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MPACT Verification With Magnox Reactor Neutronics Progression Problems

by Nicholas P Luciano, Brian J Ade, Kangseog Kim, Andrew J Conant
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
PHYSOR2 020 Conference Proceedings
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1614 to 1622
Conference Name
PHYSOR 2020: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
Conference Location
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Conference Sponsor
University of Cambridge, Nuclear Energy Group - PHYSOR 2020
Conference Date

MPACT is a state-of-the-art core simulator designed to perform high-fidelity analysis using whole-core, three-dimensional, pin-resolved neutron transport calculations on modern parallel computing hardware. MPACT was originally developed to model light water reactors, and its capabilities are being extended to simulate gas-cooled, graphite-moderated cores such as Magnox reactors. To verify MPACT’s performance in this new application, the code is being formally benchmarked using representative problems. Progression problems are a series of example models that increase in complexity designed to test a code’s performance. The progression problems include both beginning-of-cycle and depletion calculations. Reference solutions for each progression problem have been generated using Serpent 2, a continuous-energy Monte Carlo reactor physics burnup calculation code.

Using the neutron multiplication eigenvalue ke as a metric, MPACT’s performance is assessed on each of the progression problems. Initial results showed that MPACT’s multi-group cross section libraries, originally developed for pressurized water reactor problems, were not sufficient to accurately solve Magnox problems. MPACT’s improved performance on the progression problems is demonstrated using this new optimized cross section library.