Neutronic simulation of a European Pressurised Reactor
Montwedi, Ontlametse Emmanuel
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The South African government’s integrated resource plan for electricity IRP2010 states that the country plans to have an additional 9.6 GW of nuclear power on the national electricity grid by 2030. In support of this, the NRF-funded SARChI Research Chair in Nuclear Engineering within the School of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at the North-West University recently initiated research studies focused on Light Water Reactor (LWR) systems. These studies inter alia involve coupled neutronic and thermal hydraulic analyses of selected LWR systems. This study focuses on the steady state neutronic analysis of the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) using Monte-Carlo N-Particle (MCNP5). The neutronic model will in due course be coupled to a thermal hydraulic model forming part of a broader study of the system. The Monte Carlo neutron transport code MCNP5 has been widely used since the 1950s for analysis of existing and future reactor systems due to its ability to simulate complex fuel assemblies without making any significant approximations. The primary aim of the study was to develop an input model for a representative fresh fuel assembly of the US EPR reactor core from which the fluxes and fission power of the reactor can be obtained. There after a 3D model of full EPR core developed by the school of mechanical and nuclear engineering based on findings of this work is also tested. The results are compared to those in the US EPR Final Safety Analysis Report. Agreement in major core operational parameters including the keff eigenvalue, axial and radial power profiles and control rod worth are evaluated, from which consistency of the model and results will be confirmed. Further convergence of the model within a reasonable time is assessed.
- Engineering