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Développement de modèles neutroniques pour le couplage thermohydraulique du MSFR et le calcul de paramètres cinétiques effectifs

Abstract : In this PhD thesis, we describe the development of innovative neutronic models for their coupling with thermalhydraulics such that they combine precision and reasonable computational times. One of the main cases where this method is applied is the Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR) whose combines a fast neutron spectrum with a thorium cycle. In this fourth generation reactor, the motion of the delayed neutron precursors and the associated phenomena have to be taken into account due to the liquid fuel circulation. The starting point for these developments was the preliminary design of this type of system where a dedicated multi-physical representation was needed to study the reactor performance in steady and transient conditions.As a first step, a stationary coupling was developed. A neutronic model based on a stochastic approach was associated to a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) code to solve the Navier Stokes equations for turbulent flows and the transport of the delayed neutron precursors. The impact of this precursor motion is taken into account by reconstructing the prompt shower that they generate. This approach, called by shower, views the critical reactor as a prompt subcritical reactor that amplifies a source of delayed neutrons.A second step consisted in developing a neutronic model based on a time dependent version of the fission matrices (Transient Fission Matrix or TFM) so as to enable reactor transient studies. With the TFM model, an initial computation of the matrices with a stochastic code (MCNP, SERPENT) allows the characterization of the global spatial and time dependent neutronic response of the reactor with a precision close to that of a Monte Carlo calculation. The information thus obtained is then used to calculate transients, while retaining the advantage of reduced computational time. The TFM model, which can be used for various system concepts, also allows the evaluation of effective kinetic parameters such as the effective fraction of delayed neutrons or the effective generation time. The method was applied to various cases in order to verify it and demonstrate the approach for time dependent or kinetic parameter calculations.Finally, the TFM model was integrated in the OpenFOAM thermalhydraulic code. The coupling was first tested on a simple geometry numerical benchmark. Subsequently, it was applied to the MSFR to calculate normal (load-following) and accidental (reactivity insertion, over-cooling) transients.
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Axel Laureau. Développement de modèles neutroniques pour le couplage thermohydraulique du MSFR et le calcul de paramètres cinétiques effectifs. Physique Nucléaire Expérimentale [nucl-ex]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAI064⟩. ⟨tel-01255350⟩

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