Cross Section Generation on Advanced Computing Platforms for Improved Reactor Modeling

Miriam Kreher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Turbulent flow of coolant into a mock-up of the upper plenum of an advanced recycling nuclear reactor.

Description: Computational modeling remains central to the nuclear industry because it is prohibitively expensive and impractical to take sufficient measurements within reactor environments. For decades, scientists have fine-tuned the appropriate approximations which can make simulations accurate yet computationally feasible. One of these approximations is the conversion of continuous-energy nuclear data into discretized energy groups to speed up calculations. Generating this multigroup data for a particular reactor type is tedious and requires many manual manipulations that preserve equivalence with continuous-energy data. As such, multigroup cross section generation is plagued by the lack of general applicability to all reactor types, especially advanced reactors. This talk will focus on the use of Monte Carlo neutronics for cross-section generation. Current research will be presented on this use of Monte Carlo within time-dependent problems and how this work can be applied to increase the accuracy and flexibility of multigroup calculations while leveraging high performance computing capabilities.

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