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Title: MPACT Subgroup Self-Shielding Efficiency Improvements

Abstract

Recent developments to improve the efficiency of the MOC solvers in MPACT have yielded effective kernels that loop over several energy groups at once, rather that looping over one group at a time. These kernels have produced roughly a 2x speedup on the MOC sweeping time during eigenvalue calculation. However, the self-shielding subgroup calculation had not been reevaluated to take advantage of these new kernels, which typically requires substantial solve time. The improvements covered in this report start by integrating the multigroup kernel concepts into the subgroup calculation, which are then used as the basis for further extensions. The next improvement that is covered is what is currently being termed as “Lumped Parameter MOC”. Because the subgroup calculation is a purely fixed source problem and multiple sweeps are performed only to update the boundary angular fluxes, the sweep procedure can be condensed to allow for the instantaneous propagation of the flux across a spatial domain, without the need to sweep along all segments in a ray. Once the boundary angular fluxes are considered to be converged, an additional sweep that will tally the scalar flux is completed. The last improvement that is investigated is the possible reduction of the numbermore » of azimuthal angles per octant in the shielding sweep. Typically 16 azimuthal angles per octant are used for self-shielding and eigenvalue calculations, but it is possible that the self-shielding sweeps are less sensitive to the number of angles than the full eigenvalue calculation.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Consortium for Advanced Simulation of LWRs (CASL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1328310
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2016/407; CASL-U-2016-1063-001
NT0304000; NEAF343; CASL-U-2016-1063-001; TRN: US1700303
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; M CODES; EIGENVALUES; COMPUTER CALCULATIONS; SELF-SHIELDING; KERNELS; EFFICIENCY; MULTIGROUP THEORY; NEUTRON FLUX; SCALARS

Citation Formats

Stimpson, Shane, Liu, Yuxuan, Collins, Benjamin S., and Clarno, Kevin T. MPACT Subgroup Self-Shielding Efficiency Improvements. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1328310.
Stimpson, Shane, Liu, Yuxuan, Collins, Benjamin S., & Clarno, Kevin T. MPACT Subgroup Self-Shielding Efficiency Improvements. United States. doi:10.2172/1328310.
Stimpson, Shane, Liu, Yuxuan, Collins, Benjamin S., and Clarno, Kevin T. 2016. "MPACT Subgroup Self-Shielding Efficiency Improvements". United States. doi:10.2172/1328310. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1328310.
@article{osti_1328310,
title = {MPACT Subgroup Self-Shielding Efficiency Improvements},
author = {Stimpson, Shane and Liu, Yuxuan and Collins, Benjamin S. and Clarno, Kevin T.},
abstractNote = {Recent developments to improve the efficiency of the MOC solvers in MPACT have yielded effective kernels that loop over several energy groups at once, rather that looping over one group at a time. These kernels have produced roughly a 2x speedup on the MOC sweeping time during eigenvalue calculation. However, the self-shielding subgroup calculation had not been reevaluated to take advantage of these new kernels, which typically requires substantial solve time. The improvements covered in this report start by integrating the multigroup kernel concepts into the subgroup calculation, which are then used as the basis for further extensions. The next improvement that is covered is what is currently being termed as “Lumped Parameter MOC”. Because the subgroup calculation is a purely fixed source problem and multiple sweeps are performed only to update the boundary angular fluxes, the sweep procedure can be condensed to allow for the instantaneous propagation of the flux across a spatial domain, without the need to sweep along all segments in a ray. Once the boundary angular fluxes are considered to be converged, an additional sweep that will tally the scalar flux is completed. The last improvement that is investigated is the possible reduction of the number of azimuthal angles per octant in the shielding sweep. Typically 16 azimuthal angles per octant are used for self-shielding and eigenvalue calculations, but it is possible that the self-shielding sweeps are less sensitive to the number of angles than the full eigenvalue calculation.},
doi = {10.2172/1328310},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • The Subgroup Data Generation (SUBGR) program generates subgroup data, including levels and weights from the resonance self-shielded cross section table as a function of background cross section. Depending on the nuclide and the energy range, these subgroup data can be generated by (a) narrow resonance approximation, (b) pointwise flux calculations for homogeneous media; and (c) pointwise flux calculations for heterogeneous lattice cells. The latter two options are performed by the AMPX module IRFFACTOR. These subgroup data are to be used in the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) neutronic simulator MPACT, for which the primary resonance self-shieldingmore » method is the subgroup method.« less
  • Neutron detection is an important aspect of materials protection, accounting, and control for transmutation (MPACT). Currently He-3 filled thermal neutron detectors are utilized in many applications; these detectors require high-voltage bias for operation, which complicates the system when multiple detectors are used. In addition, due to recent increase in homeland security activity and the nuclear renaissance, there is a shortage of He-3, and these detectors become more expensive. Instead, cheap solid-state detectors that can be mass produced like any other computer chips will be developed. The new detector does not require a bias for operation, has low gamma sensitivity, andmore » a fast response. The detection system is based on a honeycomb-like silicon device, which is filled with B-10 as the neutron converter; while a silicon p-n diode (i.e., solar cell type device) formed on the thin silicon wall of the honeycomb structure detects the energetic charged particles emitted from the B-10 conversion layer. Such a detector has ~40% calculated thermal neutron detection efficiency with an overall detector thickness of about 200 ?m. Stacking of these devices allows over 90% thermal neutron detection efficiency. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a high-efficiency, low-noise, self-powered solid-state neutron detector system based on the promising results of the existing research program. A prototype of this solid-state neutron detector system with sufficient detector size (up to 8-inch diam., but still portable and inexpensive) and integrated with interface electronics (e.g., preamplifier) will be designed, fabricated, and tested as a coincidence counter for MPACT applications. All fabrications proposed are based on silicon-compatible processing; thus, an extremely cheap detector system could be massively produced like any other silicon chips. Such detectors will revolutionize current neutron detection systems by providing a solid-state alternative to traditional gas-based neutron detectors.« less
  • An essential component of the neutron transport solver is the resonance self-shielding calculation used to determine equivalence cross sections. The neutron transport code, MPACT, is currently using the subgroup self-shielding method, in which the method of characteristics (MOC) is used to solve purely absorbing fixed-source problems. Recent efforts incorporating multigroup kernels to the MOC solvers in MPACT have reduced runtime by roughly 2×. Applying the same concepts for self-shielding and developing a novel lumped parameter approach to MOC, substantial improvements have also been made to the self-shielding computational efficiency without sacrificing any accuracy. These new multigroup and lumped parameter capabilitiesmore » have been demonstrated on two test cases: (1) a single lattice with quarter symmetry known as VERA (Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications) Progression Problem 2a and (2) a two-dimensional quarter-core slice known as Problem 5a-2D. From these cases, self-shielding computational time was reduced by roughly 3–4×, with a corresponding 15–20% increase in overall memory burden. An azimuthal angle sensitivity study also shows that only half as many angles are needed, yielding an additional speedup of 2×. In total, the improvements yield roughly a 7–8× speedup. Furthermore given these performance benefits, these approaches have been adopted as the default in MPACT.« less