Explicit decay heat calculation in the nodal diffusion code DYN3D

Y. Bilodid, E. Fridman, D. Kotlyar, E. Shwageraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The residual radioactive decay heat plays an important role in some accident scenarios and, therefore, needs to be accurately calculated when performing accident analyses. The current reactor simulation codes used for accident analysis account for the residual decay heat by means of simplified models. Typically, these models rely on semi-empirical correlations which are defined over a limited range of burnup and fuel types. Therefore, the applicability of such correlations is limited and any deviation from the definition range may lead to high uncertainties, which is detrimental in evaluating safety margins. Reactor dynamic code DYN3D was originally developed for transient and accident analysis of LWRs. In DYN3D, the residual radioactive decay heat calculation is based on the German national standard DIN Norm 25463 model. The applicability of this model is limited to a low enriched uranium dioxide fuel for light water reactors. This paper describes a new general decay heat calculation model implemented in DYN3D. The radioactive decay rate of each nuclide in each spatial node is calculated by recently implemented depletion module and the cumulative released heat is used to obtain the spatial distribution of the decay power for every time step. Such explicit approach is based on first principles and is free from approximations and, thus, can be applied to any reactor system (e.g. thermal and fast) and fuel type. The proposed method is verified through code-to-code comparison with the Serpent 2 Monte Carlo code results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-381
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • DYN3D
  • Explicit decay heat calculation
  • Microscopic depletion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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