Automated burnup sequence
Homogenized group constants form the input data for core-level fuel cycle and transient simulator calculations. The data is parametrized according to discrete state-points, which are defined by the local thermal hydraulic conditions together with reactivity control. The process of group constant generation must cover the full range of operating states within the reactor core, which often requires repeating the assembly-level calculation thousands of times. Since the local operating conditions inside a fuel assembly also affect how the materials are depleted, the state-points by which the data is parametrized are not completely independent either. The calculations are instead divided into:
- Branch variations, taking into account the momentary changes in the operating conditions, such as fuel temperature, moderator density and temperature, boron concentration and insertion of control rods
- History variations, taking into account conditions that persist for an extended period of time, thus affecting the way the fuel is burnt, such as moderator temperature and density, boron concentration and positioning of control rods
In practice, the procedure involves burnup calculations covering all assembly types and history variations. Branch variations are accounted for by performing restart calculations for each burnup point, varying the local operating conditions accordingly.