This paper describes benchmark calculations for the APR1400 nuclear reactor performed using the high-fidelity deterministic whole-core simulator MPACT compared to reference solutions generated by the Monte Carlo code McCARD. The methodology presented in this paper is a common approach in the field of nuclear reactor analysis, when measured data are not available for comparison, and may be more broadly applied in other simulation applications of energy systems. The benchmark consists of several problems that span the complexity of single pins to a hot full power cycle depletion. Overall, MPACT shows excellent agreement compared to the reference solutions. MPACT effectively predicts the reactivity for different geometries and several temperature and boron conditions. The largest deviation from McCARD occurs for cold zero conditions in which the fuel, moderator, and cladding are all 300 K. Possible reasons for this are discussed. Excluding these cases, the
reactivity difference from McCARD is consistently below 100 pcm. For single fuel pin problems, the highest error of 151 pcm occurs for the lowest fuel enrichment of 1.71 wt.% UO
, indicating possible, albeit small, enrichment bias in MPACT’s cross-section library. Furthermore, MOC and spatial mesh parametric studies indicate that default meshing parameters and options yield results comparable to finely meshed cases. Additionally, there is very good agreement of the radial and axial power distributions. RMS radial pin and assembly power differences for all cases are at or below 0.75%, and all RMS axial power differences are below 1.65%. These results are comparable to previous results from the VERA progression problems benchmark and meet generally accepted accuracy criteria for whole-core transport codes.
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