Understanding and Adding Archetypes to Your Scenario

Concept: Archetypes

One of the principal features of Cyclus is the ability for users to easily switch between different models of fuel cycle facilities. Models may differ in the way they choose to represent the physics of the facility, or in the way they choose for the facility to interact with other facilities, or both. In Cyclus, we call each of these different models an archetype.

Archetype Example: Reactor Fidelity

The easiest way for most fuel cycle analysts to understand the difference between archetypes is through the example of a reactor model.

  • The simplest possible reactor archetype uses the concept of fixed input and output recipes to define the transmutation of material. Such a reactor might assume that all material that it receives matches its desired input recipe, and that all the material that it then ships as used fuel will match its prescribed output recipe. This will probably run the fastest.
  • A more sophisticated reactor archetype uses some form of tabulated data to determine both performance characteristics and used fuel discharge composition. It could be as simple as interpolating between a set of possible input recipes and then using that interpolation on a set of corresponding output recipes. A more complex version of such an archetype could even have tabulated reactor physics paramters for more fidelity.
  • The most sophisticated reactor archetype may actually be a wrapper for fuel depletion software, and perform a full depletion calculation each time new fuel arrives at the reactor. This will probably take the most computer time to complete.

Assuming that such archetypes are available, the user is welcome to choose which archetype to use, based on the modeling fidelity they are interested in and/or the performance requirements they have for their simulations.

Cycamore: The Cyclus Additional Module Repository

The Cyclus team has developed a simple standard set of archetypes to support basic fuel cycle modeling situations. In most cases they implement very simple models and are useful for tutorials such as this, and as a standard way to model facilities that may be at the peripheral of a problem. The Cycamore facility archetypes are:

  • Source: This generic source of material may fill the role of any facility that produces fresh material. Depending on how much of the fuel cycle a user wants to model explicity, this could fill the role of a uranium mine, an enrichment facility, a fuel fabrication facility, etc.
  • Enrichment: This facility archetype implements the standard equations for enrichment of U-235 in U-238, with a constrained total enrichment capacity.
  • Reactor: This facility archetype uses simple fuel recipes for a reactor that reloads batches of assemblies at regular intervals.
  • Separations: This facility archetype takes a number of input streams and separates all the isotopes into a number of output streams.
  • FuelFab: This facility archetype mixes streams of fissile and fissionable material in order to best approximate a given recipe using the d-factor approach.
  • Sink: This generic sink of material may fill the role of any facility that permanently holds used nuclear material. Depending on how much of the fuel cycle a user wants to model explicitly, this could fill the role of a geologic repository, an interim storage facility, etc.

Activity: Discover the Available Archetypes

Since archetypes can change without having to resinstall Cyclus, there is the ability to automatically discover which archetypes are available.

  1. Press the “Discover Archetypes” button to update the archetypes available to you.
View of archetype discovery pane.
  1. Select the “Add Archetype to Simulation” drop-down box to see which archetypes are available.

Activity: Select Archetypes to Use in this Scneario

After discovering which archetypes are available on your system, you are able to select which subset of archetypes will be used in this particular scenario.

  1. For this scenario, select each of these archetypes from the drop down box.
  • cycamore Source: to act as the mine
  • cycamore Enrichment: to act as the enrichment facility
  • cycamore Reactor: to act as the LWR
  • cycamore Sink: to act as the geoligic respository

Notice how these now appear in the window on the right.

View of archetype ribbon after adding archetypes