Past Event

Plasma Physics Colloquium with Ethan Peterson, PSFC, MIT

February 10, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Mudd Hall, 500 W. 120 St., New York, NY 10027 214

Speaker: Ethan Peterson, Plasma Science and Fusion Center at MIT

Title: OpenMC: a one-stop-shop for fusion neutronics

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.

Biography: Ethan is a Research Scientist and the Neutronics Group lead at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He received his BS in Physics and Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT in 2013 with a focus on plasma-materials interaction science using the DIONISOS experiment. He obtained his PhD in experimental plasma astrophysics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and returned to MIT in 2019 as a postdoctoral associate to work on the neutronics analysis and shielding design for the SPARC tokamak. Now, he focuses primarily on integrated modeling and experiments for fusion technology R&D with the open-source Monte-Carlo code, OpenMC.

At this time, only Columbia University ID-holders are invited to in-person seminars. Everyone else is invited to participate remotely. Please email [email protected] ahead of time for the Zoom link.

Contact Information

APAM Department