McSAFE

Considering the priority topics of NUGENIA and the achievements of the EU HPMC project, the overall objective of the McSAFE project is to move the Monte Carlo based stand-alone and coupled solution methodologies (advanced depletion, optimal coupling of MC-codes to thermal-hydraulic solvers, time-dependent Monte Carlo and methods and algorithms for massively parallel simulations) to become valuable and widespread numerical tools for realistic core design, safety analysis and industry-like applications of LWRs of generation II and III. On one hand, the envisaged developments will permit to predict important core safety parameters with less conservatism than current state-of-the-art methods and on the other hand, it will make possible the increase the performance and operational flexibility of nuclear reactors. Last but not least, this kind of projects fosters the dissemination of knowledge from experienced researchers to young engineers, scientists as well as master and doctoral students. The McSAFE project is planned to be a research and innovation action. Even though the applications foreseen for this period are all focused on Generation II, the codes and methods to be further developed and validated can be applied to Gen-III and Gen-IV reactors in a straight-forward manner. In addition, the McSAFE tools and methods are also applicable to research reactors (core design optimisation and safety features evaluation), where the complicated geometry and physics of the core can be adequately simulated only by Monte Carlo codes.

Partners

Coordination

The EU H2020 McSAFE is coordinated by Dr. V. H. Sanchez Espinoza from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Neutron Physics and Reactor Technology (INR). For more information, please send a email to: victor.sanchez@kit.edu

Objectives

The overall objective of the McSAFE project is to move the Monte Carlo based stand-alone and coupled solution methodologies to become valuable and widespread numerical tools for realistic core design, safety analysis and industry-like applications of LWRs of generation II and III including advanced depletion, optimal coupling of MC-codes to thermal-hydraulic solvers, time-dependent Monte Carlo and methods and algorithms for massively parallel simulations. Another important objective is the validation of the developed methods by using plant data of different NPPs. 

Description of Work

The technical work of McSAFE is focused on:

  • Methods for full-core MC-depletion and optimised thermal-hydraulic feedback integration 
  • Code integration and coupling methods for multi-physics based on MC-methods e.g. integration of TRANSURANUS and SERPENT in NURESIM Platform and coupling with thermal hydraulic solvers e.g. SUBCHANFLOW 
  • Developments of dynamic MC-methods for transient analysis. In this context, the MC codes MCNP, SERPENT and TRIPOLI will be extended for the simulation of the delay and prompt neutrons during transients scenarios and it will be coupled with TH-solvers. 
  • Validation of MC-based simulations using plant data for depletion, static and dynamic core analysis using the implemented coupled approaches. Also data of the SPERT-III-E tests will be used for it. 

Main deliverables or results

  • The McSAFE project will provide improved and more advanced numerical simulation tools for the design and optimisation of reactor cores as well as for the assessment of the core performance and safety assessment for any core design. The main European tools in the project McSAFE are the Monte Carlo particle transport codes SERPENT and TRIPOLI and the thermal-hydraulic subchannel codes FLICA4 and SUBCHANFLOW 
  • Numerical tools and methods developed within McSAFE can be used by different end-users (industry, regulators, research centres, etc.) and since they reflects the state-of-the-art it will be a basis for technical discussions between utilities and regulators aiming to keep plant safety at high level 
  • The McSAFE tools are essential to design reactor systems with improved safety features keeping sufficient safety margins. Disseminating most advanced safety analysis tools is a key factor to improve the safety culture in Europe and worldwide. 
  • The advanced numerical tools to be further developed, improved and validated within McSAFE are unique regarding their physical models and methodologies and the prediction capability and the spatial resolution.. 
  • These numerical tools can be also applied for research reactors, SMR and innovative reactors. 

Duration

01.09.2017 – 31.08.2020
3 years

Stand Alone codes

SUBCHANFLOW Code
Dr. U. Imke (Main developer)

TRIPOLI
TRIPOLI Developer Team

SERPENT Code
Dr. Jakko Leppänen (Main developer)

MONK
MONK Developer Team

MCNP Monte Carlo Code
MCNP Developer Team

Coupled codes

MethodsMonte Carlo (MC)Thermal Hydraulic (TH)Thermo-Mechanics (TM)
Static MC-THTRIPOLI
SERPENT
MCNP
MONK
SCF, FLICA, TRUST
SCF, COSI
SCF
SCF
Static MC-TH incl. depletionTRIPOLI
SERPENT
MONK
SCF, FLICA, TRUST
SCF, COSI
SCF
TU
TU, FINIX
TU
Dynamics MC-THDynTRIPOLI
DynSERPENT
DynMCNP
SCF
SCF, COSI
SCF
Dynamics-MC-TH-TMDynTRIPOLI
DynSERPENT
SCF, FLICA, TRUST
SCF, COSI
TU
TU, FINIX

News 2019

4th. Progress Meeting in Dresden hosted by HZDR from 17 to 19 September 2019

Highlights:

    • Multiphysics codes ready for testing and validation e.g. Serpent/SubChanFlow and Serpent/SubChanFlow/Transuranus
    • Problems defined for testing including PWR and VVER cores
    • Testing of Dynamic of MC-codes  e.g. Serpent/SubChanFlow and TRIPOLI/SubChanFlow started
    • Validation of multiphysics codes regarding depletion capability using plant data  (VVER-1000 and PWR Konvoi) 
    • Validation of dynamic MC-codes using SPERT III E REA started.
  • 3rd Progress Meeting in Prague hosted by UJV   from 12 to 14 March 2019

o   Highlights:

    • Methods  for improved depletion of coupled MC-TH codes developed and implemented in MC-codes
    • Major progress on methods that pave the way for depletion calculations of large problems achieved
    • Coupling of SERPENT, SubChanFlow and Transuranus (based on ICOCO and on the Multi-physics Interface) implemented and tested for both hexagonal and square fuel assemblies 
    • Dynamic versions of MC-codes working successfully e.g. Serpent/SubChanFlow and TRIPOLI/SubChanFlow
    • Specifications for the validation of the McSAFE tools based on plant data  (depletion problems) of VVER-1000 and of a German PWR plant finalized 
    • Specifications of the problems and tests (SPERT III E REA) for testing and validation of dynamic versions of McSAFE tools elaborated.
       
  • Second McSAFE Executive Board Meeting took place on January 30th 2019

     

  • Second General Assembly Meeting took place in Prague on March 14th 2019 hosted by UJV

     

  • McSAFE User Group established with four starting partners 

News 2018

  • First McSAFE Progress Meeting held in CEA/Saclay March 6.-8. 2018.
    • Highlights of the first Progress Meeting
      • Integration of SERPENT into the open source SALOME-Platform (NURESIM Platform) with ICOCO functionalities for code coupling almost ready
      • Integration of SUBCHANFLOW into the open source SALOME-Platform (NURESIM Platform) with ICOCO functionalities for code coupling almost ready
      • Integration of TRANSURANUS into the open source SALOME-Platform (NURESIM Platform) with ICOCO functionalities for code coupling almost ready
    • The integration of codes in the SALOME platform pave the way for mutliphysics coupling e.g. of:
        • SERPENT and SUBCHANFLOW
        • SUBCHANFLOW and TRANSURANUS
        • SERPENT/SUBCHANFLOW/TRANSURANUS
  • Places and dated for McSAFE Progress meeting fixed:
    • First Progress Meeting: Organized by CEA in Paris from 6 to 8 March 2018
    • Second Progress Meeting: Organized by AMEC in England; date: September 24 to 26 2018
    • Third Progress Meeting: Hosted by UJV in Prague, Czech Republic; date: March 4 to 6. 2019

News 2017

  • November 30th 2017: First deliverables were uploaded to the EC Site and the first Milestone was successfully achieved.
  • October 2017: Consortium Agreement was sent by the KIT legal division to the partners for review and comments. It is envisaged to be signed early 2018. This will setup the basis for the establishment of the McSAFE User’s Group.
  • Places and dated for the First and Second Progress meeting fixed:
    • First Progress Meeting: Organized by CEA in Paris from 6 to 8 March 2018
    • Second Progress Meeting: Organized by AMEC in England; tentative date: September / October 2018
  • 21-22th September 2017: McSAFE started with a Kick-off Meeting in Karlsruhe: A two-days fruitful Meeting took place at KIT Campus North. The details of the work program and the list of Milestones and Deliverables were discussed.

Publications

Conference papers:

  • D. Ferraro, M. Garcia, L. Mercatali, V. H.  Sanchez-Espinoza, J. Leppänen, V. Valtavirta; Foreseen capabilities, bottlenecks identification and potential limitations of Serpent MC transport code in large-scale full 3-D burnup calculations. Proceedings of The 26th International Conference On Nuclear Engineering Icone26. Paper 82305. July 22-26, 2018, London, England. 
  • M. Garcia, Diego Ferraro, Victor Hugo Sanchez-Espinoza, Luigi Mercatali, Jaakko Leppänen, Ville Valtavirta;  Development of a Spatial Domain Decomposition Scheme for Monte Carlo Neutron Transport submitted to the ICONE26. Paper 82144. Proceedings of The 26th International Conference On Nuclear Engineering Icone26. July 22-26, 2018, London, England
  • J. Leppänen; Acceleration Of Fission Source Convergence In The Serpent 2 Monte Carlo Code Using A Response Matrix Based Solution For The Initial Source Distribution. PHYSOR 2018: Reactors Physics paving the way towards more efficient systems. Cancun, Mexico, April 22-26, 2018
  • V. H. Sanchez-Espinoza, J. Leppänen, L. Mercatali, J. E.  Hoogenboom, R. Vodcka and J. Dufek; McSAFE – High Performance Monte Carlo Methods for SAFEty Analysis. NUGENIA Annual Forum 2018, 10-12 April 2018. Prague, Czech Republic. 

Journal papers:

  • Ignas Mickus, Jan Dufek; Optimal Neutron Population Growth in Accelerated Monte Carlo Criticality Calculations. Annals of Nuclear Energy submitted
  • Margaux Faucher, Davide Mancusi, Andrea Zoia; New kinetic simulation capabilities for Tripoli-4 R: methods and applications. Annals of Nuclear Energy submitted
  • M. Faucher, D. Mancusi and A. Zoia, Annals of Nuclear Energy, 120, 74-88 (2018).
  • Levinsky et al., Annals of Nuclear Energy 125, 80-98 (2019).
  • DiegoFerraro, ManuelGarcia, Uwe Imke, Ville Valtavirta, Jaakko Leppänen, Victor Sanchez-Espinoza; Serpent/SCF pin-level multiphysics solutions for the VERA Fuel Assembly benchmark. Annals of Nuclear Energy Volum,me 18, June 2019, Pages 102-114. 

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