Numerically stable Monte Carlo-burnup-thermal hydraulic coupling schemes

D. Kotlyar, E. Shwageraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper presents stochastic implicit coupling method intended for use in Monte-Carlo (MC) based reactor analysis systems that include burnup and thermal hydraulic (TH) feedbacks. Both feedbacks are essential for accurate modeling of advanced reactor designs and analyses of associated fuel cycles. In particular, we investigate the effect of different burnup-TH coupling schemes on the numerical stability and accuracy of coupled MC calculations. First, we present the beginning of time step method which is the most commonly used. The accuracy of this method depends on the time step length and it is only conditionally stable. This work demonstrates that even for relatively short time steps, this method can be numerically unstable. Namely, the spatial distribution of neutronic and thermal hydraulic parameters, such as nuclide densities and temperatures, exhibit oscillatory behavior. To address the numerical stability issue, new implicit stochastic methods are proposed. The methods solve the depletion and TH problems simultaneously and use under-relaxation to speed up convergence. These methods are numerically stable and accurate even for relatively large time steps and require less computation time than the existing methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • BGCore
  • Carlo
  • Depletion
  • Implicit method
  • Monte
  • Neutronic thermal hydraulic coupling
  • SIMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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