High-Performance Monte Carlo nuclear reactor core analysis

The aim of the HPMC project is to develop and demonstrate nuclear reactor calculations for a full reactor core with the Monte Carlo method for reactor safety analysis, including

This will require the utmost efficiency of the Monte Carlo calculation with high-performance parallel execution on a supercomputer.


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 burnup.
State-of-the-art methods use deterministic techniques to solve the neutronics equations, which require various approximations for a full core:

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 burnup 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 optimization of all coupling mechanisms when run on a supercomputers 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.