BETHSY 9.1b test calculation with TRACE using 3D vessel component


  • Andrej Prošek
  • Ovidiu-Adrian Berar



Recently, several advanced multidimensional computational tools for simulating reactor system behavior during real and hypothetical transient scenarios were developed. One of such advanced, best-estimate reactor systems codes is TRAC/RELAP Advanced Computational Engine (TRACE), developed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The advanced TRACE comes with a graphical user interface called SNAP (Symbolic Nuclear Analysis Package). It is intended for pre- and post-processing, running codes, RELAP5 to TRACE input deck conversion, input deck database generation etc. The TRACE code is still not fully development and it will have all the capabilities of RELAP5. The purpose of the present study was therefore to assess the 3D capability of the TRACE on BETHSY 9.1b test. The TRACE input deck was semi-converted (using SNAP and manual corrections) from the RELAP5 input deck. The 3D fluid dynamics within reactor vessel was modeled and compared to 1D fluid dynamics. The TRACE 3D calculation was compared both to TRACE 1D calculation and RELAP5 calculation. Namely, the geometry used in TRACE is basically the same, what gives very good basis for the comparison of the codes. The only exception is 3D reactor vessel model in case of TRACE 3D calculation. The TRACE V5.0 Patch 1 and RELAP5/MOD3.3 Patch 4 were used for calculations. The BETHSY 9.1b test (International Standard Problem no. 27 or ISP-27) was 5.08 cm equivalent diameter cold leg break without high pressure safety injection and with delayed ultimate procedure. BETHSY facility was a 3-loop replica of a 900 MWe FRAMATOME pressurized water reactor. In general, all presented code calculations were in good agreement with the BETHSY 9.1b test. The TRACE 1D calculation results are comparable to RELAP5 calculated results. For some parameters they are better, this is mostly due to better tuning of the break flow, what influences timing of the transient. When comparing TRACE 1D and TRACE 3D calculation, the latter is slightly better. One reason for comparable results is already good agreement of 1D calculations and there was not much space to further improve the results. The other reason may be that in the facility the phenomena were mostly one dimensional (for example, external downcomer was used for reactor vessel modeling). However, when 3D behavior of the heater rod temperatures was investigated, the advantage of three dimensional treatment was clearly demonstrated.


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