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Validation of UNIST Monte Carlo code MCS using VERA progression problems

  • Nguyen, Tung Dong Cao (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)) ;
  • Lee, Hyunsuk (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)) ;
  • Choi, Sooyoung (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)) ;
  • Lee, Deokjung (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST))
  • Received : 2019.06.18
  • Accepted : 2019.10.29
  • Published : 2020.05.25

Abstract

This paper presents the validation of UNIST in-house Monte Carlo code MCS used for the high-fidelity simulation of commercial pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Its focus is on the accurate, spatially detailed neutronic analyses of startup physics tests for the initial core of the Watts Bar Nuclear 1 reactor, which is a vital step in evaluating core phenomena in an operating nuclear power reactor. The MCS solutions for the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA) core physics benchmark progression problems 1 to 5 were verified with KENO-VI and Serpent 2 solutions for geometries ranging from a single-pin cell to a full core. MCS was also validated by comparing with results of reactor zero-power physics tests in a full-core simulation. MCS exhibits an excellent consistency against the measured data with a bias of ±3 pcm at the initial criticality whole-core problem. Furthermore, MCS solutions for rod worth are consistent with measured data, and reasonable agreement is obtained for the isothermal temperature coefficient and soluble boron worth. This favorable comparison with measured parameters exhibited by MCS continues to broaden its validation basis. These results provide confidence in MCS's capability in high-fidelity calculations for practical PWR cores.