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Review of Early 21st-Century Monte Carlo Perturbation and Sensitivity Techniques for k-Eigenvalue Radiation Transport Calculations

Brian C. Kiedrowski

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 185 / Number 3 / March 2017 / Pages 426-444

Technical Paper /

First Online Publication:April 14, 2017

Since the 1960s, Monte Carlo methods have been used to compute the effect of perturbations on system responses and for computing sensitivity coefficients. This review article focuses on 21st-century developments specific to k-eigenvalue calculations. The theory of correlated sampling, differential operator sampling, and adjoint-based approaches and their historical methods from the 20th century are briefly summarized. Specific focus is given to four recent and significant developments: fission source correction using the correlated sampling and differential operator sampling methods, adjoint-based perturbations for the k eigenvalue using the iterated fission probability method, an extension to reaction rate ratios using generalized perturbation theory, and a recent development using a collision history approach allowing for the calculation of sensitivity coefficients of bilinear ratios and generalized responses. Differences and similarities of the four methods are discussed along with a comparison to the 20th-century approaches. A perspective on future developments is also given.