In most advanced nodal methods the transverse integration is commonly used to reduce the multi-dimensional diffusion equation into equivalent one- dimensional diffusion equations when derving the nodal coupling equations. But the use of the transverse integration results in some limitations. The first limitation is that the transverse leakage term which appears in the transverse integration procedure must be appropriately approximated. The second limitation is that the one-dimensional flux shapes in each spatial direction resulted from the nodal calculation are not accurate enough to be directly used in reconstructing the pinwise flux distributions. Finally the transverse leakage defined for a non-rectangular node such as a hexagonal node or a triangular node is too complicated to be easily handled and may contain non-physical singular terms of step-function and delta-function types.
In this thesis, the Analytic Function Expansion Nodal (AFEN) method and its two variations : the Polynomial Expansion Nodal (PEN) method and the hybrid of the AFEN and PEN methods, have been developed to overcome the limitations of the transverse integration procedure. All of the methods solve the multidimensional diffusion equation without the transverse integration.
The AFEN method which we believe is the major contribution of this study to the reactor core analysis expands the homogeneous flux distributions within a node in non-separable analytic basis functions satisfying the neutron diffusion equations at any point of the node and expresses the coefficients of the flux expansion in terms of the nodal unknowns which comprise a node-average flux, node-interface fluxes, and corner-point fluxes. Then, the nodal coupling equations composed of the neutron balance equations, the interface current continuity equations, and the corner-point leakage balance equations are solved iteratively to determine all the nodal unknowns.
Since the AFEN method does not use the transverse integrat...