Doppler-broadening preprocessor routine
Traditionally, the effect of thermal motion on reaction rates has been taken into account by generating temperature-dependent, effective cross section libraries using dedicated processing codes such as NJOY, and using these cross sections in reactor physical calculations. This approach works well as long as there is no need to model the temperatures accurately or if the temperature of a system is very common, for instance room temperature. However, when modelling reactor conditions, the temperatures often need to be modeled at a high accuracy and, in addition, the temperatures are strongly case-dependent. Because of this, the cross section libraries often need to be tailored for each calculation case separately.
To simplify the calculation chain, a Doppler-broadening preprocessor routine was implemented in Serpent 2 (and Serpent 1). The routine is able to increase the temperature of a free-atom cross section below the energy region of unresolved resonances. The Doppler-broadening is performed analytically based on the Solbrig's kernel, and the broadening is relatively fast.
- The preprocessor does NOT adjust the temperature of thermal scattering data. For moderator materials, the temperature of thermal scattering data must be changed separately by either
- changing the library defined in the therm card or
- interpolating the thermal scattering data between two temperatures using the therm card
- The preprocessor does NOT adjust the temperature of the unresolved region probability tables. When modeling fast systems, the temperature dependence of reaction rates can be modeled (accurately) only by using ACE libraries corresponding to the exact temperature of each material. These ACE libraries can be processed using NJOY.
- The preprocessor does NOT adjust the energy grid of the cross section in the temperature adjustment process. Consequently, the resulting energy grid is suboptimal such that
- the resulting cross section requires slightly more memory than what a cross section processed with NJOY would require at the same temperature and
- the reconstruction tolerance of the resulting cross section is unknown. Experience has shown that the errors remain small in practice, at least if the nearest library temperature is used as the basis for broadening.