T. J. Tautges and R. Jain, "Creating Geometry and Mesh Models for Nuclear Reactor Core Geometries Using a Lattice Hierarchy-Based Approach," Preprint ANL/MCS-P1897-0511, May 2011. [pdf]
Nuclear reactor cores are constructed as rectangular or hexagonal lattices of assemblies, where each assembly is itself a lattice of fuel, control, and instrumentation pins, surrounded by water or other material that moderates neutron energy and carries away fission heat. We describe a system for generating geometry and mesh for these systems. The method takes advantage of information about repeated structures in both assembly and core lattices to simplify the overall process. The system allows targeted user intervention midway through the process, enabling modification and manipulation of models for meshing or other purposes. Starting from text files describing assemblies and core, the tool can generate geometry and mesh for these models automatically as well. Simple and complex examples of tool operation are given, with the latter demonstrating generation of meshes with 12 million hexahedral elements in less than 30 minutes on a desktop workstation, using about 4 GB of memory. The tool is released as open source software as part of the MeshKit mesh generation library.