Monte Carlo codes are powerful and accurate tools for reactor core calculation. Most Monte Carlo codes use the point-wise data format, in which the data are given as tables of energy-cross section pairs. When calculating the cross sections at an incident energy value, it should be determined which grid interval the energy falls in. This procedure is repeated so frequently in Monte Carlo codes that its contribution in the overall calculation time can become quite significant. In this paper, the time distribution of Monte Carlo method is analyzed to illustrate the time consuming of cross section calculation. By investigation on searching and calculating cross section data in Monte Carlo code, a new search algorithm called hash table is elaborately designed to substitute the traditional binary search method in locating the energy grid interval. The results indicate that in the criticality calculation, hash table can save 5%∼17% CPU time, depending on the number of nuclides in the material, as well as complexity of geometry for particles tracking.

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