OpenMC: A one-stop-shop for fusion neutronics

Ethan Peterson


Friday, October 28, 2022


NW17-218 Hybrid

PSFC Seminars

Abstract: Nuclear and radiological analysis is quite often the rate-limiting step in the design iteration cycle for fusion technology. This is generally the case across a wide variety of projects from the design of SPARC to smaller experiments like LIBRA and is caused by a convergence of three factors: complex workflows, a lack of robust, scalable computational tools, and a limited workforce. The current fusion neutronics software ecosystem is especially fractured, mired by export control restrictions and offers limited development support. To support the R&D of fusion technology in both industry and academia a unified software ecosystem is required that seemlessly integrates the radiation transport, activation, variance reduction, nuclear data, and source generation aspects of neutronics analysis into a single accessible package. The open-source Monte Carlo code, OpenMC, originally developed at MIT and now Argonne National Lab, is the first such platform capable of supporting the complete shutdown dose rate (SDR) workflow, the canonical use-case for fusion systems. This talk highlights the challenges of the current fusion neutronics ecosystem, how the OpenMC fusion roadmap addresses these challenges, and presents the first Rigorous 2-Step SDR calculation performed with a single open-source code.