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Mathematica as a versatile tool to set-up and analyze neutronic calculations for research reactors

Alexander Glaser
Christoph Pistner
Journal / Anthology

The 25th International Meeting on Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR)
Year: 2003

Modern technical computing environments, such as Mathematica or Matlab, provide powerful tools and techniques for research reactor analysis combined with advanced graphical user interfaces. In addition, reactor calculations can now be efficiently supported by neutronics codes based on the Monte Carlo method due to the dramatic increase of computer performance in recent years. In particular for the analysis of very compact reactor cores, where an accurate three-dimensional model of the core becomes almost indispensable, Monte Carlo techniques are a very valuable asset.

In combining these approaches, we present a system that emphasizes an interactive interface based on Mathematica, while using standard burnup and Monte Carlo neutronics codes in the background (ORIGEN and MCNP). As an example, a generic single element reactor is discussed. The computational system is used to set up a complete MCNP model of the core, to optimize and prepare the input for burnup calculations, and finally to analyze the results of the calculations.

*Science > Physics > Nuclear and Particle Physics