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Title: Evaluation and Testing of the ADVANTG Code on SNM Detection

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of ORNL’s new hybrid transport code, ADVANTG, on scenarios of interest to our NA-22 sponsor, specifically of detection of diversion of special nuclear material (SNM). PNNL staff have determined that acquisition and installation of ADVANTG was relatively straightforward for a code in its phase of development, but probably not yet sufficient for mass distribution to the general user. PNNL staff also determined that with little effort, ADVANTG generated weight windows that typically worked for the problems and generated results consistent with MCNP. With slightly greater effort of choosing a finer mesh around detectors or sample reaction tally regions, the figure of merit (FOM) could be further improved in most cases. This does take some limited knowledge of deterministic transport methods. The FOM could also be increased by limiting the energy range for a tally to the energy region of greatest interest. It was then found that an MCNP run with the full energy range for the tally showed improved statistics in the region used for the ADVANTG run. The specific case of interest chosen by the sponsor is the CIPN project from Las Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), whichmore » is an active interrogation, non-destructive assay (NDA) technique to quantify the fissile content in a spent fuel assembly and is also sensitive to cases of material diversion. Unfortunately, weight windows for the CIPN problem cannot currently be properly generated with ADVANTG due to inadequate accommodations for source definition. ADVANTG requires that a fixed neutron source be defined within the problem and cannot account for neutron multiplication. As such, it is rendered useless in active interrogation scenarios. It is also interesting to note that this is a difficult problem to solve and that the automated weight windows generator in MCNP actually slowed down the problem. Therefore, PNNL had determined that there is not an effective tool available for speeding up MCNP for problems such as the CIPN scenario. With regard to the Benchmark scenarios, ADVANTG performed very well for most of the difficult, long-running, standard radiation detection scenarios. Specifically, run time speedups were observed for spatially large scenarios, or those having significant shielding or scattering geometries. ADVANTG performed on par with existing codes for moderate sized scenarios, or those with little to moderate shielding, or multiple paths to the detectors. ADVANTG ran slower than MCNP for very simply, spatially small cases with little to no shielding that run very quickly anyway. Lastly, ADVANTG could not solve problems that did not consist of fixed source to detector geometries. For example, it could not solve scenarios with multiple detectors or secondary particles, such as active interrogation, neutron induced gamma, or fission neutrons.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States