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An Alternative Implementation of the Differential Operator (Taylor Series) Perturbation Method for Monte Carlo Criticality Problems

Jeffrey A. Favorite

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 142 / Number 3 / November 2002 / Pages 327-341

Technical Paper /

The standard implementation of the differential operator (Taylor series) perturbation method for Monte Carlo criticality problems has previously been shown to have a wide range of applicability. In this method, the unperturbed fission distribution is used as a fixed source to estimate the change in the keff eigenvalue of a system due to a perturbation. A new method, based on the deterministic perturbation theory assumption that the flux distribution (rather than the fission source distribution) is unchanged after a perturbation, is proposed in this paper. Dubbed the F-A method, the new method is implemented within the framework of the standard differential operator method by making tallies only in perturbed fissionable regions and combining the standard differential operator estimate of their perturbations according to the deterministic first-order perturbation formula. The F-A method, developed to extend the range of applicability of the differential operator method rather than as a replacement, was more accurate than the standard implementation for positive and negative density perturbations in a thin shell at the exterior of a computational Godiva model. The F-A method was also more accurate than the standard implementation at estimating reactivity worth profiles of samples with a very small positive reactivity worth (compared to actual measurements) in the Zeus critical assembly, but it was less accurate for a sample with a small negative reactivity worth.

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