Rogers, Timothy James (2008-08). Pwr fuel assembly optimization using adaptive simulated annealing coupled with translat. Master's Thesis.
Optimization methods have been developed and refined throughout many
scientific fields of study. This work utilizes one such developed technique of
optimization called simulated annealing to produce optimal operation parameters for a
15x15 fuel assembly to be used in an operating nuclear power reactor. The two main
cases of optimization are: one that finds the optimal 235U enrichment layout of the fuel
pins in the assembly and another that finds both the optimal 235U enrichments where
gadolinium burnable absorber pins are also inserted. Both of these optimizations can be
performed by coupling Adaptive Simulated Annealing to TransLAT which successfully
searches the optimization space for a fuel assembly layout that produces the minimized
pin power peaking factor. Within given time constraints this package produces optimal
layouts within a given set of assumptions and constraints. Each layout is forced to
maintain the fuel assembly average 235U enrichment as a constraint. Reductions in
peaking factors that are produced through this method are on the order of 2% to 3%
when compared to the baseline results. As with any simulated annealing approach,
families of optimal layouts are produced that can be used at the engineer's discretion.