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Nonnegative Anisotropic Group Cross Sections: A Hybrid Monte Carlo-Discrete Elements-Discrete Ordinates Approach

J. Mark DelGrande, Kirk A. Mathews

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 139 / Number 1 / September 2001 / Pages 33-46

Technical Paper

Conventional discrete ordinates transport calculations often produce negative fluxes due to unphysical negative scattering cross sections and/or as artifacts of spatial differencing schemes such as diamond difference. Inherently nonnegative spatial methods, such as the nonlinear, exponential characteristic spatial quadrature, eliminate negative fluxes while providing excellent accuracy, presuming the group-to-group, ordinate-to-ordinate cross sections are all nonnegative. A hybrid approach is introduced in which the flow from spatial cell to spatial cell uses discrete ordinates spatial quadratures, while anisotropic scattering of flux from one energy-angle bin (energy group and discrete element of solid angle) to another such bin is modeled using a Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate the bin-to-bin cross sections. The directional elements tile the sphere of directions; the ordinates for the spatial quadrature are at the centroids of the elements. The method is developed and contrasted with previous schemes for positive cross sections. An algorithm for evaluating the Monte Carlo (MC)-discrete elements (MC-DE) cross sections is described, and some test cases are presented. Transport calculations using MC-DE cross sections are compared with calculations using conventional cross sections and with MCNP calculations. In this testing, the new method is about as accurate as the conventional approach, and often is more accurate. The exponential characteristic spatial quadrature, using the MC-DE cross sections, is shown to provide useful results where linear characteristic and spherical harmonics provide negative scalar fluxes in every cell in a region.

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