High performance Monte Carlo reactor core analysis

Project Reference: 295971
Activity Code:
Coordinator: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


Design and safety analysis of nuclear reactors is based on extensive use of computer codes for the coupled calculation of time-dependend neutron transport, thermal-hydraulics and burn up. State-of-the-art methods use deterministic techniques to solve the neutronics equations, which require various approximations for a full core: a limited number of energy groups, application of diffusion theory instead of transport theory, homogenization of fuel cells and fuel assemblies, pin power reconstruction, etc. These approximations can be overcome by the stochastic Monte Carlo method for neutron transport.

However, coupling with thermal-hydraulics codes, long-time time dependence and application to full reactor cores for detailed (pin-by-pin) power density distribution is only at its infancy. The project aims at developing and demonstrating the application of full core Monte Carlo calculation for time-dependent safety analysis with thermal-hydraulic feedback and burn up using high performance computing. Although Monte Carlo calculations are very suitable for parallel execution, full core integrated problems require ultimate efficiency in parallel execution of the Monte Carlo calculation itself and complete optimisation of all coupling mechanisms when run on a supercomputer with large numbers of processors. The project will provide the general tools for reference calculations, applicable to different reactor types, to test the accuracy of current and future deterministic analysis methods.

Project Details:

Start Date: 2011-10-01
End Date: 2014-09-30
EU Contribution: 550,906 EURO
Total Costs: 880,610 EURO
Funding Scheme: Small or medium-scale focused research project
Programme Acronym: FP7-EURATOM-FISSION
Subprogramme Area: R&D activities in support of the implementation of the Strategic Research Agenda of SNE-TP
Administrative Contact Person: Natascha WALLBURG (Ms.)


  • Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan, Sweden
  • Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT, Finland
  • Delft Nuclear Consultancy V.O.F, Netherlands