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Derivation of Optimum Polar Angle Quadrature Set for the Method

of Characteristics Based on Approximation Error for the Bickley Function


Akio YAMAMOTO
1, +
, Masato TABUCHI
1,f
, Naoki SUGIMURA
2
,
Tadashi USHIO
2
and Masaaki MORI
2
1
Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan
2
Nuclear Engineering, Ltd., 1-3-7 Tosabori, Nishi-ku, Osaka 550-0001, Japan
(Received September 1, 2006 and accepted in revised form November 30, 2006)
In this paper, dedicated polar angle quadrature sets for the method of characteristics (MOC) are developed, based
on the equivalence between MOC and the collision probability method. The discretization error of polar angle in MOC
can be considered as an approximation error of the Bickley function used in the collision probability method; the Bick-
ley function is numerically integrated in MOC using a quadrature set for polar direction (i.e., a set of polar angles and
weights). Therefore, by choosing an appropriate quadrature set, the approximation error of the Bickley function which
appears in MOC can be reduced, thus the calculation accuracy of MOC increases. Quadrature sets from one to three
polar angle divisions are derived by minimizing the maximum approximation error of the Bickley function. The newly
derived polar angle quadrature set (Tabuchi-Yamamoto or the TY quadrature set) is tested in the C5G7 and 4-loop
PWR whole core problems and its accuracy is compared with other quadrature sets, e.g., Gauss-Legendre. The cal-
culation results indicate that the TY quadrature set that is newly developed in the present paper provides better accu-
racy than the other methods. Since the number of polar angle divisions is proportional to computation time of MOC,
utilization of the TY quadrature set will be computationally ecient.
KEYWORDS: method of characteristics, collision probability method, Bickley function, quadrature set, polar
direction, C5G7, PWR
I. Introduction
The method of characteristics (MOC) has been widely ap-
plied to lattice physics calculations in industrial areas.
111)
Though MOC can appropriately handle complicated hetero-
geneous geometry of fuel assemblies and can provide accu-
rate angular ux distributions for a given cross section set,
detail spatial and angular discretizations are necessary to
obtain a converged (accurate) solution. Thus requirement
for computational resources (e.g., computation time and
memory storages) of MOC is generally larger than that of
other transport methods. Since computation time is crucial
in production in-core fuel management calculations, reduc-
tion of computation time for MOC is important.
In general, if performances of discretization parameters
(e.g., accuracy obtained by an angular quadrature set) are in-
creased, the coarser parameters can be used while keeping
the same calculation accuracy.
12)
Utilization of the coarser
discretization parameters can contribute to reduce computa-
tion time of MOC.
The present paper is devoted to develop angular quadra-
ture sets (i.e., sets of angles and weights) for polar direction
that are utilized in MOC. There are two common quadrature
sets for discretization of polar angle of MOC, i.e., the Gauss-
Legendre (GL) and the Leonards optimum (LO).
13)
The GL
quadrature set is commonly used in numerical integration
and has good accuracy when integrand is a smooth function.
Since the distribution of angular ux for polar direction is
smoother than that for azimuthal direction, application of
the GL quadrature set is reasonable. The second one, i.e.,
the LO quadrature set, is a dedicated angles and weights
set for polar direction of MOC. The LO quadrature set is
widely used in common MOC codes and shows good accu-
racy.
8,13)
However, the authors recent practice suggests
that the LO quadrature set shows considerable discretization
errors in some calculation congurations. The above obser-
vation is our motivation to develop a new quadrature set
for polar direction. The LO quadrature set is derived based
on the equivalence between the collision probability method
and MOC, i.e., it is generated by reducing dierence
between the collision probability method and MOC by
choosing an appropriate quadrature set for polar angle.
Though our approach is similar with that of Leonards,
derivation strategy of the quadrature set is dierent.
In Chap. II, a discretization error of polar angle in MOC is
estimated by comparison between the collision probability
method and MOC. This discussion shows that a discretiza-
tion error of polar angle in MOC is considered as an approx-
imation error of the Bickley function. Therefore, the polar
angle quadrature set is derived to minimize the approxima-
tion error for the Bickley function in MOC. Dierence be-
tween the Leonards and our approaches to obtain the quad-
rature set is also discussed in detail. In Chap. III, two test
problems are analyzed to conrm validity of the newly de-
rived quadrature set for polar angle. The calculation results
indicate that the discretization error of the newly derived
Atomic Energy Society of Japan
+
Corresponding author,
E-mail: a-yamamoto@nucl.nagoya-u.ac.jp
f
Present address: Nuclear Engineering, Ltd., 1-3-7 Tosabori,
Nishi-ku, Osaka 550-0001, Japan
Journal of NUCLEAR SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY, Vol. 44, No. 2, p. 129136 (2007)
129
ARTICLE
quadrature set is smaller than those of the other quadrature
sets, e.g., the Gauss-Legendre or the Leonards optimum. Fi-
nally, concluding remarks are shown in Chap. IV.
II. Optimum Polar Angle Quadrature Set
1. Estimation of Discretization Error for Polar An-
gle
1315)
In order to evaluate a discretization error of MOC for po-
lar angle, the collision probability from region i to j is eval-
uated by MOC. Let us consider a narrow strip in Fig. 1,
which passes through both regions i and j. The average an-
gular ux of region j on the strip is expressed as follows:
1,2)
"

j,m
=
Q
j,m

t, j

sin
m

t, j

j
_

in
j,m
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _

Q
j,m

t, j
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _
_
, (1)
where,
"

j,m
: the average angular ux of region j, the m-th polar di-
rection,
Q
j,m
: the neutron source of region j, the m-th polar direc-
tion,

t, j
: the total cross section of region j,

j
: the length of strip (distance between intersects of strip
and region boundaries) in region j,

m
: the m-th polar direction measured from z-axis,

in
j,m
: the in-coming angular ux into region j, the m-th polar
direction,
t
j
: the optical length of region j along the strip, which is
given by t
j
=
t, j

j
.
Equation (1) can be re-written as follows;
"

j,m
=
sin
m

t, j

in
j,m
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _
C
j,m
, (2)
where, C
j,m
is a summation of independent terms from
in
j,m
and given as follows:
C
j,m
=
Q
j,m

t, j

sin
m

t, j

j
Q
j,m

t, j
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _
. (3)
The neutron source in region i (Q
i,m
) contributes to
"

j,m
through
in
j,m
. Therefore, C
j,m
is also independent from Q
i,m
.
By substituting Eq. (4) into Eq. (2), we can obtain
Eq. (5):

in
j,m
=
out
j1,m
=
in
j1,m
exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _

Q
j1,m

t, j1
1 exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _ _ _
, (4)
"

j,m
=
sin
m

t, j

j
_

in
j1,m
exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _

Q
j1,m

t, j1
1 exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _ _ _
_
(5)
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _
C
j,m
.
Here we assume i - j. Equation (5) can be re-written as
follows:
"

j,m
=
sin
m

t, j

in
j1,m
exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _
C
j1,m
C
j,m
, (6)
where, C
j1,m
is a summation of independent terms from

in
j1,m
and given as follows:
C
j1,m
=
sin
m

t, j

j
Q
j1,m

t, j1
1 exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _ _ _
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _
. (7)
By repeating the above formulation,
"

j,m
can be expressed
as follows:
"

j,m
=
sin
m

t, j

j
_

in
i,m
exp
t
i
sin
m
_ _

Q
i,m

t,i
1 exp
t
i
sin
m
_ _ _ _
_
exp
t
i1
sin
m
_ _
exp
t
i2
sin
m
_ _

exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _
C
i1,m
C
i2,m
C
j1,m
C
j,m
=
sin
m

t, j

j
Q
i,m

t,i
1 exp
t
i
sin
m
_ _ _ _
exp
t
i1
sin
m
_ _
exp
t
i2
sin
m
_ _

exp
t
j1
sin
m
_ _
1 exp
t
j
sin
m
_ _ _ _

j
k=i
C
k,m
.
(8)
Note that C
i,m
is independent from Q
i,m
and given as fol-
lows:
C
i,m
=
sin
m

t, j

in
i,m
exp
t
i
sin
m
_ _
. (9)
Equation (8) can be reduced to the following form:
region i
region j
i
j
Fig. 1 Geometry of collision probability estimation
130 A. YAMAMOTO et al.
JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
"

j,m
=
sin
m

t, j

j
Q
i,m

t,i
exp

j1
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j1
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
_

_
_

j
k=i
C
k,m
. (10)
Part of the total (scalar) ux in region j, which is generated by the neutron source in region i, is expressed as follows:
"

ij
=

m
o
m
sin
m

t, j

j
Q
i,m

t,i
exp

j1
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j1
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
_

_
_

_
, (11)
where,
"

ij
: part of scalar ux in region j, which is generated by the neutron source in region i,
o
m
: the weight for the m-th polar direction and whose summation is 1.
Now we remind the neutron balance on the strip based on the collision probability method:
P
ij

m
Q
i,m

i
=
t, j
"

ij

j
, (12)
where,
P
ij
: collision probability from region i to j.
By substituting Eq. (11) into Eq. (12) and assuming an isotropic neutron source, we can obtain the following equation:
2P
ij
Q
i

i
=
Q
i

t,i

m
o
m
sin
m
exp

j1
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j1
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
_

_
_

_
. (13)
where,
Q
i
: the neutron source in region i and Q
i
=

m
o
m
Q
i,m
= Q
i,m

m
o
m
= Q
i,m
under the assumption of an isotropic neutron
source.
Note that symmetry on polar direction is assumed in Eq. (13), i.e., a summation on m is carried out in upper hemisphere.
So the coecient appeared in the left hand side of Eq. (13) is 2 instead of 4 which appears in an assumption of an isotropic
neutron source.
Finally, estimation of the collision probability from region i to j is given by Eq. (14) based on MOC.
P
ij
=
1
2
t,i

m
o
m
sin
m
exp

j1
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j1
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i1
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
exp

j
k=i
t
k
_
sin
m
_ _
_

_
_

_
. (14)
Equation (14) can be re-written as follows:
P
ij
=
1
2
t,i

i
Ki
A3

j1
k=i1
t
k
_ _
Ki
A3

j1
k=i
t
k
_ _
Ki
A3

j
k=i1
t
k
_ _
Ki
A3

j
k=i
t
k
_ _
_

_
_

_
, (15)
where,
Ki
An
(x)

m=1
o
m
sin
n2

m
exp
x
sin
m
_ _
, (16)
and
N

: the number of angles in polar direction.


Equation (15) will be compared with that obtained by the
collision probability method. In the collision probability
method, the collision probability from region i to j is given
as follows.
16)
P
ij
=
1
2
t,i
V
i
Ki
3

j1
k=i1
t
k
_ _
Ki
3

j1
k=i
t
k
_ _
Ki
3

j
k=i1
t
k
_ _
Ki
3

j
k=i
t
k
_ _
_

_
_

_
, (17)
where, Ki
n
(x) is the Bickley function given by the following
relation,
Ki
n
(x) =
_
,2
0
d sin
n1
exp
x
sin
_ _
. (18)
Comparison of Eqs. (15) and (17) claries the source of
discretization error of MOC in polar direction; in MOC,
Derivation of Optimum Polar Angle Quadrature Set for the Method of Characteristics 131
VOL. 44, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2007
Eq. (16) is used as an approximation of the Bickley function,
which is given by Eq. (18). In other words, Eq. (16) is a dis-
cretized integration form of the Bickley function. When the
number of polar angle divisions is large enough, the value of
Eq. (16) is close to that of Eq. (18). In such a case, MOC and
the collision probability method is considered to be equiva-
lent.
The above discussion is used in the derivation of optimum
polar angle quadrature sets for MOC.
2. Derivation of Optimum Polar Angle Quadrature Set
The discussion in the previous section reveals that the dis-
cretization error for polar angle in MOC is expressed by the
dierence between MOC and the collision probability meth-
od under the assumption of an isotropic neutron source.
Here, we dene a function Ki
En
(x), which represents dis-
cretization error of the Bickley function:
Ki
En
(x) = Ki
n
(x) Ki
An
(x). (19)
By subtracting Eq. (15) from Eq. (17), we can obtain the
following formula that is proportional to the discretization
error of MOC for polar angle.
E
ij
= Ki
E3

j1
k=i1
t
k
_ _
Ki
E3

j1
k=i
t
k
_ _
Ki
E3

j
k=i1
t
k
_ _
Ki
E3

j
k=i
t
k
_ _
, (20)
where, E
ij
is the function of angles (
m
) and weights (o
m
) in
Ki
An
(x).
Therefore, when the dierence between Eqs. (16) and
(18) is reduced by a appropriate set of angles (
m
) and
weights (o
m
), the discretization error of MOC will be small.
The GL quadrature set is commonly used in numerical in-
tegration since it gives an accurate result for a smooth func-
tion. Actually, the N-th order GL quadrature set gives an ex-
act result up to polynomials of order 2N-1. Since behavior of
the Bickley function is fairly smooth, application of the GL
quadrature set generally gives favorable results for MOC.
The LO quadrature set was derived based on the equiva-
lence between the collision probability and MOC and uti-
lizes the following relation:
[E
ij
[ _ 2E
2 max
, (21)
where,
E
n max
max
x
[Ki
En
(x)[.
We can minimize the value of E
2 max
by choosing an ap-
propriate set of angles and weights which appear in Eq. (16).
The LO quadrature set is obtained through this procedure.
13)
The meaning of the relation (21) could be supposed as fol-
lows. From Eqs. (16) and (18), it is obvious that Ki
E2
(x) is
obtained through dierentiation of Ki
E3
(x). Therefore, when
the value of Ki
E2
(x) is suppressed to minimum, variation of
Ki
E3
(x) becomes small, i.e., Ki
E3
(x) may behave as a con-
stant. In such a condition, cancellation of the each term in
Eq. (20) may be expected. Consequently, the value of E
ij
would become small.
The LO quadrature set usually gives sucient accuracy
for cell or assembly calculations with the reective boundary
condition. However, practices on the LO quadrature set sug-
gest that accuracy of the LO quadrature set decreases in
some calculation cases as will be shown in the next section.
The basic optimization strategy used in the present study
is similar to the Leonards one, i.e., minimize the value of
E
ij
. However, the approach to achieve the goal is dierent.
In the present study, the absolute value of each term in
Eq. (20) is directly suppressed to minimum. In other words,
we improve accuracy of Ki
A3
(x) function of Eq. (16) by
choosing an appropriate set of polar angles and weights. In
concrete, we minimize the value of E
3 max
rather than
E
2 max
in the Leonards approach. Possibility of our approach
is briey suggested in Ref. 13), but no result is given. The
similar approach has been studied in Ref. 14), in which inte-
gral of [Ki
E3
(x)]
2
is minimized. Unfortunately, since the de-
rived quadrature set is not described in Ref. 14), detail com-
parison with our approach would be dicult.
In the following sections, the polar angle quadrature set
generated by the present approach (i.e., by minimizing
E
3 max
) will be called as the Tabuchi and Yamamotos opti-
mum quadrature set or the TY quadrature set.
3. Results
E
3 max
is a complicated non-linear function of polar angles
(
m
) and weights (o
m
) which appear in Eq. (16). Therefore,
an optimization of angles and weights is carried out by the
steepest descend search starting from adequate initial guess.
Evaluation results for one to three polar angle divisions are
shown in Table 1. Note that the LO quadrature sets for
one and three polar angle divisions in Table 1 are derived
by the authors by minimizing E
2 max
.
Figures 2 to 4 depict behavior of Ki
E3
(x) function with
one, two and three polar angle divisions, respectively.
Figures 2 to 4 contain results with the various quadrature
sets as follows:
UD: Uniform distributed angles and weights, which utilize
equally divided polar angles and its associated weights
GL: Gauss-Legendre
LO: Leonards optimum
TY: Tabuchi and Yamamotos optimum
From Figs. 2 to 4, we can see that the TY quadrature set
gives the smallest value of E
3 max
. Maximum absolute values
of Ki
E3
(x) (i.e., E
3 max
) obtained by the GL and LO quadra-
ture sets are similar, but behavior of Ki
E3
(x) with the LO
quadrature set is much more moderate than that with the
GL quadrature set. Since the LO quadrature set is obtained
by minimizing the variation of Ki
E3
(x), the above results
are reasonable. The UD quadrature set gives the worst re-
sults. This deviation supports the fact that ne polar angle di-
vision is necessary to obtain accurate results with the UD
quadrature set.
17)
The weights and angles of the GL quadra-
ture set are determined to give accurate integration result for
polynomials. Contrary, the TY and LO quadrature sets are
evaluated to reproduce the original Bickley function as accu-
rate as possible, i.e., the TY and LO quadrature sets are the
dedicated ones for the Bickley function. Since the behavior
of the Bickley function cannot be accurately captured by
132 A. YAMAMOTO et al.
JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
the low-order polynomials, the TY and LO quadrature sets
give better accuracy than GL. In other words, since the
weights and angles of the GL quadrature set are dedicated
one for polynomials, freedom in the TY and LO quadrature
sets to reproduce the original Bickley function is larger than
that of GL. This would be another reason for the better per-
formance of the TY and LO quadrature sets.
We can also observe the eect of the number of polar an-
gle divisions on calculation accuracy from Figs. 2 to 4. Ac-
tually, scale of vertical axes in Figs. 2 to 4 is ten times dif-
ferent in each gure. In other words, the discretization error
of polar angle can be reduced approximately by a factor of
ten by increasing the number of polar angle divisions by one.
Figures 2 to 4 also suggest that accuracy of the quadrature
sets may depend on the optical length of a spatial mesh since
accuracy of the approximated Bickley function varies as the
optical length. Therefore, in the next section, various spatial
mesh sizes are tested to conrm the validity of the newly de-
rived quadrature set.
III. Verication Calculations
The discussion in the previous section suggests that calcu-
lation accuracy with the TY quadrature set would be high
since the approximation error of Ki
3
(x) function is small.
In the present section, accuracy of MOC results with the
TY quadrature set will be veried through numerical bench-
mark calculations in two dimensional geometry with isotrop-
ic scattering.
1. C5G7 Benchmark Problem
The C5G7 benchmark problem is analyzed to verify the
eect of polar angle quadrature set.
18)
The C5G7 benchmark
problem consists of two UO
2
and two MOX PWR fuel as-
semblies with water reector as shown in Fig. 5. The cell
pitch is 1.26 cm. The pellet, gap and cladding inside a fuel
rod are homogenized and outer radius of fuel rod is
-1.0E-02
-5.0E-03
0.0E+00
5.0E-03
1.0E-02
0 5
x[-]
K
i
E
3
(
x
)
UD
GL
TY
LO
4 3 2 1
Fig. 3 Behavior of Ki
E3
(x) with two polar angle divisions
-1.0E-01
-5.0E-02
0.0E+00
5.0E-02
1.0E-01
0
x[-]
K
i
E
3
(
x
)
UD
GL
TY
LO
5 4 3 2 1
Fig. 2 Behavior of Ki
E3
(x) with one polar angle division
-1.0E-03
-5.0E-04
0.0E+00
5.0E-04
1.0E-03
0 2 3 4 5
x[-]
K
i
E
3
(
x
)
UD
GL
TY
LO
1
Fig. 4 Behavior of Ki
E3
(x) with three polar angle divisions
Table 1 Polar angle quadrature set for MOC
Number of
Leonard (LO) Tabuchi and Yamamoto (TY)
polar divisions
sin
a)
o sin o
1 0.752244 1.000000 0.798184 1.000000
2
0.273658
b)
0.139473 0.363900
c)
0.212854
0.865714 0.860527 0.899900 0.787146
0.103840 0.020530 0.166648 0.046233
3 0.430723 0.219161 0.537707 0.283619
0.905435 0.760309 0.932954 0.670148
a)
Angle () is measured from z-axis.
b)
Taken from Ref. 13).
c)
Slightly dierent from Ref. 15) since the multi-stage Monte-Carlo optimization
19)
was used in Ref. 15).
Derivation of Optimum Polar Angle Quadrature Set for the Method of Characteristics 133
VOL. 44, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2007
0.54 cm. Note that water reector consists of ve dummy as-
semblies, whose cell pitch is also 1.26 cm. The present
benchmark problem is suitable for evaluation of heterogene-
ous transport solver since heterogeneity from the viewpoint
of neutronics property is large. Note that two-dimensional
conguration is analyzed in this paper.
The calculation was carried out by the AEGIS code,
which is a lattice physics code based on MOC.
11)
The cross
section set of seven energy groups given in the C5G7 bench-
mark was used in the calculations. The number of azimuthal
divisions is 64 and width of ray trace is set to be less than
0.05 cm using the material region macroband method.
12)
In
order to investigate accuracy of the quadrature sets for var-
ious spatial mesh sizes, three types of mesh divisions are
tested, i.e., fuel and reector cells are sub-divided into 20
20, 5 5 and 2 2 orthogonal (XY) background meshes.
The number of polar angles is set to be two or three using
the four dierent quadrature sets, i.e., the uniform distribut-
ed angle (UD), the Gauss-Legendre (GL), the Leonards op-
timum (LO) and the Tabuchi and Yamamotos optimum
(TY). Note that one polar angle division is not tested since
it gives a larger error that is not suitable for practical calcu-
lations.
The reference result is obtained by the ne (16) polar
angle divisions with the GL quadrature set. The dierence
of k-eective, root mean square (RMS) dierence and max-
imum dierence of pin-by-pin ssion rate distribution are
evaluated through comparison with the reference result.
Note that convergence behavior, i.e., the number of transport
sweeps to reach convergence, is almost the same among the
various quadrature set.
Summaries of dierences are shown in Tables 2 to 7.
These tables indicate that the TY quadrature set gives the
most accurate result among the various quadrature sets. Then
the GL quadrature set follows TY. Though the LO quadra-
ture set gives accurate results in pin-cell or assembly geom-
etry with a reective boundary condition,
8)
its performance
is not very good in the present benchmark problems. The
UD quadrature set is worst among the four methods thus it
is not recommended for MOC calculations.
Tables 2 to 7 also indicate that accuracy of the quadrature
set does not show major dependency on the spatial mesh
size. Therefore, the above discussion would be applicable
to various spatial mesh sizes.
Table 3 Summary of dierences of k-eective and pin-by-pin s-
sion rate distribution from reference results in the C5G7 bench-
mark problem (20 20 meshes/cell, 3 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Pin-by-pin ssion rate
RMS Maximum
UD 0.157% 0.583% 2.189%
GL 0.012% 0.089% 0.174%
LO 0.022% 0.086% 0.245%
TY 0.001% 0.003% 0.010%
Note: Sixteen polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
Table 2 Summary of dierences of k-eective and pin-by-pin s-
sion rate distribution from reference results in the C5G7 bench-
mark problem (20 20 meshes/cell, 2 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Pin-by-pin ssion rate
RMS Maximum
UD 0.324% 1.273% 4.596%
GL 0.010% 0.178% 0.366%
LO 0.098% 0.448% 1.245%
TY 0.006% 0.077% 0.147%
Note: Sixteen polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
Table 4 Summary of dierences of k-eective and pin-by-pin s-
sion rate distribution from reference results in the C5G7 bench-
mark problem (5 5 meshes/cell, 2 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Pin-by-pin ssion rate
RMS Maximum
UD 0.327% 1.263% 4.528%
GL 0.011% 0.174% 0.355%
LO 0.098% 0.444% 1.223%
TY 0.005% 0.076% 0.147%
Note: Sixteen polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
Table 5 Summary of dierences of k-eective and pin-by-pin s-
sion rate distribution from reference results in the C5G7 bench-
mark problem (5 5 meshes/cell, 3 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Pin-by-pin ssion rate
RMS Maximum
UD 0.159% 0.580% 2.163%
GL 0.012% 0.087% 0.171%
LO 0.022% 0.085% 0.241%
TY 0.001% 0.003% 0.010%
Note: Sixteen polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
UO2
UO2
Reflective
MOX
Vacuum
Vacuum
Reflective
Reflector (water)
MOX
Fig. 5 Geometry of C5G7 benchmark problems
134 A. YAMAMOTO et al.
JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Some additional sensitivity calculations reveal that accu-
racy of the TY quadrature set with two polar angle division
(2TY) is almost equivalent to the GL quadrature set with
four polar divisions (4GL) and 3TY is approximately equiv-
alent to 12GL. Actually, the result with 3TY is almost equiv-
alent to the reference result. Since calculation time of MOC
is roughly proportional to the number of polar angle divi-
sions, calculation time can be reduced by using the TY quad-
rature set.
2. PWR Whole Core Problem
The second problem is a PWR whole core calculation in
two-dimensional geometry.
11)
The rst core of a latest 4-loop
PWR is modeled in this problem with explicit geometry of
fuel assembly (i.e., pellet, gap, cladding, moderator) and baf-
e-reector. The present core is characterized by the large
enrichment splitting from 2.0 wt% to 4.1 wt% and heavy
burnable poison loading. Thus heterogeneity from the view-
point of neutronics property is large like the C5G7 bench-
mark problem in the previous section. Cross section set of
16 energy groups is used in the calculation. The AEGIS code
is also used for MOC calculations. The azimuthal angle is
divided into 32 and width of ray trace is set to be less than
0.1 cm using the material region macroband.
12)
The modera-
tor region of fuel cell is annularly divided into two and azi-
muthally divided into eight background meshes. The number
of polar angles is set to be two or three using the UD, GL,
LO and TY quadrature sets. In the reference calculation,
the polar angle is divided into 12 with the GL quadrature set.
The dierence of k-eective and RMS and maximum dif-
ference of assembly-wise power distribution are summarized
in Tables 8 and 9. These tables indicate that the TY quadra-
ture set gives the most accurate result among the four meth-
ods. Then the GL quadrature set follows TY. The LO quad-
rature set is not very good especially in case of the two polar
angle divisions, which is originally developed by Leonard.
As described in Introduction, the dierence observed in
Table 8 is our primary motivation to develop a new quadra-
ture set and we believe that our goal has been achieved by
the TY quadrature set. Table 9 also indicates that the TY
quadrature set with three polar angle divisions is almost
equivalent to the reference. The whole core calculation of
LWRs is now one of the major applications of MOC.
7)
Since
LWR whole core calculation is very time consuming, appli-
cation of the TY quadrature set realizes signicant reduction
in computation time.
Note that our other test calculation results indicate that the
TY quadrature set is accurate not only for leakage congu-
rations that are treated in the present paper, but also for
non-leakage ones, e.g., pin-cell and assembly calculations.
Therefore, the TY quadrature set will be also useful for
MOC that is used in production level lattice calculations.
IV. Conclusions
In the present paper, the new quadrature set for polar an-
gle division of MOC, i.e., the Tabuchi-Yamamotos opti-
mum (TY) quadrature set, is developed and its validity is
veried through the benchmark problems.
When the number of polar angle divisions is sucient,
MOC is equivalent to the collision probability method under
the assumption of an isotropic neutron source. Based on this
Table 6 Summary of dierences of k-eective and pin-by-pin s-
sion rate distribution from reference results in the C5G7 bench-
mark problem (2 2 meshes/cell, 2 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Pin-by-pin ssion rate
RMS Maximum
UD 0.330% 1.260% 4.469%
GL 0.011% 0.163% 0.341%
LO 0.097% 0.431% 1.171%
TY 0.004% 0.074% 0.143%
Note: Sixteen polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
Table 8 Summary of dierences of k-eective and assembly-
wise power distribution from reference results in the PWR whole
core problem (2 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Assembly power
RMS Maximum
UD 0.062% 3.536% 6.678%
GL 0.061% 0.088% 0.211%
LO 0.017% 0.946% 1.897%
TY 0.010% 0.018% 0.033%
Note: Twelve polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
Table 7 Summary of dierences of k-eective and pin-by-pin s-
sion rate distribution from reference results in the C5G7 bench-
mark problem (2 2 meshes/cell, 3 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Pin-by-pin ssion rate
RMS Maximum
UD 0.160% 0.582% 2.141%
GL 0.011% 0.082% 0.159%
LO 0.022% 0.083% 0.230%
TY 0.001% 0.003% 0.010%
Note: Sixteen polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
Table 9 Summary of dierences of k-eective and assembly-
wise power distribution from reference results in the PWR whole
core problem (3 polar divisions)
Method k-eective
Assembly power
RMS Maximum
UD 0.024% 1.729% 3.464%
GL 0.025% 0.024% 0.061%
LO 0.036% 0.037% 0.071%
TY 0.003% 0.005% 0.010%
Note: Twelve polar divisions with the Gauss-Legendre quadrature set
are used for reference calculation.
Derivation of Optimum Polar Angle Quadrature Set for the Method of Characteristics 135
VOL. 44, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2007
fact, the discretization error for polar angle in MOC can be
considered as an approximation error of the Bickley function
that appears in the collision probability method. The TY
quadrature set is derived to minimize the approximation er-
ror of Bickley function by choosing an appropriate set of po-
lar angles and weights. The TY quadrature set from one to
three polar angle divisions is generated through the above
strategy.
Accuracy of the TY quadrature set is veried by the C5G7
benchmark and the 4-loop PWR whole core problems. Dif-
ferences of k-eective and pin- or assembly-wise power dis-
tribution are compared with the reference results that are cal-
culated using suciently ne polar angle divisions. Two or
three polar angle divisions with various angular quadrature
sets, i.e., the uniform distributed angle (UD), the Gauss-Leg-
endre (GL), the Leonard optimum (LO) and the Tabuchi-
Yamamotos optimum (TY) are tested. The calculation re-
sults in the both benchmark problems show that accuracy
of the TY quadrature set is superior to that of other methods.
Furthermore, the TY quadrature set with three polar angle
divisions provides almost equivalent results to the refer-
ences, which are obtained by the GL quadrature set with
16 or 12 polar angle divisions.
In the present study, validity of the TY quadrature set is
veried through the problems with isotopic scattering. Since
one of the advantages of MOC is direct treatment of higher
order anisotropic scattering, verication calculations with
anisotropic scattering will be desirable in the future study.
Since calculation time of MOC is proportional to the num-
ber of polar angle divisions, utilization of the TY quadrature
set is useful from the viewpoint of computational eciency.
Utilization of the TY quadrature set in current MOC codes is
easy; just input polar angles and associated weights. There-
fore, the TY quadrature set will be a nice candidate of quad-
rature set for polar angle division of MOC.
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