Monte Carlo Performance Benchmark for Detailed Power Density Calculations in a Full Size Reactor Core


Monte Carlo codes are capable of calculating integral parameters such as the effective multiplication factor or a reactivity coefficient, allowing all geometrical details of each individual fuel pin of each fuel assembly to be modeled..

However, when more detailed information is required such as local power densities for a large number of small regions of a fuel pin, it is much more difficult to get reliable results with respect to the associated statistical uncertainty (typically represented by its standard deviation) within an acceptable computation time.

In that purpose, it will be useful to monitor the performance of Monte Carlo full core calculations over the next 1 or 2 decades. Therefore, a suitable benchmark test which exhibits sufficient realistic detail for a modern full core calculation is needed.


The aim of the proposed benchmark test is to monitor over the coming years the (increase in) performance of Monte Carlo calculations of a full size reactor core.

The ultimate goal is to demonstrate that over time it will become increasingly more practical to calculate a full size reactor core through the Monte Carlo method in a reasonably short time and with sufficient statistical accuracy.

Specifications and participation

For further information on how this Benchmark study is structured, its full specifications as well as the kind of results we expect to obtain please refer to the Monte Carlo Benchmark Guideline.

It should be noted that anyone who has access to a Monte Carlo code for power density estimation in a nuclear reactor can participate. Moreover, your registration is not mandatory for participating in the project.


Participants can upload their results using the following link: Please note you will need to create an NEA account.

Uploaded results will be considered by a moderator before being stored and made public. Participants who do not wish to have their results made public should indicate so before actually uploading them. However, the publication of obtained results is strongly encouraged especially for the advancement of the project.

An overview of results and an extrapolation to the year when the ultimate goal will be realized should also be presented from time to time at international conferences.

If results allow, a chart will be put online allowing a convenient assessment of the progress obtained in Monte Carlo performance of codes for detailed power density calculations easily accessible.

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Last reviewed: 20 October 2010