure you understand the final result. where I have left out the time dependence: D . Assignment: Read.

E J .r.

r. E 7t .

E .r.

r . E ´ 7 s .

E ' p E .r.

E ' dE ' J J E' ! G .r.

E ´ R 7 f .

E ' .r.

E ' dE ' J E' S .r .

2008 September 17 .r . E (5) Exercise: identify the meaning and structure of each term in the diffusion equation.

So the neutronics problem is divided into stages. it is very difficult. it should be the equation to solve for all problems in reactor physics. Therefore. or extremely time-consuming. as explained in the next slides. However. taking advantage of the ³modular´ (or nearly modular) geometry of the reactor lattice.Application of Transport & Diffusion Equations The transport equation is the most accurate (essentially exact) representation of neutronics in the reactor. to apply the transport equation to full-core calculations. ideally. because of its complexity. cont¶d 2008 September 18 .

Basic CANDU Lattice Cell with 37-Element Fuel D2O Primary Coolant Gas Annulus Fuel Elements Pressure Tube Calandria Tube Moderator 2008 September 19 .

for application over full-core models with diffusion theory. the transport equation is applied to small regions of the reactor (³lattice basic cells´): to find the detailed flux in space and energy in these cells. uniform over each lattice cell and which are collapsed onto a very small number of energy groups (as few as 2 groups). in the design and analysis of nuclear reactors. This is actually the strategy used most frequently. 2008 September 20 . and successfully.Application of Transport & Diffusion Equations For practicality. and to derive ³homogenized´ properties (cross sections).

Application of the Neutron-Diffusion Equation As previously indicated.often in its finite-difference form. for a small number of neutron energy groups. the neutron-diffusion equation is applied mostly in full-core calculations. or large portions of cells. because of its much greater simplicity than the transport equation. Full-core models (see example in next slide) consist of homogeneous (uniform) properties over lattice cells. The flux distribution (or flux shape) in the reactor (one value per parallelepiped and energy group) is then obtained by solving the diffusion equation . 2008 September 21 .

2008 September 22 . shown on the left and top axes.Full-Core Diffusion Model The parallelepipeds (cells) over which the flux is calculated are defined by the intersections of the horizontal and vertical mesh lines.

homogenized).e. the nuclear properties) are constant (e. and the solutions must be connected by interface conditions at the interfaces (infinitely thin virtual surfaces) between regions. we generally subdivide (as described earlier) the overall domain into regions within which the coefficients in the equations (i..Interface & Boundary Conditions To solve the transport or diffusion equation..g. 2008 September 23 . The equation is then solved over each region. We also generally need boundary conditions at the external boundary of the domain.

Interface & Boundary Conditions for Transport The Boltzmann transport equation has derivatives of first order we need one interface condition at each interface. and one boundary condition At interfaces the angular flux must be continuous (since there are no sources or scatterers at an infinitely thin virtual interface): J .

. . E . ! J .

E . r r (6) where r+ and r. an outer boundary (assumed convex) with a vacuum. no neutrons can enter. for all E and all . since the vacuum has no neutron sources or scatterers: J . .are the two sides of the interface At rv. .

. E .rv . ! 0 for all . po int ing int o the reactor (7) 2008 September 24 .

which is continuous): J .Interface & Boundary Conditions for Diffusion Interface conditions at each interface: The total flux and the total current at each energy must be continuous (since they are integrals of the angular flux.

E ! J . .

E and J . .

E ! J . .

. E for all E r r r r (8) 2008 September 25 .

Review also Duderstadt & Hamilton pages 142-144. I have included a problem in Assignment 2. 2008 September 26 . for you to derive the condition.Vacuum Boundary Condition for Diffusion For the boundary condition with a vacuum.

see Eqs.180) in Duderstadt & Hamilton. (4. If in our case the boundary is on the right-hand side and at zs (see previous slide).Vacuum Boundary Condition for Diffusion The boundary condition is written as a relation between the flux and its gradient at the vacuum boundary .175)-(4. the relationship is ultimately written J .

for a boundary on left or on right : J .zs 0.71Ptr dJ dz !0 zs (9) and generally .

zs 0.71Ptr where Ptr ! 2008 September dJ dz !0 zz (9)' ean free path A (10) 27 1 ?| transport 7 tr .

(This represents an approximation .71Ptr (11) Note that the flux does not actually go to zero.71Ptr is therefore called the ³extrapolation distance´. d | 0.e. i. If one extrapolates the diffusion flux linearly away from the boundary. The boundary condition can be applied as is in Eq. (9)¶.since it means assuming the reactor is slightly larger than it really is. as a relationship between the flux and its derivative at the physical boundary zs. it would go to zero at an extrapolation point zex beyond the boundary zs: zex ! zs 0.usually small . but the boundary condition is mathematically equivalent to flux = 0 at zex.) 2008 September 28 . and forcing the flux to be zero there.Extrapolation Distance The boundary condition Eq.. but it is also often applied by ³extending´ the reactor region to a new boundary at zs +d.(9)¶ can be interpreted geometrically as follows.

the energy ranges in Eq. (4.1-Energy-Group Neutron-Diffusion Equation Diffusion theory is applied mostly in 1 or 2 energy groups.149) in Duderstadt & Hamilton. So let¶s start with the simplest case: 1 energy group. In this case. and therefore the energy label can simply be removed. (5) reduces to the following [Eq. (5) are reduced to a single distinct energy value. without the time dependence]: D . If we assume that all neutrons have the same energy (or speed). or at most a few energy groups. Eq.

r J .

r 7 a .

r .

r ! R 7 f .

r .

r S .

r J J 2008 September (12) 29 .

explain how the 7a arises. and why G disappears.Interactive Discussion/Exercise Derive Eq. (12) from Eq. (5). in particular. 2008 September 30 .

(5) is as follows : J J D . (5) Eq. (12) from Eq.Derivation of Eq.

E J .r .

r . E 7t .

E .r .

E ´ 7 s .r .

r . E ' p E .

E ' dE ' E' J ! G .r .

E ´ R 7 f .

r . E ' .

r . E ' dE ' E' S .

Since there is only 1 energy . all energy labels are the same and can therefore be dropped . G .r . E (5) In the 1 group methodo log y .

The int egral over 7 s reduces to the sin gle value of 7 s .E ! 1 and need not be shown.

and 7t .E .

E 7 s .

E | 7 a .

E can be written simply as 7 a . 2008 September 31 .

the flux ³vector´ and the operators take the form .Operator Formulation From Eq. (12) we can see that for the 1-group diffusion equation.

r ! J .

r F.

r ! R 7 f .

r M .

r ! D .

r 7 a .

r S.

r ! S .

r (13) (14) (15) (16) and the diffusion equation in operator form is M.

r .

r ! F.

r .

r S.

r (17) 2008 September 32 .

END 2008 September 33 .

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