The RAPID Fission Matrix Approach to Reactor Core Criticality Calculations

William J. Walters, Nathan J. Roskoff, Alireza Haghighat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The Real-time Analysis for Particle transport and In-situ Detection (RAPID) code uses a unique, extremely fast, fission matrix–based methodology to compute the eigenvalue, and three-dimensional, pinwise fission source distribution for reactor, spent fuel pool, and spent fuel cask problems. In this paper, the RAPID fission matrix method is described and analyzed for application to several large pressurized water reactor problems, based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Nuclear Energy Agency Monte Carlo Performance Benchmark problem. In the RAPID methodology, fission matrix coefficients precalculated using the Serpent Monte Carlo code, are then coupled together and solved for different core arrangements. A boundary correction method is used to obtain more accurate fission matrix values near the radial and axial reflectors. Eigenvalues and fission source distributions are compared between RAPID and Serpent reference calculations. In most cases, the eigenvalue differences between methods are less than 10 pcm. For a uniform core model, pinwise fission distributions between the methods differ by a root-mean-square value of (Formula presented.), compared to a Serpent uncertainty of (Formula presented.). The pinwise, axially dependent (100 axial levels) differences are (Formula presented.), compared to a similar Serpent uncertainty of (Formula presented.). To achieve these levels of uncertainty, the RAPID calculations are over 2500 times faster than Serpent, not counting the precalculation time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalNuclear Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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