Development of Fusion Neutronics Capabilities in the OpenMC Monte Carlo Code
Development of OpenMC, a community maintained Monte Carlo particle transport code, has primarily focused to date on applications in nuclear reactor analysis and high-performance computing. A new collaboration between Argonne National Laboratory and MIT established in 2021 now seeks to make OpenMC a world-class analysis tool for fusion energy applications. In this talk, I will discuss the progress achieved thus far as part of this collaboration and the OpenMC's team wider engagement with the fusion community. One of the main technical goals of this project is to enable the calculation of shutdown dose rate (SDR) in fusion facilities, which requires coupled neutron transport, activation, and photon transport calculations. The OpenMC team has also been working with the ITER neutronics team to carry out OpenMC simulations of the ITER experiment. This work involves one of the most geometrically complex radiation transport models ever constructed. OpenMC simulations of ITER have revealed potential areas for optimization, and early efforts have already resulted in a 5x speedup on simulations of ITER. Finally, potential synergies between fusion neutronics work and nuclear reactor analysis will be discussed.
Paul Romano is a computational scientist at Argonne National Laboratory with a joint appointment between the Computational Science (CPS) and Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) divisions. He specializes in the areas of particle transport, nuclear reactor physics, high-performance computing, multiphysics simulations, and nuclear data. Dr. Romano is the original author and project lead for OpenMC, a community developed open source framework for Monte Carlo particle transport simulation that is used across national laboratories, industry, and academia. He has served as the principal investigator for a variety of R&D projects at Argonne, including the Exascale Computing Project (ECP) application development project "ExaSMR: Coupled Monte Carlo Neutronics and Fluid Flow Simulation of Small Modular Reactors".