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An Intuition Building Tool For Visualizing Coupled Spectral And Burnup Calculations

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Topics of Interest-Nuclear Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.192.1 - 10.192.15



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Paper Authors

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Mark Deinert

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K. Bingham Cady

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Joshua Barratt

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Erich Schneider

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Visualization of Coupled Spectral and Burnup Calculations: an Intuition-building Tool

Erich A. Schneider*, Joshua G. Barratt, K. Bingham Cady and Mark R. Deinert

*Los Alamos National Laboratory, P. O. Box 1663, Los Alamos, NM 87545 / Cornell University, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850


In this paper, we present a fast, user-friendly computational tool for the calculation and visualization of coupled neutron spectra and fuel burnup calculations. This tool, V:BUDS (visualize: burnup, depletion, spectrum), was designed to derive scenario-dependent material balances for fuel cycle systems studies. While V:BUDS does not replace more high-fidelity models, its simple interface, short computation time, and graphical output format make it a useful tool for classroom demonstration or student experimentation with a wide range of reactor phenomena. V:BUDS is a C-based code bundled with custom cross section libraries and driven by a graphical MATLABTM front end. It operates at the unit cell level and couples a detailed multigroup treatment of energy dependence with a simplified collision probability model of spatial dependence. This approach gives strong fidelity to benchmarked standards for LWRs and responds correctly to perturbations in relevant parameters such as geometry and composition.

1. Introduction

Familiarization with the setup and execution of coupled transport/burnup calculations, using for instance the MCNP/MOCUP, SCALE or WIMS code packages, is an essential component of many reactor physics curricula. Although imparting a crucial, marketable skill to learners, exclusive reliance upon these necessarily slow, complex and outcome-oriented licensing-quality packages in teaching computational reactor physics could short-change students in one important respect. This may broadly be referred to as intuition building: how do the burnup-dependent spectrum, multiplication factor, reactivity coefficients and isotopic composition respond to changes in geometry, initial number densities, temperature and residence time?

A new tool, V:BUDS (visualize: burnup, depletion, spectrum) has been developed to fill this gap. The V:BUDS computational engine, originally developed to provide material balances for fuel cycle system studies, uses a few spatial region collision probability formulation to treat the spatial dependence of the flux. This is coupled with a multigroup treatment of energy dependence incorporating a hyperfine (740 group) or traditional (110 group) mesh. V:BUDS is bundled with custom cross section libraries, evaluated from the ENDF-B/VI data using NJOY99 and covering the temperature range 300 – 1500 K. The libraries include fuel matrix, cladding,

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Deinert, M., & Cady, K. B., & Barratt, J., & Schneider, E. (2005, June), An Intuition Building Tool For Visualizing Coupled Spectral And Burnup Calculations Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14822

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