Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 183 / Number 1 / May 2016 / Pages 65-77
Technical Paper / dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE15-67
The Chebyshev rational approximation method (CRAM) for solving the decay and depletion of nuclides is shown to have a remarkable decrease in error when advancing the system with the same time step and microscopic reaction rates as the previous step. This property is exploited here to achieve high accuracy in any end-of-step solution by dividing a step into equidistant substeps. The computational cost of identical substeps can be reduced significantly below that of an equal number of regular steps, as the lower-upper decompositions for the linear solutions required in CRAM need to be formed only on the first substep. The improved accuracy provided by substeps is most relevant in decay calculations, where there have previously been concerns about the accuracy and generality of CRAM. With substeps, CRAM can solve any decay or depletion problem with constant microscopic reaction rates to an extremely high accuracy for all nuclides with concentrations above an arbitrary limit.