Monitoring and preventing numerical oscillations in 3D simulations with coupled Monte Carlo codes

D. Kotlyar, E. Shwageraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Previous studies have reported that different schemes for coupling Monte Carlo (MC) neutron transport with burnup and thermal hydraulic feedbacks may potentially be numerically unstable. This issue can be resolved by application of implicit methods, such as the stochastic implicit mid-point (SIMP) methods. In order to assure numerical stability, the new methods do require additional computational effort. The instability issue however, is problem-dependent and does not necessarily occur in all cases. Therefore, blind application of the unconditionally stable coupling schemes, and thus incurring extra computational costs, may not always be necessary. In this paper, we attempt to develop an intelligent diagnostic mechanism, which will monitor numerical stability of the calculations and, if necessary, switch from simple and fast coupling scheme to more computationally expensive but unconditionally stable one. To illustrate this diagnostic mechanism, we performed a coupled burnup and TH analysis of a single BWR fuel assembly. The results indicate that the developed algorithm can be easily implemented in any MC based code for monitoring of numerical instabilities. The proposed monitoring method has negligible impact on the calculation time even for realistic 3D multi-region full core calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Amplification factor
  • BGCore
  • Monte Carlo
  • Neutronic-burnup-thermal hydraulic coupling
  • SIMP
  • Stability analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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