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Transmutation Approximations for the Application of Hybrid Monte Carlo/Deterministic Neutron Transport to Shutdown Dose Rate Analysis

Elliott D. Biondo, Paul P. H. Wilson

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 187 / Number 1 / July 2017 / Pages 27-48

Technical Paper /

Received:August 17, 2016
Accepted:December 3, 2016
Published:July 3, 2017

In fusion energy systems (FES) neutrons born from burning plasma activate system components. The photon dose rate after shutdown from resulting radionuclides must be quantified. This shutdown dose rate (SDR) is calculated by coupling neutron transport, activation analysis, and photon transport. The size, complexity, and attenuating configuration of FES motivate the use of hybrid Monte Carlo (MC)/deterministic neutron transport. The Multi-Step Consistent Adjoint Driven Importance Sampling (MS-CADIS) method can be used to optimize MC neutron transport for coupled multiphysics problems, including SDR analysis, using deterministic estimates of adjoint flux distributions. When used for SDR analysis, MS-CADIS requires the formulation of an adjoint neutron source that approximates the transmutation process. In this work, transmutation approximations are used to derive a solution for this adjoint neutron source. It is shown that these approximations are reasonably met for typical FES neutron spectra and materials over a range of irradiation scenarios. When these approximations are met, the Groupwise Transmutation (GT)-CADIS method, proposed here, can be used effectively. GT-CADIS is an implementation of the MS-CADIS method for SDR analysis that uses a series of single-energy-group irradiations to calculate the adjoint neutron source. For a simple SDR problem, GT-CADIS provides speedups of 200 100 relative to global variance reduction with the Forward-Weighted (FW)-CADIS method and 9 5 relative to analog. This work shows that GT-CADIS is broadly applicable to FES problems and will significantly reduce the computational resources necessary for SDR analysis.

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